The total lack of charity in our politics

There is a deep rot in our politics and in our culture, and I am not sure our country can survive it. Far too many of us are so morally cocksure that we not only cannot see that someone who disagrees with us may have a legitimate perspective, but even those who agree with us are morally tainted if they are not 100% totally all in with “the cause.” We badly need to get some perspective.

In response to the nationwide riots that followed the killing of George Floyd, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about the dangers of firebombing a business. Someone could be inside and be harmed or killed by the fire, or someone in a neighboring building could be hurt or killed if the fire spreads. A comment on his post: “I get it, property is more important to you than black lives.”

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Donald Trump and his photo op at a church

Donald Trump ordered peaceful protesters disbursed so he could stage a photo op in front of a church. That is terrible! Our President is a fascist and he must immediately be impeached and…

Wait a minute.

On Monday, June 1, the USPP worked with the United States Secret Service to have temporary fencing installed inside Lafayette Park. At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.

To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls.

Source: The National Park Service.

The danger of rewriting Section 230

In the 25 years I have been following news and politics, one thing I have consistently heard from conservatives is that the government that governs least governs best. Government programs are ineffective and often counterproductive in solving the problem they set out to solve. The aim to “do something” about a problem is misguided if doing nothing is better than doing something that makes the problem worse.

Unfortunately, many conservatives have lost sight of these guiding principles in our frustration with social media censorship of conservatives and the dishonest rationalizations for it. I have personally fallen into this trap and expressed support for stripping Facebook of protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and I was wrong.

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No, we should not de-fund the police

It is right to be concerned about police brutality, but eliminating all police is not the answer and will cause exponentially more problems than it solves. In fact, it will not solve the problem of police brutality and will instead make things worse.

Do you want the Wild West, with untrained vigilantes everywhere forming posses to take down criminals without use-of-force and deescalation training? Because that is what you are going to get if you eliminate police. You will not have a lack of law enforcement. You will have people taking the law into their own hands to protect themselves, their neighbors and their property. This is bad for due process, bad for public order, bad for public safety and bad for innocent people.

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End the corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood

This is an open letter to the nine members of the Bloomington City Council.

Dear city councilors,

I am writing you again to oppose funding Planned Parenthood in this year’s John Hopkins social services grants. The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic devastation have made it clearer than ever that local government should not be funding an enormous multi-state corporation instead of truly local charities that actually need the money.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky took in $19 million in revenue in 2018. Last year, PPINK became an affiliate of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, which took in $58 million 2018, $76 million 2017 and $47 million in 2016. They do not need $11,000 from city government, but it does give them a nice little political endorsement. This is why council chambers are usually filled with pink shirts demanding a handout.

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A win and a loss in the 2020 primary

I was on the primary ballot again this past Tuesday, and the results were a win and a loss. This is the first time I have lost a Republican primary since 2008.

First, the bad news: I finished fifth of ten in the county-wide race for delegate to the Republican Party state convention, which puts me in the top half but I narrowly missed being elected by only 264 votes. Had I ran in my district instead of county-wide, I probably would have won.

I won my race for precinct committeeman. My opponent was also running for state representative, so he was at the polls a lot. He got more votes than I did on Election Day and in-person early voting but I had enough of a lead with mail-in ballots that I barely squeaked by for a third term.

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Donald Trump’s dishonorable treatment of Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions was a Donald Trump loyalist. He was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Trump in the 2016 primary, at a time when there was great political risk to doing that and when many thought Trump would not win the nomination. As Trump’s attorney general, Sessions did everything in his power to implement Trump’s policy agenda. In response, Trump undermined and badmouthed him constantly.

Trump is extremely bitter because Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sessions believed then and believes now that it was required by law to recuse himself due to his deep involvement in the Trump campaign. At best, it would be an unethical conflict of interest for Sessions to be investigating himself. Sessions is an honorable man who did an honorable thing.

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Nothing can justify those riots in Minneapolis

The police officer who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck while Floyd begged for his life acted in an abominable manner, and absolutely should be prosecuted. Police brutality is inexcusable, and Officer Derek Chauvin should face severe punishment if convicted by a jury. There is wide agreement on this among both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives, liberals and moderates.

Peaceful protest against this act of depravity is good. I have attended a Black Lives Matter rally, I spoke against the city’s purchase of a Bearcat armored vehicle, and I was the only city council candidate in 2015 to oppose the city’s failed effort to purchase a Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) military vehicle. Burning down buildings and looting stores is not “protest” – it is a violent act.

But the police officer’s crime does not justify or mitigate the violent actions of thugs and criminals, and it does not “glorify violence” for a public official to be openly speaking of actions to stop the rioting and bring calm to the city. Obviously Donald Trump was right to call for stronger intervention to end the riots.

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