Sunday, December 10, 2017

Conservative Christian Trump and His Millions of Supporters Know the Debate is about the Constitution -- So Do Progressives and Globalists

THE REAL NEWS TODAY IS THAT TUESDAY IS ELECTION DAY IN ALABAMA. • • • AN ELECTION ABOUT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. In prior times, neither Roy Moore nor Doug Jones would have made it to the "finals" in the Alabama race to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. And, neither the wildly overdone and often Fake news about Judge Moore's alleged pursuit of young girls 40 years ago nor Jones' determination to use that Fake news to win will determine Tuesday's result. The latest retraction -- Gloria Allred, the feminist attorney and Democratic Party activist who represents Beverly Young Nelson, the girl with the yearbook entry, may have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct of the California Bar if she knew that a key yearbook evidence she presented to the public was a partial forgery, as it has subsequently proven to be -- because of different script and the initials “D.A.” as Moore’s assistant would sign court documents years later, because Allred refused to submit the yearbook for analysis, and because on Friday Nelson admitted that she added the “notes” underneath what she still claims is Moore’s signature. • We have watched as so much of the hysteria in the mainstream media has been proven to be lies that the "sex" issue will not determine the outcome of the election. Rather, the Alabama election will hinge on the turnout of voters -- on both sides of the Conservative-Progressive divide. • Alabamians are conservative by culture and they are rallying to Moore not to defend him against his accusers but to make clear that this election is about what happens in the US Senate in the next few years. They want a Wall. They want lower taxes. They want less regulation. They want the Swamp to be drained. They want to be rid of Obamacare. In other words, they want the Trump agenda. Roy Moore will help do that if elected. Doug Jones, a ProgDem of the far left, would vote against evey one of those agenda items. He would vote to stymy theTrump agenda, and his ProgDem supporters poured into Alabama this weekend to help him -- largely focused on getting out the black vote, which represents 25% of the Alabama population. • Tuesday night, we will know where Alabama came down on the Conservative-Progressive divide. • But, the Alabama senatorial election points out a division in American politics that has been growing for years, ever since Lyndon Johnson, if we exclude FDR. And, some see the division as quasi-religious, stating that being either Conservative or Progressive has become America's new religion. There is certainly evidence that would support this thesis. • • • OBAMA EQUATES TRUMP AGENDA WITH NAZI GENOCIDE. You will not have heard this on mainstream news, but in a very 'friendly' interview with CBS News financial analyst Mellody Hobson, former President Obama suggested we could have an American genocide akin to what happened in Nazi Germany with Donald Trump as President. The former President was speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago when he made the vicious remark, in comments captured by Crain’s Chicago Business political columnist Greg Hinz. Breitbart reported that according to Hinz, Obama warned Trump’s “nativism” and distrust of the press would cause our “democracy to fall apart quickly.” Obama then made the connection between Trump and Hitler, warning “60 million people died,” when the world got complacent.” Here is the Greg Hinz tweet : "Take that, @realDonaldTrump: @BarackObama makes clear his view that a complacent America could be headed the way of Nazi Germany. Read his remarkable comments at #EconomicClub of Chicago. @BarackObama2Day" • In his Economic Club remarks, Obama defended the media, global outreach and, without mentioning Trump, warned, as summarized by Hinz : "Obama moved from that to talking about a nativist mistrust and unease that has swept around the world. He argued that such things as the speed of technical change and the uneven impact of globalization have come too quickly to be absorbed in many cultures, bringing strange new things and people to areas in which 'people didn't (used to) challenge your assumptions.' As a result, 'nothing feels solid,' he said. 'Sadly, there's something in us that looks for simple answers when we're agitated.' Still, the US has survived tough times before and will again, he noted, particularly mentioning the days of communist fighter Joseph McCarthy and former President Richard Nixon. But one reason the country survived is because it had a free press to ask questions, Obama added. Though he has problems with the media just like Trump has had, 'what I understood was the principle that the free press was vital.' The danger is 'grow(ing) complacent,' Obama said. 'We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly.' That's what happened in Germany in the 1930s which, despite the democracy of the Weimar Republic and centuries of high-level cultural and scientific achievements, Adolph Hitler rose to dominate, Obama noted. 'Sixty million people died....So, you've got to pay attention. And vote.' " • That leap of logic from a Conservative Trump agenda and populists in Europe not wanting to be overrun with migrants to "Hitler" and "sixty million people died" is simply absurd -- and deliberate. And, so far, his outrageous anti-Trump comments have been ignored by the media. • Who is Mellody Hobson the CBS 'reporter' who let Obama get away with his non'sequitur? She is Obama's personal friend and financial backer. Breitbart says that at a White House event in 2013, Obama warmly described Hobson as a “great great friend”: "Mellody was being very modest when she said she had a front-row seat. Mellody was one of my earliest supporters back when nobody could pronounce my name. And her and John Rogers at Arial Capital helped to co-chair some of my first fundraisers. And they’d have to drag some straggly group in, kicking and screaming, and write a check and listen to this young Senator who had a lot of ideas but not necessarily any realistic prospects to win. And she went through a lot of ups and downs with me and my career and is just a great, great friend. So I want to thank her publicly for all the support that she’s given us." • Mellody Hobson is also married to billionaire George Lucas and has donated over $100,000 to Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is frequently quoted by the media, most recently by the New York Times for calling Colin Kaepernick "a hero of mine." • Michelle Obama is at it, too, slamming women who didn’t vote for Clinton as betraying their sex, characterizing them as weak-minded and sexist. • The Conservative-Progressive divide lives on in the Obamas, who are its hand-picked leaders. When Barack Obama is the topic, one is either a believer or a sinner cast into outer darkness. • • • A FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS THE US CAN DISCRIMINATE AGAINST CHURCHES. Bob Unruh of WND wrote on Saturday that : "Gray Miller, a federal judge in Texas, has ruled that the federal government can discriminate against churches whose congregations opened their facilities to government-aid programs that assisted Hurricane Harvey victims. The ruling was in response to request for a temporary restraining order by three churches whose facilities were damaged in the weather catastrophe. They contend they should be included in the government program designed to help nonprofit organizations restore their facilities after such a disaster, because they were integral in providing assistance. Miller dismissed the idea that churches should be treated equally." • Recently, a US Supreme Court decision allowed a Missouri church to participate in a government program to make playgrounds safer, but Judge Miller said that decision does not apply to the Texas case because the playground, used for the church’s school, is “not an ‘essentially religious endeavor.” In the Texas case, Judge Miller said, “The funding would be used to repair church facilities so that plaintiffs could use their facilities for their primary service, which plaintiffs admit is providing religious activities.” A lawyer representing the three churches in their suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Eric Rassbach of the Becket Fund, said there would be an immediate appeal : “FEMA is turning into the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. By continuing to discriminate against churches, FEMA is sending the message that churches are not full members of the community, even when they are in fact the beating heart of disaster recovery in Texas and elsewhere. We will appeal today’s ruling in favor of FEMA to the Fifth Circuit." • The ruling from Miller came in the case brought by Harvest Family Church, Hi-Way Tabernacle and Rockport First Assembly of God, all of whom were impacted by Hurricane Harvey in August. Their facilities were flooded, even while they were providing benefits to community members. But the government said they would not be allowed to participate in standard recovery aid programs. The Stafford Act allows for federal assistance for natural disasters. However, the act specifically discriminates against religious facilities. The churches are suing FEMA, claiming the rule violates their First Amendment rights. While Miller’s decision prevents the churches from accessing help while they argue their case, the dispute is far from over. Becket explained : “While FEMA recognizes that houses of worship are essential partners in the recovery process, it bans them from receiving recovery grants that are available to other similar private nonprofits. These grants are available to rebuild and repair damaged buildings at a broad range of private nonprofit organizations, such as museums, zoos, and even community centers that provide services such as sewing classes and stamp-collecting clubs. But churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship are categorically denied because they use their buildings primarily for religious purposes. FEMA has repeatedly praised churches and religious ministries for the valuable shelter and aid they provide to disaster-stricken communities, and regularly uses houses of worship as staging areas for relief efforts. But it denies them equal access to emergency relief simply because they are religious. Even though they are essential to rebuilding communities. Even though they serve as staging areas for FEMA’s own relief efforts.” • WND reported in November that the churches received “overwhelming support” from a Houston synagogue and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, but “since the start of the lawsuit, FEMA has continued to shut houses of worship out of the disaster relief grant application process.” WND also reported three other churches wrote to the White House asking the President to intervene. The nonprofit legal group First Liberty said it had written directly to the White House on behalf of its clients, Trinity Church, Church on the Rock, and Grace Community Church. Chelsey Youman, lawyer for First Liberty, says : "This is a discriminatory policy started in the past and continued through the Obama administration. The same religious institutions that are tirelessly serving their communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are being told by the federal government they don’t deserve the nation’s help.” • The letter came after President Trump voiced support for the churches, tweeting, “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).” • Another Conservative-Progressive divide that directly impacts religion and the First Amendment. This case is headed to the Supreme Court. • • • THAT WEDDING CAKE. George Will, the Neo-Conservative who defected to the Washington Post's Progressive policies, wrote a WP Opinion piece last week titled "A cake is food, not speech. But why bully the baker?" After Will's Opinion piece, the Supreme Court heard 60 minutes of speech about when, if at all, making a cake counts as constitutionally protected speech and, if so, what the implications are for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s contention that Jack Phillips violated the state’s law against sexual-orientation discrimination. Will described the issue this way : "Phillips, 61, is a devout Christian and proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., where he works as -- his description -- a cake artist. Charlie Craig and David Mullins entered his shop to order a cake to celebrate their wedding. Phillips said that although he would gladly make cakes for gay people for birthdays or other celebrations, he disapproves of same-sex marriage on religious grounds and so does not make cakes for such celebrations. (He also refuses, for religious reasons, to make Halloween cakes.) To be compelled to do so would, he says, violate his constitutional right to speak freely. This, he says, includes the right not to be compelled to contribute his expressive cake artistry to a ceremony or occasion celebrating ideas or practices he does not condone. Well. The First Amendment speaks of speech; its presence in a political document establishes its core purpose as the protection of speech intended for public persuasion. The amendment has, however, been rightly construed broadly to protect many expressive activities . Many, but there must be limits." Will goes on to juxtapose the First Amendment right to freedom of religion against the "heroic acts of civil disobedience by African Americans whose sit-ins at lunch counters and other challenges to segregation in commerce [that] produced the 'public accommodations' section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It established the principle that those who open their doors for business must serve all who enter. That principle would become quite porous were it suspended whenever someone claimed his or her conduct was speech expressing an idea and therefore created a constitutional exemption from a valid and neutral law of general applicability." Will's point is that the First Amendment right to freedom of religion must give way to laws and regulations of "general applicability." He submits that "A cake...primarily, is food. And the creator’s involvement with it ends when he sends it away to those who consume it. Phillips ought to lose this case. But Craig and Mullins, who sought his punishment, have behaved abominably. To make his vocation compatible with his convictions and Colorado law, Phillips has stopped making wedding cakes, which was his principal pleasure and 40 percent of his business. He now has only four employees, down from 10. Craig and Mullins, who have caused him serious financial loss and emotional distress, might be feeling virtuous for having done so. But siccing the government on him was nasty. Denver has many bakers who, not having Phillips’s scruples, would have unhesitatingly supplied the cake they desired. So, it was not necessary for Craig’s and Mullins’s satisfaction as consumers to submit Phillips to government coercion. Evidently, however, it was necessary for their satisfaction as asserters of their rights as a same-sex couple. Phillips’s obedience to his religious convictions neither expressed animus toward them nor injured them nor seriously inconvenienced them. Their side’s sweeping victory in the struggle over gay rights has been decisive, and now less bullying and more magnanimity from the victors would be seemly." • The faulty reasoning in George Will's argument fairly leaps off the page of the Washington Post. He has wrapped his eloquent and persuasive brand of English prose around a false premise. The Constitution does not yield to law, even if those laws are of "general applicability." Laws yield to the Constitution. That is always the point of Justice Scalia's crucial agruments. The Constitution says what it says. If The People and their representatives in Congress disagree, they can amend the Constitution. • Simple. But, that difference is a large portion of the Conservative-Progressive divide. And it is quasi-religious. • • • MIGRANTS, THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE US. On December 4, Ben Fishman of the Washington Institute published a PolicyWatch about the international outcry over a videotaped slave auction in Libya. Fishman wrote : "Since being broadcast on November 11, a CNN report on slave auctions in Libya has prompted international outrage. African artists and sports figures in Europe have protested...and demonstrations have erupted outside Libyan embassies in Brussels, London, Paris, and elsewhere. On November 21, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres stated that he was "horrified" by the undercover footage, calling on "all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and bring the perpetrators to justice." Meanwhile, France called for an emergency UN Security Council session; when that meeting was held on November 28, officials highlighted the need for sanctions and other aggressive measures against human traffickers as well as better cooperation with Libyan authorities. The issue also overshadowed the annual African Union-European Union summit on November 29-30, where French president Emmanuel Macron proposed repatriating migrants and suggested deploying European security forces to address the crisis. For its part, the Libyan government promised to investigate the slavery reports but appealed for more international assistance to deal with the migration challenge." Fishman says the Libys slave crisis has "exposed tensions in the EU's goals for Libya" -- Europeans support the UN-led peace process to restart the country's political transition, and they agree that a stable Libya is in their own best interests, but Italy, France, and other countries often seek to limit the flow of migrants by keeping them in Libya, "which tends to worsen their situation and foster criminal enterprises such as underground slave markets. Short-term efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis will likely proceed, but without a stable government and a process for incorporating militias into the legitimate business of protecting the state, slavery and abuse of migrants will continue." • According to Fishman, an estimated 20,000 migrants currently reside in state-affiliated detention centers in Libya, including individuals who failed in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea or were captured before they could set sail : "Some estimates suggest that several hundred thousand more migrants have evaded detention and are still seeking ways out of the country. After his staff visited several of the Libyan centers in November, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein stated, 'Many of those in detention have already been exposed to trafficking, kidnappings, torture, rape and other sexual violence, forced labor, exploitation, severe physical violence, starvation and other atrocities in the course of their journeys through Libya, often at the hands of traffickers or smugglers.' He called the condition of migrants in detention 'an outrage to the conscience of humanity.' " • The causes of the growth of human trafficking in Libya and the general abuse of African migrants seem to stem from two main factors, states Fishman : "First, many traffickers exploit migrants' desperation to reach Europe, often trapping them in Libya, extorting more money from their families, and selling them as slaves or into the sex trade if they do not receive payment. These traffickers enjoy free rein in Libya, exploiting the country's lawlessness in the same manner that the Islamic State did in 2015 - 2016 when it took control of Sirte. Smugglers and gangs overlap with the militia landscape, making it extremely difficult to curtail the activities of one group without impacting the overall profit stream. For example, after one militia was paid to limit migrants in Sabratha, a key departure point to Europe, it was attacked by a rival militia angry about the resultant decline in its own trafficking revenue. The ensuing violence forced some 13,000 migrants into the already overcrowded detention system in September alone....corresponding with a marked drop in monthly arrivals in Italy, from a high of 23,500 in July to a low of 4,000 in August. Overall migration patterns on the Central Mediterranean route are down by nearly a third in 2017, compared to around 160,000 as of November 1, 2016." The second cause, according to Fishman, "is [that] the main push factors that compel migrants to risk these treacherous journeys -- namely, poverty and lack of opportunities in their home countries -- have not been adequately addressed. In 2015, the EU established an emergency trust fund of 3.2 billion Euros to facilitate migration management at the point of origin in Africa. To date, 1.9 billion Euros in economic development and migration-focused programming have been approved, but judging from the poverty and extremely low capacity that continue to prevail inside the target countries, the EU-led initiative needs to be greatly expanded. Otherwise, efforts to curb migration will either fail or cause spikes in humanitarian abuses inside countries like Libya." • At the AU-EU summit in November, not much was accomplished, but France and Germany joined several African countries in agreeing to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of African migrants who had chosen Libya as their launchpad to Europe. French President Macron suggested that military action might be necessary to combat traffickers. France has deployed 4,000 French troops, who are engaged in counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel. Paris also supports the joint initiative by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger (known as the G5) to strengthen border security efforts in the region. Fishman says : "Macron may seek to extend these efforts in order to target smuggling in Libya's southern desert. Yet a French military presence on Libya's coast would be more difficult to implement politically and logistically, and would likely complicate the peace efforts of UN special representative Ghassan Salame." • Fishman sees a role for the United States in "ensuring that European efforts on migration complement rather than contradict Salame's political efforts. This entails close US-French dialogue on the scope of Macron's military ideas. The United States already supports French military efforts in the region with transportation, refueling, and intelligence assistance, and this support could be broadened to enable French efforts against human trafficking and terrorism in Libya's vast south. If Paris seeks to extend operations to the coast, Washington would need to ensure that the mission complements US and UN interests. Moreover, while the EU should fund the majority of IOM repatriation work as Libya moves to shut down migrant detention centers, the United States can provide more emergency funding to the organization for that purpose, as it did with a $1 million contribution in 2016." The IOM is the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental organization that provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants, including internally displaced persons, refugees, and migrant workers. As of September 2016, it became a related organization of the United Nations. • Finally, says Fishman : "Washington should press Libyan authorities to be as responsive as possible in addressing the migration crisis. This includes helping other African countries repatriate their citizens as much as possible rather than putting up unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. During Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj's first visit to Washington on November 30-December 1, the administration avoided the slavery controversy in readouts of his meeting with President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, likely to keep the focus on supporting him, the General National Congress, and the UN process. Hopefully, concerns about migration and slavery were addressed privately. The recent revelations have put a stain on Libya's reputation, and all those who aspire to lead the country should address the matter quickly in order to concentrate on other pressing internal problems." • • • IT DIDN'T WORK OUT THAT WAY. In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted in September 2016, the UN General Assembly decided to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The process to develop the Global Compact for Migration started in April 2017. The General Assembly will then hold an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018 with a view to adopting the global compact. The Global Compact for Migration is, according to the UN, "a significant opportunity to improve the governance on migration, to address the challenges associated with today’s migration, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development. The IOM has become affiliated with the UN Global Compact for Migration. • BUT, on Saturday, December 2, the Trump administration alerted the office of the UN Secretary-General that the United States of America is withdrawing from the UN agreement aimed at handling migrant and refugee issues. The US alert stated : "Today, the US Mission to the United Nations informed the UN Secretary-General that the United States is ending its participation in the Global Compact for Migration. The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration's immigration principles. As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018." • In September 2016, the UN General Assembly unanimously agreed, while Obama was still US President, on a resolution -- the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants -- that the organization’s member states would be committed to the document, which “reaffirms the importance of the international refugee regime and represents a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move,” as described in a UN statement on the goals of the policy. The UN statement explains : "In adopting the New York Declaration, Member States : expressed profound solidarity with those who are forced to flee; reaffirmed their obligations to fully respect the human rights of refugees and migrants; agreed that protecting refugees and the countries that shelter them are shared international responsibilities and must be borne more equitably and predictably; pledged robust support to those countries affected by large movements of refugees and migrants; agreed upon the core elements of a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework; and agreed to work towards the adoption of a global compact on refugees and a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration." • US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that "America is proud of our immigrant heritage and our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe," and that "our generosity will continue. But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.” • The Conservative-Progressive divide -- Conservatives believe that national sovereignty overrides global cooperation that is against national interests. Progressives are Globalists who put international cooperation above national interests. For President Trump, sovereignty surrendered to the UN or to any other governing body whether it be through resolutions or trade agreements, is not compatible with the US Constitution, which in Article 4, Section 4 guarantees to each state a “republican form of government.” Since no US citizen votes for any representative of the United Nations, not even the one ostensibly representing the interests of the United States at the world body itself, the Compact violates the US Constitution's precept of "consent of the governed." And, in today's UN, Americans have no way to consent to the resolutions debated and adopted by the United Nations, particularly those which would force sanctions upon the United States for “racism and xenophobia,” two misdeeds named in the New York Declaration, but conveniently not defined. In addition, under the Global Compact, the United States would have been obliged to provide for the “protection, health, and education” of migrants and refugees, and to “ease the burdens” of those seeking asylum or a better life in the United States. This is a very broad imposition of UN power -- the Declaration requires the cooperation of “government at national and local levels, international and regional financial institutions, UN Agencies and NGO partners, and business and civil society actors” in the migrant support scheme. • The United States -- including the government and private banks and businesses -- will be free of the fetters placed on their sovereignty by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. • Trump has made national sovereignty a quasi-religious standard for his presidency, telling other nations that sovereignty should be their standard as well. IT doesn't sit well with Progressives. • • • DEAR READERS, Forbes published an article by John Hart on Novemver 30 stating : "More than a year after Donald Trump’s stunning victory liberals and conservatives are still struggling to make sense of what feels like a very abnormal 'new normal.' Liberals tend to argue that Trump is merely the manifestation of an innately unkind, racist and misogynist GOP. Conservatives, on the hand, blame Hillary Clinton’s miserable campaign, failed progressive policies and the Left’s sanctimonious and divisive identity politics. If Trump voters are racist, conservatives ask, why did one-third of American counties that voted twice for Barack Obama twice vote for Trump?" Both sides, says Hart, "are eager to be the conscience of conservatism. The Left, however, does not seem to share the Right’s capacity for self-reflection and correction. Liberal voices of self-reflection are hard to find but conservatives have an ample supply. Prominent voices on the Right who argue something has gone horribly awry include US Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Peter Wehner, Bill Kristol, Charlie Sykes and more." • Hart then cites the Pew Research Center 2015 poll that "noted a dramatic increase in what they call the religious 'nones.' Pew describes 'nones' as 'people who self-identify as atheists or agnostics, as well as those who say their religion is ‘nothing in particular.’ ” The percent of “nones” jumped from 16% in 2007 to 23% in 2014 (an increase from 37 million to 56 million Americans). In a separate study, Pew noted a dramatic increase in political polarization : “Since 1994, the average partisan gap has increased from 15% to 36%...the party divide is much wider than any of these demographic differences.” • Hart says that Pew "doesn’t suggest any connection between the decline of traditional religious affiliation and America’s increased polarization but the two may be intimately connected....Today’s political rhetoric certainly suggests we’re not less religious but religious about something else. The Left and Right both increasingly use religious or 'theologized ideology' to express their views. Conservatives discuss ideological purity as if one can be a backslidden conservative who needs to recommit their life to conservatism around the campfire. Liberals, on the other hand, have turned environmentalism and identity politics into faiths that deride skeptics and describe government-run health care as a transcendent human right." • Hart says : "In America today, civil religion -- referring to a power beyond government in public rituals -- has been displaced by uncivil religion -- the normalization of demagoguery and relativism in the public square....Many on the Left and Right are bowing to the same false god of state power from opposite sides of the altar. The weirdness of today’s cult of personality politics didn’t happen by accident. Pew has identified a gap that ideology has rushed in to fill. The challenge for principled people on both sides is to put ideology back in its place. Ideology is a way to organize ideas and facilitate debate, not to provide meaning, purpose or answers to life’s transcendent and fundamental questions." • As with George Will, John Hart has used excellent English prose to offer a false premise. Religion is not the issue. We would all probably agree that Conservatives are far more likely to be religious -- whether Christian or post-Christian believers in Christian-based morality -- than are Progressives. But, the Conservative-Progressive divide is about the Constitution. And, cynic that I am, I suspect that Progressives and Neo-Conservative #NeverTrump Republicans know this very well but are trying to use religion as a descriptor for Constitutionalists -- hoping that labeling them as "religious' will make them look like anachronistic fallbacks to a simpler age. • AND, that is exactly the beauty of the Trump agenda -- it focuses America's debate squarely on political philosophy, on deciding whether the Republic wants constitutional rule of law that gives individuals freedom and responsibility not to harm society, or Progressive Globalism that shunts the US Constitution into the closet along with individual liberty and responsibility and the national sovereignty that protects it. Trump's Christian religion binds him to his millions of Christian supporters, but he and they know that the debate is about the Constitution. So do the Progressives. • The Constitution, of course, but for Conservatives, that means it is also about religion and the freedom to practice it without state interference -- that is the great guarantee of the First Amendment.

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