Leftist Arrogance: Why Liberals ‘Need’ to Look Down on Conservatives

Did you ever wish you could buy liberals for what you know they’re worth and sell them for what they think they’re worth? A common theme among progressives is that conservatives aren’t just wrong, they’re dumb. Reagan was dumb. G.W. Bush was dumb. Trump is dumb. “Knuckle-dragger,” “mouth-breather,” “stupid” and “uncultured” are typical pejoratives hurled at conservatives, who apparently tend to live in trailer parks, require dental care, handle snakes and marry first cousins. Why, I had a liberal actor (excuse the redundancy) tell me once that I wasn’t necessarily bad, just not as “evolved” as he was. (I had a great retort at the ready, but decided to just lash him with my tail instead.)

The reason for this arrogance isn’t as simple as many may think, as it relates to a deep psychological phenomenon that makes it difficult for those afflicted to evolve out of the leftist primordial soup.

I’ll introduce this with a story. Many years ago I was at an affair attended by a very chauvinistic, left-wing Greek fellow who would expound upon the superiority of Greek culture while at times demeaning the U.S. He was like the father character in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only with an anti-American twist. Desiring to take him down a peg and do a little face-to face trolling, I finally said with a smirk, “If all that’s true, why is Greece now like a Third World country?” (For those offended, know that I have great respect for ancient Greek accomplishments, just love moussaka and have the physique of a Spartan hoplite.)

Well, I exaggerate not when saying he turned red and, with veins popping out in his neck, exclaimed, “Don’t say that! Don’t say that!!” It was the kind of situation where you get the feeling the guy might take a swing at you.

His intense reaction wasn’t hard to explain. His self-esteem, his self-image, were wholly dependent upon the idea that he was a member of an elite, a superior group, with which he identified so closely that there was little to no separation in his mind between it and him. This was something deeply ingrained, part of the fabric of his being. Thus, any challenge to this idea struck directly at an intractable self-image, threatening to upset his ego’s world order, which had him, through group association, at its very pinnacle.

This phenomenon is common. It’s often exhibited by those considering themselves part of a “master race” or any kind of special group. It can be very comforting: A person may not be very accomplished, intelligent or gifted and might otherwise feel quite inadequate. But his group association saves his psyche’s day, for whatever he is or isn’t, at least he’s not like those other people, those untouchables. What this means is that the claim to superiority is often a cover for feelings of inferiority.

Remember that at issue here isn’t a mere intellectual appreciation. For example, I truly believe Western culture (which did originate with ancient Greece, mind you) is superior to all others. Yet I derive no self-esteem from being a “Westerner”; it’s just not part of who I am. Rather, the phenomenon in question here is a deeply emotional one.

For this reason, it’s wholly resistant to intellectual appeals. You can’t logically talk someone out of something irrational on which his self-worth is entirely based. In fact, if it begins to dawn on such a person that his notions of superiority — and hence his self-image — rest on a lie, it will be intensely painful and depressing. The individual will thus have a strong incentive to rationalize this realization away.

I don’t claim that every single leftist derives his self-esteem from the notion he’s part of a superior group called “liberals,” nor does this phenomenon completely explain leftist resistance to reason. But it is common among devoted liberals, and it’s part of why, as a group, they can’t give traditionalist views a fair hearing. Doing so doesn’t just threaten their ideology; it threatens who they are, their entire self-image. Any argument that may give them even an inkling they may be wrong can induce a bit of panic and is thus quickly rationalized away — often as the rambling of uneducated, un-evolved mouth-breathers who just don’t know any better.

This phenomenon is exacerbated by two related factors. First, liberals are generally dysfunctional, vice-ridden people who embrace what we call liberalism because its underlying moral relativism/nihilism helps them justify their sins (they become the arbiters of their own “values” — “Everything is gray, a matter of perspective. I have my own ‘truth’”). Simultaneously, liberalism allows these virtue-bereft people to virtue-signal by paying homage to the day’s fashionable values. In other words, liberals are generally morally “unaccomplished” people who often have nothing to cling to but the illusion of intellectual, and often moral, superiority.

(As to the left’s actual moral inferiority, I urge you to read the excellent 2008 piece “Don’t listen to the liberals — Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows.”)

Second, conservatives are more likely to have authentic faith while liberals tend be to avowed or de facto atheists, which is why church attendance is one of the best predictors of voting patterns. This has an effect. Theists may, and hopefully will, recognize moral differences among people and groups; any tendency to become haughty, however, is often tempered by a divine injunction prescribing humility and the knowledge that we’re all sinners, part of a fallen race. Love for others is also demanded. But atheism involves no such requirements; in fact, its correlative moral relativism/nihilism (explained here) makes “If it feels good, do it” the ultimate guide for behavior. Moreover, unable to look up at divine perfection, and with the individual becoming his own source of (pseudo) “morality,” the self is often exalted, the ego deified. Like a pharaoh believing he’s a god on Earth, it then becomes easy to look down on others.

Just as liberalism is defined not by an unchanging set of doctrines but by opposition to conservatism and what it defends — the status quo — godless liberals can only judge themselves relative to other people. And being moral train wrecks, they can’t really be happy. But, hey, whatever they may or mayn’t be, Mr. Conservative, at least they’re not you. And that’s one status quo they’re dead set on maintaining.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

The Ugly Truth About America

As you get older, you discover there are fewer shades of gray in life. As you gain experience, you tend to see things more in terms of black-and-white. You now possess an appreciation of what works and what doesn’t, which is why people ask for your advice. Some would say you become less tolerant of others but the truth is you’ve simply been down that road before and don’t want to revisit it. From this, you learn the subtle truths of how the world works.

The United States is a beautiful concept; the land of opportunity founded as a Constitutional Republic. I have been fortunate to see many different systems around the world, but I believe we have it better than just about everyone else. However, we are not without faults, ugly truths about who we are and how we operate. It’s what makes us tick and provides insight into the American psyche.

What follows is what I refer to as the ugly truth of America; things we all know are true but don’t want to admit. Consequently, we have learned to accept them and adapted our lives accordingly.

1. Yes, Americans are not really happy with their lives. I tend to believe this is caused by the tension we are under, both financially and politically. Norway is considered the happiest country on the planet. The USA isn’t even in the Top 10; currently we are at #14, having dropped one point from 2016. Americans seem to be most happy when they score a personal victory, not necessarily as a team. For example, an individual will relish a job promotion even if the company is struggling to survive. Strange. As an aside, I didn’t see too many smiles during the recent holidays. Shoppers all seemed to be resigned to their fate and wore sour pusses on their faces. If you happen to greet someone pleasantly they typically look at you suspiciously.

2. Yes, there is a privileged class in America. As much as we would like to believe the law serves everyone equally, this is simply not true. Money and celebrity buys influence in this country and puts people above the law, if for no other reason they can purchase the finest legal minds in the country. Rarely are such people jailed. This also means America is a politically charged nation where advancement is based not necessarily on performance, but who you know and how you know them. We see this in companies, both commercial and nonprofit, as well as in government.

3. Yes, America embraces a drug culture. The country recently recognized opioid drugs as bad, but we somehow see no connection to marijuana. The reality is, America wants to remain high all the time and, as such, is the #1 consumer of drugs. To prove it, see how far you get trying to recall legislation regarding recreational or medicinal marijuana in this country.

4. Yes, Americans are addicted to technology. Even though it stunts our maturation process and empathy for others, our sense of humor and communication skills, and our ability to socialize, Americans cannot live without their personal technology. Then again, neither can most of the world.

5. Yes, Americans are historically ignorant. When you compare the USA to other countries, Americans are grossly in the dark regarding the past. This leads to misunderstandings regarding the principles of government (the Electoral College is an excellent example), and dooms us to commit prior mistakes repetitiously. It’s interesting, in an age where technology affords us 24/7 news and info, most millennials are ignorant of our past and how their country works. As the famed American historian David McCullough observed, “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

6. Yes, the American public is sheeple. Most use limited brainpower in their daily affairs and, as such, are weak willed and can be easily manipulated by the media. This is likely related to their addiction to drugs and technology. Due to changing values, Americans today lack common sense. They do not want to know the truth, preferring instead only the news and information corresponding to their way of thinking. This is to be expected as the media is unable to offer the American people factual news, only spin.

7. Yes, the system is fixed. Donald Trump hit a hot button when he first brought this subject up in the 2016 election, but it is found not just in politics, but in just about everything else; e.g., job progression in companies and nonprofits. This explains why there are so many suck-ups in the land. Americans have been taught to lie and cheat at all costs to attain goals. Instead of living in a “win-win” environment whereby both parties can achieve prosperity together, we now live in an age of “win-lose” meaning we can only win at the cost of the other party losing.

8. Yes, Americans are reactionaries, not pro-active planners. We prefer allowing our opponents to knock us down before we are stirred to action. There are many examples to illustrate the point, e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Pearl Harbor, 911, the USS Maine, etc. This is a severe weakness we possess, something the rest of the world is cognizant of.

9. Yes, programmers control everything, be it our televisions, automobiles, communication devices, business equipment, etc. But know this, programmers will only do what is best for them, not the end-user. What is intuitive to the programmer is not so for the rest of us. Most useful tools are designed by accident, not on purpose. As such, they control the mindware of the public.

10. Yes, most Americans do not know how to drive. The USA is #1 in terms of automobile accidents, head-and-shoulders above everyone else. Because of self-absorption, we are preoccupied doing everything else other than driving cars in an alert manner; e.g., People texting and talking on the phone, eating, doing drugs or drinking, applying makeup, etc. Electric cars will likely cure this over time, another sign we are losing our freedom and independence.

11. Yes, American morality is in decline, representing a sign of decay to our culture. For example, loyalty is in decline and can be purchased by the highest bidder. Interest in organized religion and patriotism are also in decline. We also tend to lack empathy for others and consequently are self-absorbed. Our sense of right-and-wrong is split along political ideologies, thereby denoting the true division in the country.

One thing we are not is a nation of racists.

We are a melting pot of people living in a highly competitive society. I cannot think of another country with as many different types of cultures, a true heterogeneous society where each group tries to outperform the others. Some respond positively to competition, others do not. I do not believe we are devoid of racism completely, it is inevitable in a mixed racial society, but there are probably more racists outside of the United States today than there are inside. I find the use of the “racist” label in America today is more of a diversionary tactic for political purposes as opposed to possessing any true substance.

Some will say America is a land where you cannot win. This is simply not true as the Constitution was deliberately designed to provide the individual with certain unalienable rights, particularly opportunity, yet there are no guarantees for success. This is the bedrock of capitalism.

Some will also accuse me of being a pessimist in my assessment of the United States, but I am not, as Twain would suggest, I am an optimist who hasn’t arrived yet.

Keep the Faith!

RELATED ARTICLE: Gingrich: Businesses ‘Feel Psychologically Renewed’ Under Trump – AUDIO

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Huffington Post. Click for AUDIO version.

VIDEO: White House Strategist Stephen Miller on CNN-Tapper Fiasco, Immigration, Chain Migration, The Wall

I recently attended a meeting of the Media Roundtable in Sarasota, FL. The group of over 40 attendees are former owners, executives, leaders, reporters and TV personalities in the news/media industry. The discussion came up about the First Amendment. All agreed that the First Amendment was critical to a Constitutional Republican form of government. The vast majority of those in attendance self identify as Democrats.

Recently White House strategist Stephen Miller appeared on CNN with Jake Tapper. The interview briefly made the headlines because of Tapper cutting off the interview by saying “I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.” As a former radio talk show host I learned that it is best to allow a guest on my program the freedom to express themselves and let the audience decide how to interpret the interview.

QUESTION: Is CNN and Mr. Tapper interested in allowing freedom of speech?

You decide after watching a followup interview done with Mr. Miller by Tucker Carlson on the Fox News Channel:

FULL TRANSCRIPT, VIA FOX NEWS:

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Stephen Miller joins us tonight.

Stephen Miller, thanks a lot for coming on.

STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE POLICY ADVISER: Hey. Thank you for having me.

CARLSON: So, CNN called around to news organizations and said you were escorted off the set by security. Presumably you are not a physical threat, you are not armed. My question is, but they thought you were a threat. Do you think if you have been, I don’t know, a member of MS-13 here illegally, that CNN would have had security pull you off the set?

MILLER: I assume if I was a member of MS-13 here illegally, they would be clamoring to get me into the voting booth. But I think that — I think that like many things CNN says, like this story has the most important virtue of all CNN stories as being not true.

CARLSON: Well, here’s what we know is true, and here’s what —

MILLER: An amazing true, but not —

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: — what was striking to me about the whole thing. So, there was a video apparently taken without your knowledge of you on the set after the segment ended during the commercial break, and someone apparently from CNN, I don’t know who else would have access to it, leaked that to other news organizations.

What do you make of that?

MILLER: Well, it’s just another example of CNN’s very low journalistic standards. But I was glad to have people hear what I said on camera and off camera, which that CNN has been extraordinarily biased, extraordinarily unfair to the president and is not giving their information — their viewers honest information.

CARLSON: So, you wanted to talk about immigration. And the DACA debate is obviously the focus of a lot of energy in the Congress right now. The priorities for the administration you have said are, ending chain migration, financing a border wall and ending the diversity lottery. Of those three, what would you say is the most important priority from your point of view?

MILLER: Well, look, we need them all because the reality is that anything you do on DACA is going to have some predictable consequences, right? You’re going to have an increase in new illegal immigration, so you need to have a wall. You need to close the enforcement loopholes.

And then you’re also going to have an increase in the overall number of people coming into the country and that’s what you have to deal with chain migration. You have to deal with the visa lottery. And these are crucial reforms to make the system work for Americans.

You know, Donald Trump has a very radical idea and that’s that when we make changes to our immigration laws, the group we should be most concerned about are everyday hardworking Americans, the citizens who make this country run, who obey the laws, follow the rules, pay their taxes, show up and vote — the people who are loyal to this country. And Donald Trump is saying our country should be loyal to them in return.

CARLSON: So, Democrats argue back that ending chain migration and ending the diversity lottery would prevent a lot of people — decent people from coming into this country. What’s their argument against financing the border wall?

MILLER: Well —

CARLSON: Why do you think they oppose that?

MILLER: Well, as you know, I mean, they all voted for a border barrier, a hard physical border barrier back in 2006, the Secure Fence Act. Joe Biden voted for it, Barack Obama voted for it. Hillary Clinton voted for, et cetera.

So, that’s — that’s just a new position they apparently have that they are opposed to any form of border security.

CARLSON: What animated it? Why is that an absolute sticking point for Democrats? A bunch of them have said, including in leadership, we’re not supporting anything that includes financing a border wall? Why?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: — anything to that?

MILLER: Look, if Democrats oppose a border wall, they’re just saying they want continued, unendingly illegal immigration.

But let me deal with other question, too. You talk about you guys say, well, you know, if you have chain migration, it could keep good people out. There are 7 billion people in the world. Most of them are good, hardworking, decent, honest, principled people. But the reality is there’s a limit to how many people any country can bring in. And we as a country have a right to say we want to bring people based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to be safe, productive citizens, and to uplift the nation as a whole.

You think about our current system of chain migration, Tucker. So, over the last 10 years, we’ve admitted about 10 million people through our chain migration system.

To understand how many people that is, you’re talking about every hour, that’s about the size of a high school auditorium. Every day, it’s the size of a large high school. Every week, a small city. Every month, a medium to average size city. And every year, a very large city, a city the size of Washington, D.C., or almost a San Francisco, every single year, just through chain migration.

What’s the effect of that on taxpayers? What’s the effect of that on wage earners? What’s the effect of that —

CARLSON: And that’s illegal.

MILLER: Right. That’s just folks coming in on green cards through chain migration.

CARLSON: So, what’s the — I always ask this question of proponents of immigration, including of illegal immigration. What is the ideal number of immigrants, people from other countries, moving here every year?

MILLER: Right. And oftentimes, they won’t have an answer to that question.

CARLSON: Well, what’s your answer?

MILLER: The — I mean, I have — I have my own views on it, but I think the important point is ending chain migration, as the president has called for, is necessary not just for economic security but for national security.

You saw the recent attempted terrorist attack in New York. The individual who came here — was brought to the chain migration system, right? They came through her nephew’s green card.

CARLSON: Right.

MILLER: And that’s just not a smart way for a country to run its immigration system.

CARLSON: So, what should be the criteria for entry in the United States?

MILLER: Well, you know, Donald Trump supported the RAISE Act. And it looked at things like, what’s your proficiency in the language? What economic skills do you have? Do have a background in sciences? Do you have a background in engineering? Do you have a background in law or writing?

It looked at things like your age. Obviously, you bring in immigrants who are in their 80s or 90s, that’s going to have a significant expense on society. So, you wanted folks primarily in their working years.

CARLSON: But what about — I mean, we interviewed someone last week and said, who will pick the strawberries? I mean, how many immigrants, low-wage, low skilled immigrants do we need a year for the ag sector?

MILLER: Well, as you know, only about 1 percent of the immigrant population of the country works in agriculture. So, it’s discussed a lot but it’s a very small portion of the overall labor force. The typical jobs that a lower skilled immigration worker might do might be construction work, it might be hospitality work, it might be restaurant work, or might be not working at all and just going onto the welfare system if there isn’t a job for that individual.

CARLSON: So, if there’s no clear economic rationale for an immigration system and it doesn’t sound like there is one, there’s no economists saying we need to bring in this number of low skilled immigrants, then why does the Democratic Party support our current system and want to liberalize the current system so vehemently? What motivates them?

MILLER: Well, you are asking the right question, but I think the context of this debate, the question that the president is putting forth for the American people is when we have an immigration system, whose needs are we fundamentally trying to serve? The needs of special interests? The needs of politicians, the needs of foreign countries and foreign nationals, the needs of our own country and our own workers?

And so, at the end of the day, our hope for a bipartisan deal is that you can have enough Democrats say that listening to the voters and the voice of the American people, we want a system that serves American workers first. And what Donald Trump has done that’s so exceptional is for the first time that I can remember, for the first time you can probably remember, we have a president of this country who when he talks but immigration, he talks about what is right for the everyday hardworking person.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We’re almost out of time, so I just want to get to one quick political question, which is: Democrats have said they are not going to come to any deal with these three components in it — border wall, reducing chain migration, ending diversity lottery. Where’s the wiggle room on the White House side?

MILLER: Look, Democrats ultimately have to make a choice. They care a lot about providing benefit to illegal immigrants. We’re saying to them, if you want to make a deal, then you have to both deliver benefits for American families and American taxpayers too. And if both sides are willing to agree with those terms, Tucker, then we can have a deal.

And most importantly, we can have an immigration system that 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now produces more assimilation, higher wages, more economic opportunity and better prospect for immigrants and U.S.-born alike.

CARLSON: Stephen Miller, thank you.

MILLER: Hey. Thank you.

Number of High School Students Who Have Had Sex Drops

For every parent who’s tried to tell their teenage kids that “everyone’s not doing it,” here’s proof! According to the CDC’s new nationwide report, the number of high school students who said they’ve ever had sex dropped from 47 percent in 2005 to 41 percent in 2015. The good news is even better for African American students, who showed improvements across the board, followed by Hispanics who practiced more abstinence in three of the four grades.

None of this is thanks to President Obama, researchers say. After two terms of the last administration’s “if-it-feels-good-do-it” approach, most experts agree he accomplished one thing: making the situation worse. “Compared with their peers,” a 2016 study by the American Journal of Public Health found, “teenagers in the [government’s programs] were more likely to begin having sex… and more likely to get pregnant.” And it’s no wonder. The curriculum was so extreme that 40 percent of young people actually said they felt more pressure to engage in sex from their sex ed classes than from their boyfriends or girlfriends!

In other words, the Obama administration wasn’t just wasting money on an approach that doesn’t work but also makes the problems worse! Fortunately, conservatives in Congress have been steadily chipping away at the dollars America is wasting on these failures. Under the latest spending bill, Republicans take direct aim at the $110 million money pit of the liberals’ Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs and start redirecting a portion of it to a message that even Obama’s CDC reluctantly endorsed: abstinence.

And guess what? This approach isn’t just what works, but what teenagers want. According to our friends at Ascend, most young people support saving sex for marriage. Most of them don’t like the idea of casual sex, want to wait, or wish they’d waited longer. When the CDC released its latest numbers on teen sex, researchers were stumped. Most people just assumed kids were having sex. And maybe that’s part of the problem. We’re so busy teaching about birth control that we don’t even bother with self-control.

Somewhere along the way, it became assumed, not discouraged, that teenagers would have sex. And as a result, we have an entire area of teen education accelerates the risks instead of curbing them. Think about the other behaviors that can devastate a young person’s life. We don’t tell kids to drink less. We tell them not to drink, period. The same with smoking. We don’t hand them filters assuming that they’ll light up anyway. We challenge them not to.

Most teenagers want to be challenged to stay pure too. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough people teaching them how. Maybe parents are too embarrassed to talk about sex or think their kids aren’t listening. Well, I’ve got news for you — they are. Valerie Huber, who left Ascend to take a leadership post in Trump’s Health and Human Services Department, knows from personal experience: “The healthiest message for youth is one that gives youth the skills and information to avoid the risks of teen sex, not merely reduce them. This is a message that is relevant in 2016, since the majority of teens have not had sex, far fewer, in fact, than 20 years ago.” It’s time to adapt our thinking, our strategies, and our public policy to an approach that makes the most sense for our kids and their future. And based on the latest research, that isn’t Obama’s.

This was originally published in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update, which is written with the aid of Family Research Council senior writers.

PODCAST: Former Employee Sues Google, Alleges Discrimination Against Conservatives

James Damore

Former Google employee James Damore is suing Google, accusing the tech giant of discrimination against conservatives and whites.

The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez joins us to discuss that lawsuit, Silicon Valley’s diversity problem, and why the Census should stop dividing Americans into six ethnic categories.

Plus: President Donald Trump shows his love for the national anthem, and the author of “Fire and Fury” won’t release the tape recordings.

PODCAST BY

Portrait of Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Daily Signal and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. Send an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

Portrait of Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis is the commentary editor of The Daily Signal. Twitter: @JDaniel_Davis.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites

Google Fired Conservative for Questioning Muslim’s Anti-Trump Rant

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Truth on DACA: We’ve Already Granted Amnesty to These Illegals

In our through-the-looking-glass world, we so often view matters backwards without even realizing it. Take DACA (actually, leave it), where even many conservatives consider it a given that the individuals covered under it must somehow be granted amnesty.

Overlooked is that they’ve already been granted amnesty.

Consider: Imagine you return from a trip to find someone has broken into your home, is squatting there and is eating your food and using your services. Might you not call the police? Might this invader not be charged with various crimes, such as breaking and entering, trespassing and theft?

Now, let’s say that for some reason you feel compassion for the individual — maybe because he’s a young adult whose father broke open your door and told him to make himself at home — and instead of pressing charges, you just tell him he must leave your place and never return. How would you react if, after exhibiting such mercy, a community activist called you bigoted and intolerant and insisted you grant “amnesty” by allowing the interloper to live with you permanently? Would you not be outraged and point out that you’re already granting amnesty by not pressing charges? In fact, the attack on your character might stiffen your resolve to expel the trespasser.

This is largely analogous to the situation with the DACA illegals: They have already received amnesty. We’re not going to punish them for remaining in our country, even though they’ve long known their presence here was a violation of law. We’re not even going to demand they reimburse us for the American services (e.g., education, handouts) from which they’ve greatly benefitted. They’re way ahead of the game (and we’re being played). Insisting someone return to his native land is not punishment. It’s mercy. It simply amounts to making things right.

Of course, we often hear the argument that the “DREAMers” — a sickening, manipulative propaganda term if ever there were one (how about “Schemers”?) — are enriching the U.S. Contrary to this assertion, however, DACA recipients have considerably lower educational attainment than do American citizens. Almost a quarter are functionally illiterate, 73 percent live in low-income housing and only four percent complete college, according to certain studies. Allowing DACA individuals — who range from high-school age to middle age — to stay, “is really the importation of an additional underclass,” as American Thinker editor Thomas Lifson puts it. (It’s also the importation of future Democrat voters.)

Having said this, let’s for a moment assume Invasion USA advocates are right about DACA aliens’ achievement. They then should stop being selfish and allow these bursting-with-potential people to enrich their native lands. Talk about cultural appropriation: We suck the best and brightest from these Third World countries and then wonder why they’re in shambles. You leftists ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Denuding a developing nation of its intellectual capital is a type of resource rape.

Returning to my analogy (and to seriousness), why aren’t we outraged about the DACA appeals, as we’d be if someone insisted we coddle a home invader? Sadly, it’s because we’re no longer a nation, properly defined. A nation is an extension of the tribe, which itself is an extension of the family (think: the Sioux Nation); it’s one united people — not disparate peoples trying to coexist within the same borders.

Whether large or small, whether a family in a home or national family, such a cohesive entity will naturally defend the home front from invaders. In contrast, a balkanized country, a land of strangers, doesn’t react as viscerally to the introduction of more strangers. It has already been diversified out of its defense mechanisms.

Everyone should be mindful that we have, quite generously, already offered amnesty. We’re not insisting on DACA — Draconian Action against Childhood Arrivals. The Schemers just need to go home.

Anyway, that would be the dominant attitude in a nation. As for us…well, that’s a different matter.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Jeff Sessions Just Reversed Obama’s Pot Policy. Why That’s Good News for America.

Reversing Obama-era policy, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has given federal prosecutors the discretion to prosecute marijuana traffickers.

That’s good news for those who believe in the rule of law. And good news, too, for those concerned about public health and the safety of our nation’s youth.

On Jan. 4, Sessions revoked the Cole Memo, a 2014 Justice Department directive issued by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole. The memo essentially gave marijuana producers and distributors in states that had legalized the drug immunity for violating federal drug laws.

Sessions’ directive gives the 94 U.S. attorneys all over the country clear guidance for deciding when to prosecute those who violate federal law prohibiting marijuana cultivation and distribution.

The Baby Boomers reading this column should realize that the marijuana being produced today is many times stronger and more potent than what we saw in the 1960s.

The science today is also much clearer: We have far greater knowledge of the long-term, deleterious effects of marijuana on the physical and mental health of users, particular children and teenagers.

The bottom line: Today’s pot is a potentially dangerous substance. That’s why it is classified as a Schedule I controlled drug along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy—it isn’t alcohol.

While alcohol can be abused, it is not addictive for most people. Moreover, most consumers stop well shy of the point of intoxication. Moderate amounts even have some positive health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Compared to alcohol, we now know that long-term marijuana use can cause physical disorders such as respiratory disease, social problems such as anomie, and mental health problems such as schizophrenia, something we didn’t know about in the 1960s.

Its effect on the young may be more pernicious. It may impair the brain development of children and teenagers. It is associated with lower test scores and lower education attainment. Teenagers who use pot are also much less likely to graduate from college and much more likely to attempt suicide.

Today’s pot is genetically modified to boost the “high” a user can get. The goal, naturally, is to get more people hooked on pot, just like Big Tobacco’s goal was to get more people hooked on cigarettes.

Today’s pot pushers are just Big Tobacco 2.0. Why else would they be infusing THC, the active ingredient, into everything from cookies to ice cream to Gummy Bears?

These products directly target the young, creating serious risks for children who may not know what they are ingesting and teenagers who use these products to hide what they are doing from their parents.

States like Colorado that have legalized marijuana use have seen huge increases in marijuana-related traffic accidents and fatalities as well as accidental poisonings of both children and pets. Pot use by teenagers, who are most vulnerable to its damaging effects, has also greatly increased, as have school suspensions and expulsions for pot use.

The Cole Memo ignored all of this information, directing federal prosecutors to back off enforcement.

So does Sessions’ directive mean federal prosecutors are now going to go after the college kid who smokes a joint in his dormitory?

Of course not. U.S. attorneys have limited resources. They don’t prosecute misdemeanors. The only criminals they will take to court are the large-scale manufacturers and distributors.

Revenue-hungry lawmakers in states like California and Colorado may be willing to trade the problems created by marijuana legalization for the tax bonanza they expect to reap. But it’s a very raw deal for their neighbors.

States like Nebraska and Oklahoma have complained that Colorado’s legalization has increased trafficking into their states, with all of the myriad problems associated with increased drug abuse.

As Sessions’ memo notes, Congress “determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana activity is a serious crime.” The attorney general has no authority to simply decide not to enforce a law, which is exactly what the Holder/Lynch Justice Department did.

States cannot authorize parties to engage in conduct that federal law prohibits and as long as the Controlled Substances Act is on the books, states cannot tell their citizens to disregard it.

From a policy standpoint, it is wise to battle the growth of an industry that distributes a potentially dangerous drug in what is a national market and thus a national, not just a local, problem.

But Sessions has also done the right thing from a legal standpoint. He has acted to preserve a constitutional government in which Congress determines what the law is, and the president and the attorney general fulfill their duty to enforce the law—not ignore it.

Originally published by Fox News.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES:

11 Ways Trump’s DOJ Can Start Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law

Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use – New England Journal of Medicine

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

VIDEO: President Trump Walks on Field at NCAA National Championship Game — Then Stands and Sings National Anthem

President Trump attended the NCAA Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on January 8, 2018. The President walked onto the field escorted by U.S. military officers and University of Alabama ROTC cadets.

He then did something wonderful. He stood among those on the filed to honor the American flag and the National Anthem.

Watch President Donald J. Trump on field hand over his heart during the singing of the National Anthem ahead of National Championship Game.

This Case Against Western Ranchers Shows Why Americans Are Right to Fear Government

Governments are prone to abuse, especially when unchecked.

Recently revealed actions by the Bureau of Land Management, a federal agency under the Department of Interior charged with managing federal land, are reminiscent of the IRS scandal in which that agency targeted conservative tea party groups for extra scrutiny.

A federal judge ruled Dec. 20 that she was throwing out the Bureau of Land Management’s case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy because the prosecution withheld key facts.

On Monday, the same judge ruled that the case could not be tried again due to the actions of the prosecution, which she said had been “outrageous” and “violated due process rights,” according to azcentral.com.

The story broke before Christmas, but hasn’t received the attention it deserves. It perfectly underscores the pernicious problem of unaccountable agencies and how quickly they can become abusive to citizens.

The trial involved a dispute over grazing rights between Bundy and the federal government, a persistent problem in western states.

The government claimed Bundy owed money for public land use fees going back to the early 1990s, which the Bundy family refused to pay.

After years of trying to recoup the fees, the Bureau of Land Management, working in conjunction with the FBI, tried to impound Bundy’s cattle in 2014.

The story hit national headlines after Bundy, his family, and supporters got into an armed standoff with authorities that fortunately ended without violence. Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan eventually were arrested and chargedwith various offences.

However, the actions of government agents badly damaged the credibility of the case and raised questions about the power of supposedly independent agencies to deliver justice responsibly.

What is particularly worrisome is that the Bureau of Land Management appears to have acted punitively against political and religious groups they simply didn’t like.

An investigative report by one of the bureau’s own special agents revealed that the agents in the Bundy case acted with “incredible bias” and likely broke the law, as The Daily Caller News Foundation reported

The level of malfeasance of which one of its own accused the Bureau of Land Management is stunning.

Dan Love, the Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officer who led the 2014 raid on the Bundy compound in Clark County, Nevada, was fired recently amid charges of corruption. That was something prosecutors denied until pressured to release his fellow agent’s report to the defense.

Worse, an investigative report by one of the bureau’s own special agents revealed that the agents in the Bundy case acted with “incredible bias” and likely broke the law, as The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

In the memo, lead investigator Larry Wooten explained how agents acted maliciously toward the Bundys. He said the “punitive” and “ego-driven” campaign against the ranchers was all an effort to “command the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale, and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible.”

Wooten wrote: “The ridiculousness of the conduct, unprofessional amateurish carnival atmosphere, openly made statements, and electronic communications tended to mitigate the defendant’s culpability and cast a shadow of a doubt of inexcusable bias, unprofessionalism, and embarrassment of our agency.”

The agents called Bundy and his supporters “deplorables,” “rednecks,” and “idiots” among many other worse names, Wooten said. They also insulted the Bundy family’s Mormon beliefs.

Their behavior showed clear prejudice toward “the defendants, their supporters, and Mormons,” Wooten wrote.

Wooten claimed that fellow agents put him through a “religious test” of sorts on several occasions.

“You’re not a Mormon, are you?” they asked.

Wooten’s memo suggested that the attitude and ambition of Bureau of Land Management agents led them to inappropriately militarize the operation against the Bundys, even after the FBI had conducted a threat assessment and concluded that the Bundys weren’t dangerous.

The day after U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro’s declaration of a mistrial, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for an investigation into the matter.

However, there is some frustration over the Navarro’s decision, especially among environmental groups that generally would like to boot ranchers from government-owned western land.

Erik Molvar, executive director of Western Watersheds Project, an environmental conservation organization, blasted the mistrial decision in The Hill.

“These federal agencies have been patient and cautious to a fault in their prosecution of the Bundys and their accomplices,” Molvar wrote. “It’s long past time to stop playing games with the prosecution of federal crimes, and instead lay all the facts on the table and let the judicial system work.”

But one doesn’t need to think the Bundys acted appropriately in the dispute to understand why the case had to be thrown out. Nor is it out of line to think it’s worrisome for government agents to act in such an aggressive and abusive manner no matter the guilt or innocence of the citizen.

As columnist Debra Saunders wrote, the disturbing facts that have come to light point “to the sort of federal prosecutorial abuses that give the right cause for paranoia.”

There are better ways of of dealing with Western land. Reducing the federal footprint would certainly help.

Ranchers have been using government land for grazing for many generations, as individuals generally don’t have the financial means to acquire the amount of property necessary to run their business.

But this setup is not a free ride or “welfare,” as some have suggested.

Studies show it is generally more expensive for ranchers to use public land, which, in addition to fees, they are required to maintain, than to use privately leased land. In fact this land use helps the government save a significant amount of money on management costs.

Many ranchers would much rather contract with private entities and pay for services rather than deal with the headache of negotiating with the federal government. In many cases, however, this is impossible.

In Nevada, the federal government owns over 80 percent of the land and creates serious problems for ranchers and others who want and need to use it.

In the past, the federal government was more likely to give ranchers freer use of this land. Government actually encouraged western migration and frontier settlement through policies such as the famed Homestead Act of 1862.

But pressure from environmentalists outside and inside the agencies during the 20th century led to more restrictive policies on how ranchers may use the land.

This resulted in confrontations between the federal government and western farmers and ranchers, most notably the so-called “Sagebrush Rebellion” in the 1970s and 1980s, in which a coalition of westerners demanded that the government privatize land or transfer it to local authorities.

Confrontations and tension between ranchers and the Bureau of Land Management will likely continue as long as the government pursues such tight-fisted policies and insists that it’s more important to close off land use for the needs of the desert tortoise rather than those of ranchers and farmers.

Regardless of policy, Americans have a right not to be targeted by a government created to protect them and mete out appropriate justice.

The unfortunate facts of the Bundy case show how an unaccountable agency can become abusive toward citizens, and strikes at the heart of what we believe about republican government.

The Founders created our institutions to serve us and faithfully uphold the law, not be weaponized to attack individuals and groups in the shadow of darkness.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: It’s Time to Reduce the Power of the Federal Government Over Western Land

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Contraception: Intrinsically Evil

In 2018, over twenty conferences worldwide (so Janet Smith tells me) will celebrate Humanae Vitae (HV) on its 50th anniversary, but will also conduct a concerted attack on its teaching, which will not have been discouraged by various actions of the Vatican.

The mode of the attack is not difficult to guess. It will not take the form of direct contradiction but rather subversion – changes that would empty HV of its content through a putative “deepening” of its meaning.

The leaders, we can surmise, will be certain bishops, mainly from wealthy countries, and theologians from academic establishments. It will be claimed that because 80 percent of Catholics in certain countries (never mind how well they know or practice the faith) reject HV, the teaching was never “received” and therefore was never valid – at least in those countries, and therefore pluralism will be urged.

The consensus among enlightened people of goodwill in favor of contraception will be cited as a “sign of the times” and evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit. We will be told that the Church must “listen” to these people in dialogue. Indeed, the Paul Erhlichs of the world have already told the Vatican that, in light of Laudato Si’, couples should have no more than two children. But how “feasible” is that policy without artificial contraception?

Elizabeth Anscombe and Peter Geach (British philosophers married to each other) are said to have toasted Paul VI when HV was promulgated. They were convinced it was the teaching of the Church, but clearly “it could have gone either way.” You need only read the history of a contentious general council – Nicaea or Ephesus, for example – to see that the orthodox party never took things for granted. The Church prevails because followers of Christ act heroically.

That is why Catholics who practice traditional chastity, and love HV for defending it, need to recognize the attack and take steps to counter it. These steps ought to be mainly spiritual – more frequent and more intense prayer, fasting, Mass attendance, and recourse to Joseph and Mary, those twin guardians of chastity in the Holy Family. Perhaps too, a greater refinement in living holy purity is called for. “As for impurity of every kind . . . there must be no whisper of it among you; it would ill become saints.” (Eph 5:3, Knox) But for readers of this column, there will be work of leadership and persuasion as well.

The contours of the attack may be discerned from the writings of prominent “dissenters” from HV back when the previous milestone anniversary was celebrated, 25 years ago, such as a telling piece in America magazine by Fr. Richard A. McCormick, S.J.

To understand the attack, we must think ourselves into an alien and abhorrent worldview. I have in mind mainly those humble Catholic parents of the “JP II” generation, who have been going about their business of bearing children and rearing them, making many sacrifices to that end. They treasure the “theology of the body,” which they rightly view as a full, satisfactory, personalist development of the doctrine of HV. Perhaps they even made a pilgrimage to Rome for the funeral, beatification, or canonization of this obviously “Great” pontiff. Such persons will likely be shocked to learn that these dissenters from HV have thought something entirely different.

For these dissenters, HV was obviously a mistake. It was (allegedly) affirmed merely to protect papal authority, on the poor grounds (dissenters think) that for a pope to reverse an earlier pope is to undermine his own authority. In that perspective, it was similarly enforced, in a small-minded way, by John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger only by arbitrary exercises of that authority, by “rigging” synods and Church appointments. That’s how things are done in the Church, after all. So in a similar shrewd and political way, the “impasse” that the Church has been brought to through these misguided efforts must be reversed.

Humane Vitae, in general, can stand, they think. It’s true, of course, that there’s a general connection between the procreative and the unitive meanings of marriage and the marital act. One may admit, too, that these are inseparable, in the sense that it would be evil to be married and not wish in general to be fruitful, and that it would be evil to view children as other than fruits of married love. These are the core teachings of HV. The doctrine of “responsible parenthood,” too, in HV is capable of a much fuller development, in light of “integral ecology.”

But what should not stand, say dissenters, is the claim that to vitiate an otherwise fruitful act is “intrinsically evil.” That is the sticking point; that is what needs to be gently put to the side. “The single issue that provoked the hailstorm of reactions,” writes McCormick, “was the teaching that every contraceptive act is intrinsically disordered (intrinsece inhonestum, No. 14). . . . Absent that teaching, Humanae Vitae would be bannered as a beautiful contemporary statement on conjugal love and responsible parenthood.”

Some of these dissenters, therefore, reject entirely the concept of intrinsically evil acts. Or, what amounts to the same, they say that what counts as intrinsically evil can change over time. They haul out misconstructions of Church teaching on usury and religious liberty as examples of something “intrinsically evil” becoming permissible. Slavery, on the other hand, was permissible but now is “intrinsically evil.” Capital punishment works perfectly for them, too, as shown to be per se contrary to the gospel” through the Spirit, but previously permitted.

St. John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor seems a difficult problem for them, however. After all, it teaches that intrinsically evil acts are so, semper et pro semper. (n. 82) It attributes this teaching to both the constant tradition of the Church and Sacred Scripture. Worst of all, it cites acts of artificial contraception as a clear example. (n. 80) How could it be put aside?

This year, we will doubtless see clever efforts to do just that.

Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is professor at the Busch School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America. He lives in Hyattsville, MD, with his wife Catherine, also a professor at the Busch School, and their eight children.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Paul VI elevating the future John Paul II, 1967. © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Religious Freedom in Mississippi, Y’all!

It’ll be tough to top 2017’s string of religious liberty successes — but the Supreme Court doesn’t mind trying. This morning, the justices got January off to a flying start when it rebooted one of the most significant state laws of the last five years: Mississippi’s Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act. After a year and half of bottling up the law, the ACLU heard what the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tried to tell them in June: they have no case.

Like most conservatives, Governor Phil Bryant (R) saw the writing on the wall for Christians after same-sex marriage was invented by the same court handing down this victory. He watched in shock as a county clerk was hauled off to jail for refusing to sign marriage licenses; his heart went out to family-owned bakeries that were closed by the government’s steep fines; he witnessed the pressure on religious groups and schools to cave on their teachings. And despite Big Business bullies, a media misinformation campaign, and liberal scaremongers, Governor Byrant took a stand. The ink was barely dry on Governor Bryant’s signature that April when liberals forced him to defend his state’s decision to protect religious liberty after Obergefell. In the face of some of the stiffest pressure of his career, he fought for the rights of his state to live and work according to their faith.

Months later, that stand is paying off — and a law that should have gone into effect more than a year ago is back in force. While other judges may have taken the ACLU’s bait, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kevin Theriot celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to leave the statute untouched.

“Good laws like Mississippi’s protect freedom and harm no one,” he said. “We are pleased that the Supreme Court declined to take up these baseless challenges, which misrepresented the law’s sole purpose of ensuring that Mississippians don’t live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union. Those who haven’t been… harmed by this law shouldn’t be allowed to restrict freedom for others by ensuring dissenters are left open to the government discrimination that has already occurred in states without protective laws like this one.”

Theriot was referring to one of the more ironic parts of the suit, which is that liberals went to court — not over what had happened under the law but what might happen if Christians could opt out of ceremonies or jobs that violated their faith. Together with a handful of plaintiffs, they recruited a same-sex couple to suggest that the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act treats them like “second-class citizens.”

No one is quite sure how, since they never applied for the marriage license they’re sure someone in Mississippi would deny them! Besides, the law is clear: “Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the state government from providing…any benefit or service authorized under state law.” Under H.B. 1523, no one is allowed to “discriminate” — not against same-sex couples and not against Christians. All the law does is ensure that the government can’t punish someone for their views on marriage or sexuality. There’s no fine print giving people the right to deny services, despite the Left’s bogus propaganda. If coexistence is the goal, then this law lights the way!

For Governor Bryant, who’s never shied away from a fight, this won’t be the last. With more than $93 million in the ACLU’s post-Obama war chest, we can expect liberals to pull out all the stops to put protections like these on ice. Already, reporters have been careful to say the Supreme Court ended the “first” challenge to Mississippi’s law, a hint that the storm is far from over. “People who are refused service once the law is in place may be more likely to be judged to have legal standing to sue,” Reuters argues. But if they’re waiting for a Christian to refuse service, they’ll be waiting a long time. That’s not the intent of believers — or the purpose of the law. Thank goodness for justices who see through every liberal arguing otherwise!


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES:

FEMA Weathers the Storm on Church Aid

Pure Politics: Abstinence Crowd Cheers Report

VIDEO: Justice Clarence Thomas Opens Up on Life, Faith, and His Interracial Marriage

Justice Clarence Thomas has served 27 terms on the U.S. Supreme Court, and agreed to become the 341st leader interviewed for my Daily Caller News Foundation series.

Now at age 69, he is looking back on his life with gratitude and discernment with valuable lessons for others.

dcnf-logo

People often want to define you by the bad things that happen in your life, he says, but there has been so much good amidst the challenges he told me, his wife, in this exclusive interview.

From a life that launched from economic deprivation, illiteracy, family dysfunction, and even time as a radical leftist, his accomplishments now reach to the U.S. Supreme Court—where he faces constant vilification and defamation. He says he learned the value of humility, patience, and persistence, but the bedrock of his rules for living came from simple aphorisms from his illiterate grandfather.

At a young age, he learned how to build bridges and find something in common with other people, be it sports, a hobby, religion or experiences, rather than focusing on differences and divisions. “Everyone has inherent value and is worth listening to,” he believes.

Looking back, he credits divine providence for path of his life. From the burning of a house, to being raised by his grandparents, to the nuns who taught in Savannah’s inner city, to attending the seminary and to getting his first job with Missouri Attorney General Jack Danforth, who was interviewing at Yale. Nothing could have foreseen his sitting on the Supreme Court today.

Faith, he says, gives him “the strength to do what I have to do every day, to assert the independence, to be willing to take the beatings, the criticism, the unfairness.” When he attends daily mass, he says, it helps him do his “job, a secular job, in the right way and for the right reasons.” It reminds him that his work has nothing to do with what is said about him, but is rather about doing what he took an oath to do.

“Everyone has inherent value and is worth listening to.” — Justice Clarence Thomas.

Thomas frequently turns to the “Litany of Humility,” which helps focus and insulate him from the distractions, criticisms, or praise that can come from this world. In his view, what really matters is whether you do what you are called to do.

As we talked about the biggest blessings of his life, he named being born in America, his faith, his son, and our marriage. He also spoke of his love of University of Nebraska athletics, motor homing over the last 18 years through “flyover country,” and the gift of being able to read. When you grow up surrounded by illiteracy with adults asking, “What this paper say?” reading becomes a true blessing. “It is like Christmas every day” when he reads.

On interracial marriage, he says, “If I were more progressive or liberal, [our marriage] would be considered progressive to be in an interracial marriage, but if you are not, then you are selling out.” He adds, “I don’t think of it as some statement. You’re my wife.

Only after public outrage and congressional resolutions condemning the Smithsonian Institution’s refusal to honor Thomas in its African-American museum did an exhibit get modified. Ritual defamation by an antagonistic cultural elite who hope to reduce his popular currency and make his views radioactive, especially for any black American to emulate, has become the way of life for him.

Although he knows the difficulty of taking the public beatings for his views, he often remembers his grandfather’s advice in the 1980s of “Boy, you have to stand up for what you believe in.” He acknowledges a certain peace that comes from knowing you did the right thing, and talks about the importance of not allowing the critics to make you into someone you are not by overreacting negatively to them. He quotes the black author Richard Wright who said, “the worst I’ve ever been treated is when I told the truth.”

In an epic speech some 20 years ago to black judges in Memphis, Thomas boldly stated that he came not to defend his views, “but rather to assert my right to think to myself, to refuse to have my ideas assigned to me as though I was an intellectual slave because I’m black.” He wrote that speech, he says today, to draw attention to, “the right, among blacks, to think for themselves, the right to be that invisible man, to be the one who lays claim to his own thoughts.”

On the best part of being a Supreme Court justice, he praises our marriage to share the experiences, but also the joy of his four clerks each term. He promises his clerks that they “will leave this job with clean hands, clean hearts and clear consciences. They are “just a delight.” He enjoys the company of his colleagues, and misses those who have retired and passed away.

Don’t miss his jovial ending where he wanted to turn the tables on the interviewee.

For more, read Thomas’ autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son,” see these articles or watch any of the 264 C-SPAN covered events of speeches he has given. To me, he is the best man walking the face of this earth!

RELATED ARTICLE: 17 Things on Clarence Thomas’ Mind During Rare Public Remarks

EDITORS NOTE: Videographer Sean Moody is credited with the video work for this story. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Analysis Finds 1 Million Americans So Far Getting Pay Raise From Tax Reform

One million Americans are getting pay increases because of the tax reform package signed into law in December.

“More than one million hardworking Americans have already received a ‘Trump Bonus’ or ‘Trump Pay Raise’ as a result of the historic tax reform package that President Donald J. Trump signed into law just before Christmas,” @PressSec says.

That’s according to Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative group that established a running list of companies that have announced bonuses, wage hikes, and charitable donations.

“Just five days into 2018 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has changed the nation for the better,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said in a statement. “American companies are raising wages, paying bonuses, expanding operations, and increasing 401(k) contributions.”

The website asks for people to provide information if they are aware of other companies providing pay raises because of tax reform.

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress said the reform would grow the economy, while Democrats argued the corporate tax cuts would not benefit employees.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement Friday night, which said:

More than one million hardworking Americans have already received a “Trump Bonus” or “Trump Pay Raise” as a result of the historic tax reform package that President Donald J. Trump signed into law just before Christmas. President Trump said from the beginning that lowering tax rates, simplifying the complicated tax code, and making our companies more competitive would be the fuel that propels our economy to new heights. The preliminary results show that the president is right, and American workers and families are the big winners. And this is only the beginning. The president remains focused on empowering Americans to build more prosperous lives for themselves and brighter futures for their children.

The new law cut the corporate tax rate from 39.6 percent to 21 percent. It also lowered individual rates and closed loopholes.

Among the employers to give bonuses were AT&T, which gave $1,000 bonuses to its 200,000 employees; American Airlines, which gave $1,000 bonuses to 127,600 employees; BB&T Bank, which gave $1,200 bonuses to its 27,000 employees and raised the base wage from $12 to $15 per hour; Southwest Airlines, which gave $1,000 bonuses for 55,000 employees and $5 million in charitable donations; and Sinclair Broadcasting, which gave $1,000 bonuses for 9,000 employees.

For the full list of companies, click here.

This story was updated to include a comment from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

How Tax Reform Is Keeping Promise ‘Fight for $15’ Couldn’t

We Hear You: Tax Cuts, the GOP Establishment, the Job Outlook, and the Trump Economy

Black Unemployment at Lowest Rate on Record

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

The Lib/Con Utah School Porn War Rages On

Recently I reported on the firing of Mateo Rueda, now an ex-art teacher after showing 10 and 11-year-olds nude “artwork” at Lincoln Elementary School in Hyrum, Utah on Dec. 4. Normally I would have let this story go by now, but Rueda continues playing the victim, aided and abetted by complicit reporters; libertines the world over; and, unfortunately, some good people who don’t realize that the media have mischaracterized his trespass.

Rueda, a native of Colombia, demands an apology, even as he condemns his fellow Cache Valley residents as “cultural dead-ends” and members of a “narrow-minded community.” He also said, “I was overqualified[;] I took the [teaching] position with an open heart to make a difference in a predominantly[] Mormon community where there isn’t much culture.” My, charitable as well as charming! Yet his defenders — who’ve called people such as me puritans, prudes and even Nazi-like book burners — should know that Rueda himself confessed that the nudes were out of bounds.

Claiming the images were among a set of art postcards with which Rueda was unacquainted, the Herald Journal reported Dec. 28, “Asked if he thought the nudes were appropriate for the sixth-graders in his class, Rueda said he did not. ‘This is not material at all that I would use. I had no idea,’ he said.” So honest mistake, right?

Well, that was before I conducted interviews with local parents and reported that after Rueda showed the nudes to the sixth-graders and got complaints, he must have found them appropriate for fifth-graders — because that’s exactly whom he later showed them to. What’s more, the parents told me Rueda belittled the children who objected, said they might find some images inappropriate but he didn’t (which was all that apparently mattered), forced them to continue viewing the images over their protestations and said he didn’t care if they reported him. He also told them to “grow up.”

Yet after I tipped off the Herald Journal that a second class had seen the images and that Rueda was “lying,” as one of the parents put it, it ran a Jan.2 piece mentioning the fifth-graders but also printing this: “Rueda said he told the class that they should not feel the images are inappropriate or wrong.”

So do we believe the late December “not material at all that I would use. I had no idea” Rueda or the early January “don’t ‘feel the images are inappropriate or wrong’” Rueda? Hey, it is a different year — I guess his story evolved.

Speaking of which, smut can evolve, too — into art. One of the paintings Late December Rueda said was inappropriate and Early January Rueda fancied culture is the full-frontal nude “Iris Tree,” a portrait of a sexually libertine, drug-using, bohemian woman by that name. It’s a work the media consistently label “classical” (“Ooh, the rubes object to classical art!”), apparently unaware that the term references Greek and Roman antiquity. In contrast, “Iris Tree” is an early 20th-century creation by Italian Amedeo Modigliani, a violent, woman-abusing, philandering, drug-addicted, alcoholic known for dancing naked in Paris streets and who could be called a pornographer of his day (other than that, he was a peach).

For those who say I’m confusing art with artist, I have already examined the difference between legitimate art portraying the naked human form (e.g., Sistine Chapel) and porn masquerading as art. Suffice it to say here, something designed to symbolically relate theological concepts — e.g., the Garden of Eden — “Iris Tree” is not. It’s more the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It’s one of those Modigliani paintings that, as the Daily Mail put it, exudes “raw sensuality” and is “an homage to the sex he so loved.”

So why are such things deemed fine art and shown to kids? Because sometimes, the older they get, the better they were. People have this curious notion that if smut is put to canvas with paint and some skill and allowed to age a century, the x-rated becomes the extraordinary. It doesn’t help that a Chinese collector with more yuan than brains shelled out $153 million for a Modigliani nude in 2015 or that the painter’s works now enjoy art-world approval.

(Think this is meaningful? Read the story of Estelle Lovatt, who in 2007 fooled the art world into thinking her two-year-old’s tomato-ketchup daubs were great works by a renowned, mature artist.)

Speaking of the fooled, and foolish, the mainstream media continue writing inaccurate articles sympathetic toward Rueda. A good example is this People piece, which portrays the teacher as a martyr, quoting him positively as saying that the “works” were “icons of art history and human patrimony.” Interestingly, however, People shows an image of “Iris Tree” with her nipples and nether region curiously obscured. So the painting is appropriate for 10-year-olds but not for an article meant for adults?

Apparently, People agrees that its picture refutes its thousand words. You see, shortly before readying this article for publication, I learned that People had removed the “Iris Tree” image from its piece completely, no doubt as a response to my (and others’) having called them out on hypocrisy via Twitter. Ah, but you know the Internet — archiving and the computer “Print Screen” function saved the day. Here’s how the People article looked before the people at People became apprised of their sheer stupidity.

Of course, maybe it’s predictable that a media outlet would blur an image when it has already blurred the line between good and bad journalism. But I’d still like to know why People is unwilling to show, in its entirety, a painting that it states “[m]illions of people worldwide have marveled at.” What are you afraid of, dear editors? That kids may see it?

Oh, wait….

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com.

Confronting the Gay Priest Problem

Recently, a priest who was prominent in the pastoral care of those with sex addictions received his fifteen minutes of fame when he revealed to his congregation at a Sunday Mass and to the National Catholic Reporter that he was “gay.”  According to news reports, his self-congratulation was met with thunderous applause. In a television interview, he proclaimed there is “nothing wrong with being gay.”

The game plan of a gay priest “coming out” was quite predictable and is politically effective. In revealing his homosexuality, the Midwestern priest was careful to assemble a string of ambiguous assertions that cannot be immediately assailed on grounds of orthodoxy, but when bundled together are morally subversive.  Here is the template:

  • Claim that sexual transparency is a matter of personal integrity.
  • Remind the public that you are a Catholic priest in good standing.
  • Proudly proclaim that you are “gay.”
  • Cultivate the adulation of your congregation by claiming victim status and the freedom that comes from such an honest revelation.
  • As a pre-emptive strike against disciplinary actions by ecclesiastical authorities claim that your self-revelation is truly courageous.
  • Feign humility and presume you have become a necessary role model for others.
  • Remind us that you and all gays (and members of the alphabet soup of sexual perversion) are created in the image of God (implying our sinful neglect).
  • Commit to celibacy (i.e., not to marry), but carefully avoid the term “Christian chastity.”

Each of these assertions, standing alone, would likely withstand ecclesiastical censure.  But when woven together, the gay agenda promoting the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle within the Church comes into a clear focus.

The priest’s bishop also responded according to a predictable contemporary ecclesiastical template: “We support [the priest] in his own personal journey and telling his story of coming to understand and live with his sexual orientation. As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion.”

The bishop probably succeeded in preventing a media firestorm. He also effectively allowed the priest to rise in stature as a gay freedom fighter. The studied moral ambiguity of the clerical gay activist proved to be an effective political buzz saw. The full and beautiful teachings of Christ on human sexuality, however, were further undermined.

Faithful and orthodox Catholics are at a political disadvantage in our gay-friendly culture.  We realize that same-sex inclinations – as with all seriously sinful inclinations – cause great suffering and, unrestrained, can become a true slavery that endangers others including adolescents and even young children. But our opposition to the gay agenda is often crudely characterized as hateful and unreasonable.  So it a brief sketch of natural law Catholic sexual morality may be helpful.

Male and female sex organs differ and have a unique reproductive function. The body of every human being contains a self-sufficient digestive or respiratory system. But it only contains half of a reproductive system and must be paired with a half-system belonging to a person of the opposite sex in order to carry out its function. These are undeniable biological facts.

“To engage in sex” is a relational term that implies male and female complementarity.  Only a male and a female truly “engage in sex.”  In contrast, same-sex “relations” involve the exercise of one’s sexual power, but not according to its self-evident nature.  Sodomy is not really relational “sex.”  It is merely a masturbatory use of sexual powers.  Similarly, there is no such thing as “sexual relations” with a “sex robot” (alas, an emerging technology).

When a priest claims to be “gay and proud,” he is revealing that he has assented to his same-sex attraction. Free and deliberate thoughts have moral implications, as Jesus asserted: “But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:28)   The difference between internal assent and external action is only a matter of a sinful opportunity. An unabashed and proud “gay” priest has already committed sodomy in his heart.

So how might an ecclesiastical superior defend Church teaching if one of his priests (or religious) claims a special dignity by “coming out” as gay?  The superior should invoke immutable Christian moral principles in dealing with a self-described gay priest:

  • Acknowledge that he is afflicted with “same-sex attraction” (SSA).
  • Admit that SSA is an inclination toward mortal sin that if not restrained will lead him and others to eternal damnation.
  • Identify and renounce any physical expression of SSA.
  • Properly define celibacy to include Christian chastity that precludes all sexual activity in thought, word or deed.
  • Invoke Scriptural references condemning sodomy (cf. Genesis and Saint Paul).
  • Renounce the use of the word “gay” because it is a political term that has its roots in the homosexual subculture.
  • Apologize for encouraging others to publicly reveal their mortally sinful inclinations. (The Eighth Commandment protects natural secrets.)

After a careful inquiry, the superior should release a public statement of clarification, prohibiting the priest from his homosexual activism and taking further personnel action according to the demands of Catholic morality and Canon Law.

Would a media firestorm ensue? Probably. But the superior would courageously confirm that the studied ambiguity of the gay agenda promoted by the priest is a lie.

During the rite of ordination for priests, the bishop says, “May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.”  Priests – and everyone – are in a constant state of change, for the better or for the worse. Fulfilling the duties of Holy Orders or any Christian vocation with true moral integrity is a lifelong task.

If we are going to find our true and final happiness in Christ, we must not only recognize and understand our sinful inclinations, but make firm and constant efforts to overcome them. “Celebrating” those inclinations simply makes no sense – whether the inclination is same-sex attraction or any other deviation from God’s plan for us.

Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky

Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky

Father Jerry J. Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington. He is pastor of St. Catherine of Siena parish in Great Falls, Virginia.

EDITORS NOTE: © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.