Donald Trump is putting his ego over the country

Donald Trump is clearly running for President in 2024, but can Republicans trust him? He is putting his fragile ego not only over the Republican Party, but also over the good of the country and every local community. He remains very popular with the Republican base, but at some point the base needs to consider whether Trump actually has our best interests at heart or whether he is all about his own fragile ego.

There was a time when Republicans could work with Trump. He repealed harmful regulations on business when he first entered office, supported pro-life policy, got a significant tax cut through Congress, got us out of the foolish nuclear deal with Iran, reversed Barack Obama’s attacks on due process for college men accused of sexual misconduct and defended religious freedom. Realistically, we would not have gotten any of that had Republicans not worked with and supported Trump while he was in office.

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School boards, rape culture, free speech and domestic terrorists

The threat of violence against public officials does exist, and we should take it seriously. If we do take it seriously, we need to avoid exaggerating the threat and also avoid a disproportionate response. As is often the case, the error comes from an “all or nothing” approach where people either describe bad behavior as the work of a domestic terrorist network or deny that there is any bad behavior at all.

This should be obvious, but people should not go to school board members’ houses and confront them at home. That is a threatening action, and if you want your voice to be heard it should be avoided. Harassing people at home drowns out your message and provides an excuse for a disproportionate response from both school officials and law enforcement. Leave people alone in their private lives.

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Income and wealth are not the same

We hear claims by some politicians that “billionaires” pay a very small tax rate. We need to closely examine these claims, because to get that tax rate they are calculating an increase in total wealth, not calculating how much they pay on their actual annual income. Income and wealth are not the same and should not be treated the same in the tax code by our policy-makers.

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Standing for the rights of the defenseless is not unsympathetic

As usual, the Life Chain brought out some visceral reactions, with lots of middle fingers and shouted F bombs. This can be ignored, as people screaming obscenities and insults are not interested in an intellectually coherent discussion of the issues surrounding abortion. The same can be said of Reddit trolls. One argument that should be addressed is the claim in the Herald-Times that pro-lifers are “unsympathetic.”

But first things first: No one was “marching down Third Street.” Street captains with bags of signs and orange vests went to their designated street corners to hold signs and provide signs for anyone who wanted to join them at our respective locations. The Life Chain has been held for years, and the format has always been the same. That factual error should have been edited before publication.

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We must commit to lower government spending

Printed in the Herald-Times, October 18, 2021

To the Editor:

It is simply not true that the budget deficits of the 1980’s and 2000’s were the result of tax cuts by Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Between 1980 and 1988, total federal revenue increased from $517,112 million to $909,238 million. Between 2000 and 2008, total federal revenue increased from 2,025,191 million to 2,523,991 million. Revenue went down in 2009 due to the banking crisis and related economic slowdown, but soon recovered and began to grow again. Even after the much maligned tax cuts signed by President Trump, revenue went up.

You can see the historical tables for yourself here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/historical-tables/

The problem is not that the federal government did not take in enough tax revenue. The problem is that neither Congress nor the President had any fiscal discipline in spending. Donald Trump was especially bad, recklessly spending enormous sums of money in 2020. Republicans talk a good game about restraining spending, but they have done a very poor job of that in practice.

Yes, President Biden’s proposed spending increases are irresponsible, but Republicans need to clean up their own house. Republican primary voters should elect candidates who are committed to lower government spending in practice, not just words.

“Zero COVID” is a foolish hoax

COVID-19 is never going to go away. Like the common cold and influenza, COVID-19 will be with us for the rest of human history. Anyone who has read even the smallest amount about this virus and how it spreads knows this. That is why it was so foolish for Dr. Anthony Fauci to say this:

“It is an assumption that it’s okay to get infected and to get mild to moderate disease as long as you don’t wind up in the hospital and die. And I have to be open and honest. I reject that. I think we should be preventing people from getting sick from Covid, even if they don’t wind up in the hospital.”

This is insane. Fauci is pursuing the myth of “zero COVID.” We will never reach zero COVID. And here is the reality: Fauci knows this, probably better than anyone. What Fauci said was not a scientific statement. Fauci made a political statement meant to justify continued or even expanded use of government restrictions. This is why so many people have lost respect for this man and have turned against him.

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Radical Leftist “activists” are determined to Build Back Worse

Does Joe Biden believe a single word he says about “women’s rights” and protecting women from predators? Or is Biden just another hypocrite who leverages “principles” only when it benefits him while ignoring those “principles” when they do not benefit him? How can any woman who works with Biden ever trust him when he says “it happens to everyone” when a woman is followed into the bathroom, recorded in an intimate setting, and harassed while using the toilet?

When environmentalists ran a chainsaw in Congressman John Hostettler’s office in Bloomington in 1997 and filled the office with smoke, at least they were protesting in a public space. When Leftist “activists” followed Senator Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom, filmed her in the bathroom like creepy voyeurs, and posted the video online, they were invading a private space.

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School prayer and mask mandates are a distraction

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, conservatives groused about prayer in school and how the country began to decline when we “took prayer out of the schools.” Later, conservatives became enamored of putting the Ten Commandments in public places. Now, we have tens of millions of conservative Christians bitterly complaining about mask mandates and other government actions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. All of this is a distraction. Too many Christians have become obsessed with these things as a way to parade their opposition to state overreach, so that they do not have to deal with more important things.

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