The Wire

  • Birmingham man drowns in rough surf at Panama City Beach

    Excerpt from WKRG:

    An Alabama man has died after being pulled from rough waters in the Gulf of Mexico Friday evening.

    According to the report from Panama City Beach Police, officers responded to a water call of a swimmer in distress at Trade Winds Condos. When they arrived, 31 year-old Darrius Stone Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama was unresponsive and being pulled from the water.

  • Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized

    Excerpt from ABC News:

    Former President George H.W. Bush was admitted to the hospital Sunday afternoon for low blood pressure and fatigue, his spokesman Jim McGrath said.

    “He will likely remain there for a few days for observation,” McGrath said. “The former president is awake and alert, and not in any discomfort.”

  • Man barricaded inside home, threatens family in Ensley

    Excerpt from WVTM:

    Birmingham police say the man, 24, came out of the home Saturday afternoon without incident after speaking with negotiators.

    Birmingham police say the man barricaded himself in a home earlier in the day after relatives of the man say he pulled a gun and threatened to shoot them.

    Officers responded to the 2900 block of Avenue C in Ensley. Police set up a perimeter, closing off roads nearby in an effort to make contact with the man.

    Police say the man was inside the home alone, but was not a threat to the general public.

3 days ago

How the Russia investigation helps Trump

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

This week, for the first time in months, a generic ballot poll showed Republicans beating Democrats in the midterm elections.

According to Reuters, Republicans are now leading by six points. And while that poll is obviously an outlier, the movement of the generic ballot in the direction of Republicans isn’t: The average lead for Democrats has been dropping steadily since late February, from a nine-point lead to a four-point lead.

Why?

Certainly, the economy has something to do with it: The job market continues to boom; the stock market continues to hover around 25,000; and GDP continues to grow steadily. And, certainly, foreign policy has something to do with it: There are no catastrophic foreign wars on the horizon, and President Trump’s gutsy calls to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem resulted in zero serious backlash.

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Democrats opposed the Trump tax cuts and have whined incessantly about Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, even going so far as to demonstrate a certain level of warmth toward terrorist group Hamas. This isn’t exactly brilliant politicking.

But there’s another reason Democrats seem to be dropping like a stone, too: their Russia obsession. The reality is most Americans think the Russia investigation is going nowhere. As of early May, just 44 percent of Americans though the FBI special counsel investigation of President Trump and his associates is justified; fifty-three percent thought that the investigation is politically motivated. Three-quarters of Americans think Trump should cooperate with the probe, but Americans are skeptical that there is a there there.

And so far, Americans have been right. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resulted in indictments of Trump associates on a charge of lying to the FBI, but there have been no indictments related to the original brief of his investigation: election collusion with the Russians. Meanwhile, each day seems to bring new headlines regarding the extent of the FBI investigation, dating all the way back to mid-2016. Americans aren’t going to read all the details of the various stories — they’re just going to take away that law enforcement was all over the Trump campaign, has come up with nothing thus far and continues to hound the Trump White House.

Furthermore, Democrats are getting discouraged. They were promised a deus ex machina — an alien force that would swoop in to end the Trump presidency. They hoped it would be Mueller; they were convinced the election was stolen. It wasn’t, and it’s unlikely Mueller will end Trump’s presidency.

So when Trump fulminates about the supposed sins of the “deep state,” few Americans are exercised. Most shrug; some even nod along. Democrats seethe but have no new fodder for their ire — and every day that passes with the media chumming the waters and coming up empty drives down enthusiasm even more. And Trump’s focus on Russia means that he spends less time tweeting about other topics — which helps him, since he’s less likely to make a grave error on those fronts.

If Mueller truly has nothing, there’s a serious case to be made that the Russia collusion investigation actually helped Trump more than it hurt him. And Democrats might just have to come up with a plan for dealing with Trump’s policies other than praying for an avenging angel to frog-march him from the White House.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 week ago

Why Jerusalem matters

(W.Miller/YHN)

This week, the Trump administration inaugurated the new American embassy in Jerusalem. The celebration in Israel was palpable; the embassy move came amidst the national celebration of the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state. The streets filled with Jews of all sorts, cheering and dancing.

Meanwhile, on the Gaza border, Hamas broadened its monthlong campaign to break down the Israel border, staging border “protests” attended by thousands — including terrorists who have used the supposed protests as a staging point for violent attacks on Israeli troops and territory. Palestinian terrorists have caused mass chaos, throwing Molotov cocktails at troops, attempting to rush the border, flinging explosives and tying incendiaries to kites in an attempt to set Israeli territory alight. The Israeli Defense Forces have responded with restraint. Despite this, a few dozen Palestinians have been killed, not the hundreds or thousands Hamas would presumably prefer.

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But even as Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza, suggested that “more than 100,000 people could storm the fence” between Israel and Gaza, and as 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura announced, “We are excited to storm and get inside … to kill, throw stones,” the media covered the slow-rolling terror assault as a form of peaceful protest. A New York Times headline read “Israeli Troops Kill Dozens of Palestinian Protesters.” A Wall Street Journal headline reads “Scores Killed, Thousands Injured as Palestinians Protest US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem.”

Never mind that the riots had been going on for weeks preceding the embassy opening. Never mind that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority could quickly and permanently end all violence simply by stopping the violence. The real issue, according to the press, is President Trump and his Israeli friends.

What drives the leftist press’s coverage? Simply put, antipathy to the West. Israel is seen as an outpost of colonialism by leftists, and has been since the 1967 war. Then-President Barack Obama expressed the view well in his 2009 speech in Cairo, suggesting that Israel’s rationale relied on its “tragic history” that “culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.” In this view, the Palestinians were shunted aside in favor of providing national reparations to Jews; the Jews took their Western ways into the heart of a foreign region.

This isn’t true. The living proof of that is Israel’s eternal connection to Jerusalem. That’s why both radical Muslims (including the Palestinian leadership) and the far left deny Israel’s historic bond with its homeland and hope desperately to stop public recognition of that bond. If Israel exists because Jewish connection pre-existed everything else, then Israel isn’t a new outpost of the West; it’s the oldest center of the West. That’s why Trump’s announcement is important: It’s a recognition that the West was founded on Jerusalem, rather than the other way around.

Peace will come when everyone recognizes what Trump has recognized: The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is unbreakable. And peace will come when Israel’s enemies realize that violence can’t change that underlying fact.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 weeks ago

The day the Iran deal died

(WH/Instagram)

Team Obama lives in a world of fiction.

As President Trump announced to the world that he would finally put a stake through the heart of the Iran deal — the signal foreign policy “achievement” of the Obama administration — Obama’s former staffers lamented, rending their sackcloth and smearing their ashes. “I will never forget the dark cloud that hung over the White House in the years Iran was advancing nuclear program & Obama was briefed on all the risks of using military force,” former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power tweeted. “Trump has demolished America’s credibility & paved the way for Iran to re-start its nuclear program. Trump has done the unthinkable: isolated the US & rallied the world around Iran.”

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Then there was amateur-fiction-writer-turned-professional-fiction-writer Ben Rhodes, a former Obama national security aide, who tweeted, “One tragicomic element of Trump’s presidency is that the more he tries to tear down Obama’s legacy, the bigger he makes Obama look.” Meanwhile, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who had been traveling the world in an attempt to conduct his own personal foreign policy on behalf of the mullahs, stated, “Today’s announcement weakens our security, breaks America’s word, isolates us from our European allies, puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners, and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior.”

Obama himself stated, “Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies.”

In hearing all of these honeyed voices speak, one might think that Iran has been acting responsibly for the last three years, that it hasn’t been pursuing a campaign of horrific terrorism in Yemen and Syria, that it hasn’t been sponsoring the takeover of Lebanon by the terrorist group Hezbollah, that it hasn’t been funding the Palestinian terror group Hamas, that it hasn’t been developing long-range ballistic missiles while leading chants saying “Death to America.” One might think that Obama left the Middle East a bright a beautiful place, not a hellhole filled with human carnage bought with dollars spent by Iran but funneled through the United States.

None of that is true, of course. Obama left the Middle East a smoking wreckage heap — a situation so grim that even Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have been forced to ally with Israel to allay fears of an Iranian regional takeover. Obama and his staff lied repeatedly to the American people about the Iran deal — and they continue to lie. When Kerry says that the deal will “empower Iran’s hardliners,” he is repeating an outright fabrication: The hardliners are in charge of the government, and the deal strengthened them. When Power speaks as though Obama alleviated the possibility of Iran’s nuclear program, she’s lying, too: The deal explicitly paved the way for an Iranian nuclear program free and clear of consequences from the international order. When Obama speaks as though our Middle East allies were pleased by the deal, he’s lying: They all opposed it, and they’re all celebrating its end.

Barack Obama had a peculiar vision of the Middle East remade: Iran ascendant, the power of Israel checked, the Saudis chastened. He achieved that vision at the cost of tens of thousands of lives across the region. President Trump is undoing that legacy. Good riddance.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 weeks ago

Ben Shapiro: Oh, say Kanye sees

(CNN/YouTube)

It’s easy to dismiss Kanye West.

It’s easy to dismiss him because he’s nutty. This is a fellow who tweets about antique fish tanks and fur pillows. This is the guy who calls himself Yeezus (after Jesus) and suggested that then-President George W. Bush didn’t care about black people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He isn’t exactly known for his bouts of emotional stability.

And in our celebrity-driven culture, we shouldn’t pay too much attention to those who haven’t spent a lot of time studying policy. That’s how we end up with celebrity politicians, emotion-driven policy and reality television substituting for news.

With that said, Kanye West did something deeply important over the last two weeks: He opened up the debate.

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Stung by the gratuitous censorship of the left, West began tweeting that Americans ought to think for themselves. He even tweeted a picture of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. And suddenly, the left went nuts, too. Kumail Nanjiani, co-writer of “The Big Sick,” tweeted, “This was the worst twitter day in twitter history.” Op-eds ran at The Root and The Washington Post claiming that West had been suckered.

But surprisingly, West didn’t back down. He soon released a track with fellow rapper T.I. debating the merits of coming out as pro-Trump, with T.I. tearing into him as out of touch and West defending himself as thinking outside “the plantation.” West met with conservative activist Candace Owens and tweeted quotes from Thomas Sowell.

Now, none of this means that West should suddenly be considered for leadership of The Heritage Foundation. But it does mark a break in the solid leftist wall of Hollywood and the music industry, and in the intersectional coalition.

The entertainment industry can’t tolerate conservatives — when I wrote a book on political bias in Hollywood, several Hollywood insiders told me openly that they refuse to hire those on the right. Shania Twain learned just a few weeks ago that signaling support for President Trump in any way means taking your career into your hands.

The same holds true in identity politics circles. Those on the left who suggest that politics must innately follow immutable biological characteristics (i.e. black people have to be Democrats) felt deeply threatened by West’s comments. After Chance the Rapper tweeted out that black Americans don’t have to vote Democrat, the left’s pressure snapped into place so rigidly that he backed off and apologized.

But West hasn’t.

What’s happening? It’s doubtful that West started reading Edmund Burke. It may just be that West, like a lot of Americans tired of being told what to think by their industry and racialists on all sides, is getting tired of being told what to do. It’s possible that West, like most Americans, sees America as a place with problems but a place where individuals can think and achieve freely. And he’s clearly willing to take part in a political debate so many of his friends aren’t.

That makes West an important voice, at least for now. It does take courage to buck your entire cadre in order to publicly declare what you think. West deserves credit for that. And who knows? Perhaps some other prominent Americans might come forward to re-engage in a debate from which they have been barred.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 month ago

Ben Shapiro: Who controls your kids’ lives?

(Pixabay)

Former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas was fond of telling a story about his time stumping for educational change. “My educational policies are based on the fact that I care more about my children than you do,” Gramm once said to a woman. “No, you don’t,” she replied. “OK,” said Gramm. “What are their names?”

Gramm’s fundamental premise is inalterably correct: Parents care more about their children than do the members of the bureaucracy. But parents are being gradually curbed in their authority by precisely those bureaucrats across the West.

On Tuesday, a British court condemned a not-yet-2-year-old child to die. Now, make no mistake: The child, Alfie Evans, is expected to die in the near future anyway; he suffers from an undiagnosed brain condition that has robbed him of much of his function. But his parents simply wanted to be able to transfer him from a British hospital to an Italian hospital to seek experimental care.

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And the British court system refused.

Citing the expertise of Evans’ doctors, the courts declared that Evans’ best interests are not served by his parents’ attempts to save his life. Instead, the little boy would be deprived of life support, left to die without oxygen or water. The ruling, the judge said, “represents the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary little boy.” But that chapter was written by the British bureaucracy, not by his parents — the ones who will have to engrave his epitaph and visit his grave.

This appalling result isn’t the first of its kind; just last year, a little boy named Charlie Gard was taken off life support thanks to the British court system, which prevented his parents from sending him to the United States for further treatment. Again, the courts made the argument that the best interest of the child lay in his death.

All of this is the final result of a system of thought that places parental control of children below the expertise of bureaucrats on the scale of priorities. It’s one thing for the government to step in when parents are preventing children from receiving life-saving care. It’s another when the government steps in to prevent parents from pursuing potentially life-saving care. And yet that’s just what has happened repeatedly in the United Kingdom.

Why? Why would British society place parents’ wishes below the wishes of the state? Because a bureaucratic society of experts generally sees parents as an obstacle to proper development. Parents, in this view, treat their children as chattel to be owned and trained — but the state can treat children with the dignity they are due. This means placing parental wishes to the side in every case in which those wishes come into conflict with the priorities of the state.

The bureaucrats of Britain don’t merely usurp parental rights in the realm of life and death; they do so in the realm of upbringing as well. They have threatened religious Jewish schools for failing to inculcate children with LGBT propaganda; meanwhile, they have ignored the targeting of young women in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and Newcastle because the perpetrators are disproportionately Muslim.

All of this is untenable, both morally and practically. Parents will not continue to give the power to control their children away to bureaucrats who do not know their children’s names.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 month ago

If you don’t agree with me, you’re a racist who likes death threats

(OU Outreach Video/YouTube)

On Monday, George Yancy, a black professor of philosophy at Emory University, wrote a lengthy piece in The New York Times detailing the awful death threats he has received from white racists. I can sympathize — throughout 2016, I received my fair share of death threats. But Yancy sees those death threats as representative of a deeper malignancy plaguing all of white America, not a sickness within a subset of the population. Thus, he asks, “Should I Give up on White People?”

Yancy’s case isn’t particularly strong.

According to him, he faces a serious dilemma: “Do I give up on white people, on white America, or do I continue to fight for a better white America, despite the fact that my efforts continue to lead to forms of unspeakable white racist backlash?” But why exactly is that a serious dilemma? America isn’t filled with racists — America is one of the least racist places on Earth, and its rate of racism has been decreasing steadily for years. In order for Yates’ complaint to make any sense, he has to believe that America is actually becoming more racist.

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And he does. He says that he is “convinced that America suffers from a pervasively malignant and malicious systemic illness — white racism.” He offers no statistics to support this contention. And he suggests that those who disagree with his contention do so out of willingness to ignore white racism: “There is also an appalling lack of courage, weakness of will, spinelessness and indifference in our country that helps to sustain it.”

So, to get this straight, you may not be racist, but if you believe that most Americans aren’t racist, just like you, you’re an aider and abettor of racism. You’re in league with those sending the death threats. In fact, you’re a monster under almost any circumstances. Yancy calls white Americans “monsters … Land takers. Brutal dispossession. And then body snatchers and the selling and buying of black flesh.” No one alive in the United States has forcibly dispossessed anyone of land; this has been true for generations. No one alive in the United States has been involved in the slave trade. Yet the legacy of white racism lives on in us, according to Yancy.

So, how are white Americans to escape this label?

Only by agreeing with Yancy. He praises one of his white students who agreed: “The system is racist. As a white woman, I am responsible to dismantle that system as well as the attitudes in me that growing up in the system created. I am responsible for speaking out when I hear racist comments.”

Well, of course we’re responsible for speaking out when we hear racist comments. That’s not a revelation. But Yancy wants more than that. He wants a collective oath by white people to never deny generalized white racism, fact-free or not.

Which, of course, is racist. Yes, racism plays a central role in American history. Yes, there are still racists in America. But slandering white America in general for the crimes of a few bad apples is no better than slandering black America for the crimes of a few. If Yancy wants to deal with racist death threats, he could start by recognizing that we’re all in this together — and that we side with him against those who threaten him — rather than pre-emptively characterizing us as the types of people who would write such vitriolic and evil screeds.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

The death of the DOJ and the FBI

(W.Miller/YHN)

This week, the FBI raided the office, hotel room and home of President Trump’s personal attorney and self-described “fixer,” Michael Cohen. According to various media reports, the Department of Justice signed off on a warrant for the search; presumably, the law enforcement agency is searching for evidence regarding Cohen’s $130,000 payment to pornography actress Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had a one-night stand with Trump in 2006. Cohen has openly stated that he paid Daniels to shut up about her peccadillo with Trump — and he has said that Trump had no knowledge of the payment.

That presents a problem. If Cohen paid off Daniels without Trump’s knowledge, that raises the question as to whether their agreement was binding. If not, then Trump may have been party to a violation of campaign finance law, since a $130,000 in-kind donation is well above any legal limit. And if Cohen and Trump coordinated that arrangement, none of their communications on the matter are subject to attorney-client privilege.

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So, it’s quite possible that the FBI and DOJ may have just ensnared Cohen and, by extension, Trump, in a serious scandal.

But this raises another question: Where the hell were the FBI and DOJ when it came to Hillary Clinton? Trump himself has been enraged by the disparity between law enforcement’s treatment of Clinton and its treatment of him. He rightly points out that the FBI and DOJ worked to exonerate Clinton, with former FBI Director James Comey going so far as to change the definition of existing law to avoid recommending her indictment for mishandling classified material. And not only did then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch meet with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in the middle of the election cycle and the investigation of his wife; Lynch’s Department of Justice allowed Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s top aide, to claim attorney-client privilege. As Andrew McCarthy of National Review pointed out at the time, Mills was involved in the scrubbing of over 30,000 emails, yet the DOJ “indulged her attorney-client privilege claim, which frustrated the FBI’s ability to question her on a key aspect of the investigation.” Furthermore, Mills was allowed to sit in on Clinton’s interview with the FBI as Clinton’s lawyer.

And herein lies the problem for the DOJ and the FBI. Let’s assume, for a moment, that everything they’re doing now is totally honest and aboveboard — that there’s no attempt to “get” President Trump and they’re just following where the evidence leads. Many conservatives will rightly point to the DOJ and FBI treatment of Hillary Clinton, and state that the agencies ought to be consistent in their application of the law and leave Trump alone. Or they’ll suggest that Trump ought to turn those agencies into personal defense organizations, as former President Obama did.

Once supposedly neutral organizations are made partisan, a return to neutrality looks partisan. That means that the FBI and DOJ damn well better have gold-plated evidence against Cohen; they better not leak ancillary information damaging Trump to the press; and they better have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s. If not, there will be hell to pay, not merely for those agencies but for a country that can no longer trust its own law enforcement agencies.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

The grisly history of Chappaquiddick

(Wikicommons, YouTube)

On April 6, a bombshell will hit America’s theaters.

That bombshell comes in the form of an understated, well-made, well-acted film called “Chappaquiddick.” (Full disclosure: They advertise with my podcast.) The film tells the story of Ted Kennedy’s 1969 killing of political aide Mary Jo Kopechne; the Massachusetts Democratic senator drove his car off a bridge and into the Poucha Pond, somehow escaped the overturned vehicle and left Kopechne to drown. She didn’t drown, though. Instead, she reportedly suffocated while waiting for help inside an air bubble while Kennedy waited 10 hours to call for help. The Kennedy family and its associated political allies then worked to cover up the incident. In the end, Teddy was sentenced to a two-month suspended jail sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. The incident prevented Kennedy from running for president in 1972 and 1976, though he attempted a run in 1980 against then-President Jimmy Carter, failing.

So, why is the film important?

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It’s important because it doesn’t traffic in rumors and innuendo — there is no attempt to claim that Kopechne was having an affair with Kennedy, or that she was pregnant with his child. It’s important because it doesn’t paint Kennedy as a monster but as a deeply flawed and somewhat pathetic scion of a dark and manipulative family. But most of all, it’s important for two reasons: It’s the first movie to actually tackle a serious Democratic scandal in the history of modern film, and it reminds us that Americans have long been willing to overlook scandal for the sake of political convenience.

First, there’s the historic nature of the film. Here is an incomplete list of the films made about George W. Bush’s administration since his election in 2000, nearly all of them accusatory in tone: “W,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Recount,” “Fair Game” and “Truth.” There has still not been a movie made about former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment (though one is apparently in the works). There’s been no movie about former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese, former President Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic mishandling of the Vietnam War (though we have had two hagiographies of LBJ, one directed by Rob Reiner, the other starring Bryan Cranston) or former President Woodrow Wilson’s racism and near fascism.

And it only took nearly 50 years to make a film about a Democratic icon leaving a woman to die in a river. It’s amazing it was made in the first place.

Most importantly, though, “Chappaquiddick” reminds us that confirmation bias and wishful thinking aren’t unique to one side of the aisle. In the era of President Trump, media members have had fun telling Republicans that they have abandoned all of their moral principles in order to back a man whose agenda they support. But Democrats beat Republicans there by decades: They not only overlooked a man who likely committed manslaughter but also made him into a hero, the “Lion of the Senate.” We can’t understand how morals and politics have been split in two without reckoning with this history.

“Chappaquiddick” is a must-see. It’s just a shame it took half a century for it to see the light.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. 

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Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

We, the voters, are suckers as politicians campaign for their base, govern for the center

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States, they feared the possibility of partisanship overtaking rights-based government. To that end, they crafted a system of checks and balances designed to pit interest against interest, promoting gridlock over radical change. The founders saw legislators, presidents and judges as ambitious in their pursuit of power.

They could not have foreseen our politicians.

Our politicians aren’t so much ambitious for power as they are afraid of accountability. And so, we have a new sort of gridlock on Capitol Hill: Politicians campaign in cuttingly partisan fashion and then proceed to avoid solving just the sorts of issues on which they campaigned.

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Last week, for example, Republicans passed a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus funding package to avert a government shutdown. It included full funding for Planned Parenthood and the regional Gateway rail project, but not full funding for the border wall. Republicans had spent years decrying deficits, criticizing funding for Planned Parenthood and ripping useless stimulus spending; they’d spent years clamoring for a border wall. When push came to shove, they did nothing.

Meanwhile, Democrats tore into the Republican budget for failing to ensure the permanent residence of so-called DREAMers, immigrants living in the United States illegally who were brought to the country as children. Then they rallied in Washington, D.C., along with gun control-minded students from Parkland, Florida, calling for more regulations on the Second Amendment. When Democrats held control of Congress and the presidency from 2009 to 2011, however, they promulgated no new gun legislation and passed no protection for DREAMers. Instead, then-President Barack Obama issued an executive action during his re-election cycle after saying repeatedly that he could not legally do so, and he complained incessantly about guns.

So, what should this tell us?

It should tell us that we, the voters, are suckers.

Our politicians use hot-button political issues in order to gin up the base and get us out to vote. They talk about how they’ll end funding for Planned Parenthood and cut back spending on the right; they talk about how they’ll end gun violence and protect DREAMers on the left. Then, once in power, they instead focus on broadly popular legislation instead of passing the legislation they’ve promised. They campaign for their base, but they govern for the center.

So, what are the real differences between the parties? The Republican Party is in favor of tax cuts and defense spending; the Democratic Party is in favor of increased regulation and social spending. All the other discussion points are designed merely to drive passion.

Practically speaking, this means gridlock on the issues about which Americans care most. Don’t expect Republicans to stop funding Planned Parenthood anytime soon. And don’t expect Democrats to start pushing serious gun control. They keep those issues alive deliberately to inflame excitement during election campaigns. Then, once in power, those issues go back into the freezer, to emerge and be defrosted when the time is right.

It’s a convenient ploy. It means that partisan voters will never buck their party — after all, if the other side gets into power, they’ll really go nuts. And, hey, maybe this time, our party bosses won’t lie to us.

But they will. And we’ll swallow it. And the government will grow. But at least we’ll have the comfort slamming one another over issues that will never get solved.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. 

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Stop making children into moral authorities

(Pixabay)

On March 14, high school students from Parkland, Florida, led a school walkout in favor of gun control. The media have already appointed student witnesses of the horror at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School untouchable moral authorities; their opinions are not to be questioned.

But now, the left has found even more sympathetic faces for its agenda: kindergarteners. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Schools are grappling with how to address the event with children as young as 5 years old and with finding ways for children who are too little to be told about school shootings to take part.” Children in pre-K at Manhattan Country School will sing, “If I Had a Hammer” and “Paz y Libertad.” Public schools like PS 321 in Brooklyn allowed children to do activities linked with the protests.

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There is something deeply perverse about using children to promote a political agenda. Children simply don’t know anything about politics. Sometimes children ask questions that help us rethink the world because they’ve had little experience with it — when my 4-year-old daughter asks questions about the universe, that prompts me to further learning and research. But she doesn’t have answers, because she’s a child.

What makes children particularly valuable is their innocence, not their ignorance. The left seems to like conflating the two characteristics. Innocence, as a quality, isn’t about lack of knowledge or gullibility. The fact that everything in the world is wondrous to children is charming, but it’s not something we can truly protect; as children age, they learn more, and they become more jaded, as we all do. We experience moments of wonder throughout our lives but never as we do when we’re young. That’s natural.

But we can protect innocence.

Innocence is the moral quality of being sinless, and children are inherently innocent specifically because they have not yet developed the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Once they do, the only way to maintain their innocence is for them to do right — the same way we all attempt to maintain our innocence.

But children must first be taught right from wrong. That means that as children develop their capacity to choose, they must develop a moral compass. Children don’t have such a compass — the most selfish, cruel and nasty human beings on Earth are small children. If 2-year-olds had the capacity to carry weapons of war, we’d all be dead already; my son isn’t yet 2 and takes a peculiar pleasure in knocking down his sister’s blocks. That’s why it’s a good thing they’re so damned cute.

But they’re not moral guides. We must protect them from having to act as moral guides until they are prepared to do so. And that means we must stop using their innocence — their lack of capacity for moral decision-making — as a substitute for moral authority. To do anything less isn’t merely foolish; it’s cruel.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Image: Pixabay)

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

Until Democrats come to grips with why Hillary lost, Trump will keep winning

Last weekend, Hillary Clinton spoke in India. There, she continued to struggle publicly with the most humiliating experience of her life, not her husband’s continual sexual misconduct or her State Department’s mishandling of Benghazi but her loss of the presidency to a reality television show host. Hillary’s not over it. And she never will be.

That much was obvious from her incredible, palpable anger at the American public. She first explained that Trump voters are stupid poor people: “what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”

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But Clinton wasn’t done. She then stated that Trump voters are ignoramuses who still stumble out to their outhouses in the middle of the night and stoop over a hole in the ground while reading old copies of Ku Klux Klan newsletters. Those people, she said, fell prey to Trump’s racist “Elmer Gantry” pitch: “you didn’t like black people getting rights. You don’t like women … getting jobs. You don’t want to … see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”

For good measure, Clinton tore into women who voted for Trump as well — and suggested that they are all little Tammy Wynettes standing by their men. “(W)e don’t do well with married white women,” Clinton explained. “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever believes you should.” Yes, women who voted Republican only did so because they are afraid that ol’ Bob is going to come home, get the beatin’ stick out of the closet and start a-whoopin’ and a-whalin’ on the little woman.

And then, Democrats wonder why they had trouble winning Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Here’s the reality: None of this is true. The average Trump voter outearned the average Clinton voter, and 86 percent of Trump voters were employed, about the same percentage as Clinton voters. Tribalism in voting exists on both sides: The intersectional politics of the Democratic Party is inherently race based, and Trump successfully responded to that sort of politics in reactionary fashion. As to the notion that married women didn’t vote for Clinton because of their husbands, 52 percent of married women voted for Trump; 53 percent of married women voted Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, and 51 percent voted for Republican candidate John McCain in 2008. Married women vote differently than single women not because of pressure from their menfolk but because they often have children, value family over career more than single women and are older than single women on average.

But here’s the point: Clinton represents a nasty, vengeful take on populations she has trouble winning over. That nastiness has filtered through the Democratic Party, which is firmly convinced that it’d be better off drilling down into population groups it thinks are interested in tearing down the system along with them than reaching out to populations it has lost. If Democrats continue with that quest, they’ll alienate the very voters who gave Trump victory in 2016.

(Image: MSNBC/YouTube)

Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, Copyright 2018)