Republicans must destroy the cult of personality

One of the reasons I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 was the cult mentality surrounding him. It remains frustrating, but that frustration has also expanded to the small minority of anti-Trump Republicans. Liz Cheney has been one of the few to resist that trend. From National Review:

(Cheney) rightly refuses to play by the dumb rule insisted on by MAGA and Never-Trump Republicans from their respective parts of the spectrum, that the only two options are to submit to the president totally or to oppose him totally, with no honorable space in between.

It is bad for the Republican Party and bad for the country when Republican voters, pundits and elected officials process everything through the filter of personal loyalty to Donald Trump. No matter how loyal you have been in the past, and no matter how much you have supported and defended Trump and his agenda up until now, one act of dissent means you are a bad person.

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A life taken far too soon

I was shocked to learn of the death of Mike Adams, one of my favorite columnists. Adams was a relentless defender of free speech and due process, and won big victories in court when faced with unlawful discrimination. Naturally he was hated by radical Leftists. When it was revealed that he had died, degenerate perverts immediately started virtually dancing on his grave on social media.

But we should not be self-righteous as conservatives. I have seen many on the Right express similar sentiments about Leftists. There are plenty of nasty, hateful trolls on both sides. This is not to excuse either side, but to provide some much needed perspective.

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Tearing down statues and Romans 3:10-12

The Bible makes it clear that we are all hopeless before God. No matter how many “good works” we do in our lives, we are damned before the Creator. We have sinned, and we are more deeply stained with sin than we realize. This eternal truth from Scripture has special relevance today as we debate tearing down statues, including of our founding fathers and other great men in history.

Of course our founding fathers were sinful men. Every single person born since Adam consumed the Forbidden Fruit has been stained by sin. Not just lying and stealing, but the most horrifyingly evil things imaginable… and many evils that some of us cannot even imagine. The question is not whether these men were flawed, because they obviously were. The question is whether they accomplished great things and whether those we should have memorials to those great things.

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Shifting the Overton Window on foreign policy

Probably the most important thing that Donald Trump has done for the Republican Party is shift the Overton Window on foreign policy and military intervention within the GOP. Many of his positions – tax cuts, deregulation, pro-life policy, religious liberty – are boilerplate Republican policy and have been for decades. Many of us in the Republican base were very surprised that he followed through on that.

Non-interventionism is new – or at least newly popular. Sure, there have been non-interventionist Republicans before (such as Pat Buchanan) but Trump popularized non-interventionism within the GOP in a way that would have been unthinkable fifteen years ago. Imagine in 2005 if a Republican in Congress argued the Iraq war was a mistake and that we need to pull back. They were relegated to the fringes. Ron Paul gained some traction in 2008, but nowhere near close to winning the nomination.

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Various thoughts on the Communist Virus

If masks work, why the lockdown? If masks do not work, why are we forced to wear them?

I see that question a lot on social media. The answer is this: Slowing the spread of the virus is a multi-pronged strategy. Masks and social distancing limit the spread in a group, but are not 100% effective. When the virus was spreading rapidly and threatening to overwhelm the health care system (and masks were in short supply) we had a temporary lockdown to slow it down.

Note the language above: Slow the spread. We cannot stop the spread and it is foolish to try. We might as well try to stop the earth from rotating. Viruses spread. That is what they do. The goal was to keep the health care system from being overwhelmed by too many severe COVID-19 cases. The goal of the “flatten the curve” models was to spread out people getting the disease over time. Most people would have a mild case, and we would move on.

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Understanding policing and white privilege

I was stopped by a police officer once, just walking around. He asked me if I was someone else. I was not. The person he was looking for has a different hair color than I do, has a different build than I do, is older than me, and we really do not look alike.

I was not upset. By God’s grace, I treated the officer with respect, even though stopping and questioning me was more than a little silly. We should be respectful in such situations, especially as Christians in submission to Romans 13. As an agent of the state, the officer was given authority by God.

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Trump must embrace professionalism

If Donald Trump loses in November, it will not be because of COVID-19 or the economic downturn caused by shutting down businesses. If Trump loses, it will be because of his mouth and his complete and total refusal to engage in self-discipline. On policy, Trump has been excellent. The problem is his personality.

If Trump wants to win, he needs to embrace the professionalism this job requires. But it may be too late to win back voters turned off by his childish, petulant behavior and the sense of chaos that surrounds his administration.

Bloomington’s history of racism

It is true that Carol Jenkins was murdered in Martinsville, but she was murdered by an Indianapolis man. She was also followed and harassed by two white men from Bloomington.

The history museum on Sixth Street in downtown Bloomington used to be a blacks only school, because blacks were not allowed to attend school with whites.

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Just say “NO” to a national mask mandate!

The Tenth Amendment has been ignored for well over a century, and the rebellion against this limitation on federal power has been especially bad over the last fifty years. But the rebellion has reached a new level lately with people like Andrew Cuomo calling on President Trump to implement a national mandate by executive order. This terrible idea ignores the rule of law and again drastically expands executive power.

As I have said in the past, I will submit to state or local civil authorities if they require me to wear a mask in public. I believe that state and local government have the authority to mandate certain actions to protect public health, and there has been case law backing up this authority.

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Cancel Culture is bad for the country

The threat to free speech in our culture today is not from government. While there are exceptions, the state is pretty respectful of our free speech rights. The problem is online mobs that seek to punish people for their speech, and the cowards who run corporations who give into the mob and abandon their own employees. Even when we are talking about truly offensive speech, this is bad for the country.

Let’s get this out of the way: We are not talking about criticism for offensive speech. That is a straw man. Someone who says something offensive can expect to be criticized for it. When we speak of Cancel Culture, we mean getting people fired from their jobs for things they said on their own time and away from their workplace. Or even worse, getting someone fired for the speech of someone else.

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