Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:47:12 -0700 Erick Erickson from Creators Syndicate 2614e26f4ee5acb582f06dc3944cf3f9 Progressives Save the GOP for 06/15/2018 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>I have been pretty critical of the Republican Party even though I was, for a time, an elected Republican. I criticized George W. Bush vocally for being what some branded a "big government conservative." Under Bush, the size and scope of the federal government grew at a reckless rate, not for war, but for domestic public policy. When Bush nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, many more conservatives became vocal about Bush. Miers really was the beginning of the end of the Republican love affair with Bush. Then immigration reform broke up what was left of the relationship.</p> <p>When running in 2008, John McCain refought many of the fights started when he ran in 2000. Old wounds were opened. I was critical then, too. The party could handle the criticism. When Mitt Romney ran in 2012, they could handle my criticism of him as well. Consistently, whether with Bush, McCain or even Romney, I praised when I thought it was warranted and criticized when I thought it was warranted.</p> <p>But now the Republican Party has become much like the Democrats during the Obama years. No criticism of their precious is allowed. He must be protected at all cost. It is why people like Bob Corker, a man I do not care for, is right to say the party is becoming cult like. Mark Sanford, a South Carolina Congressman, abandoned his wife, his children and even the Governor's office in South Carolina to take up with his Argentinian mistress. Voters eventually forgave him and put him in Congress. He served there, despite all the scandal, until he spoke up against Donald Trump. That was too much for the voters of South Carolina.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 15, 2018</p> 178e5512bb07c33f609028f3170afde2 The New Bigotry for 06/08/2018 Fri, 08 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In 155 AD, Roman authorities ordered a man named Polycarp to burn incense for the Roman Emperor. Witnesses say the local authorities begged Polycarp to comply, some even acknowledging it was a meaningless act. But Polycarp refused. "Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?" Polycarp announced. The Roman proconsul had a pyre built to burn Polycarp.</p> <p>Eyewitnesses say Polycarp told the proconsul there would be no need to tie him to the stake as he would not flee. Others claim the flames would not touch Polycarp so the proconsul ordered him stabbed through the heart. Polycarp's refusal to do what others told him was meaningless because he viewed it as an affront to his faith is a good lesson for Christians when confronted with the open and increasing bigotry against people of faith in the United States.</p> <p>You will probably not have heard of Russell Berger. He is a orthodox believing Christian, pastor, and, until last week, was the Chief Knowledge Officer of CrossFit. A local CrossFit gym (they call them boxes) did not want to have a gay pride event and gay rights activists subsequently began harassing the owner of the gym. Berger, on his personal Twitter feed, tweeted, "As someone who personally believes celebrating 'pride' is a sin, I'd like to personally encourage #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout." <p>Updated: Fri Jun 08, 2018</p> 205966b2bf455a6cb4206db6238790b3 The Media's Double Standards for 06/01/2018 Fri, 01 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Roseanne Barr, on Twitter, compared Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Given the long history of racists in this country comparing black people to apes, claiming Roseanne's remark was not racist is something the fringe might debate, but decent people agree on. The remark was racist and she was fired.</p> <p>No television network has ever cancelled the number one network television show in America over a star's behavior until this happened. Roseanne Barr has a history of making awful comments. She said people who eat at Chick-Fil-A should get cancer. She believed 9/11 conspiracy theories. She ran for President as a far left candidate for office. By the end of last week, the very same people who had been defending the honor of the MS-13 gang were attacking the honor of all Trump voters everywhere as if they were just as bad as Roseanne.</p> <p>Only a few days later on TBS, a woman named Samantha Bee, who some people seem to think is funny, called Ivanka Trump a "feckless c***" for having the audacity of putting a picture of herself with her toddler on social media. Many of the people who rushed to demand ABC fire Roseanne Barr suddenly rushed in the opposite direction to defend Samantha Bee.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 01, 2018</p> 3c9b3841422e416490425987738f1db0 A Conspiracy of Idiocy for 05/25/2018 Fri, 25 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Many people love to concoct grand, elaborate conspiracies to explain the world around them. Instead of realizing they made bad decisions, it must have been some malevolent force out to get them. Instead of recognizing they are surrounded by incompetence, there must be some mysterious force pulling the strings working several steps ahead.</p> <p>Many people sleep better at night convinced of a malevolent conspiracy of sinister forces running government than realizing government is composed of incompetent bureaucrats protecting their turf. Wouldn't it reassure you to know your government functions at the hands of an evil genius pulling strings rather than that it is really an idiocracy just trying to keep afloat? <p>Updated: Fri May 25, 2018</p> f1b2e536a42fac4efc7dcbc277008a1f The Media's Bias is Showing for 05/18/2018 Fri, 18 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>On Wednesday, President Trump answered a sheriff's question about the MS-13 gang. The president referred to the gang members as animals. The American political press swung into action to declare President Trump had called all immigrants animals. It did not take a rocket scientist to read the transcript to see the president was, in context, talking about MS-13. <span class="column--highlighted-text">But the default for the media has always been to give Democrats the benefit of the doubt and presume Republicans are guilty until proven innocent.</span></p> <p>Before that, a leaker in the White House noted a White House staffer named Kelly Sadler had dismissed concerns about John McCain by noting he would be dead soon and was not going back to the Senate to vote against CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel. The media dragged this story out. A charitable reading of Sadler's comments would be that she was stating an obvious, blunt truth. John McCain is dying and will not be in the Senate to oppose Haspel.<p>Updated: Fri May 18, 2018</p> 0ea4bef64b3388424cbf9e351912b223 Death by Conformity for 05/11/2018 Fri, 11 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Boy Scouts of America have always been a pretty explicitly faith-based organization. Though nondenominational, references to God and Creator were woven within the Boy Scouts' documents and behaviors.</p> <p>The organization grounded itself in a worldview that is archaic in modern times, despite more than 2 billion people worldwide professing a Christian worldview. It just is not popular in elite circles anymore. The Scouts had always balanced its middle-class religious members and the coastal elites who got to claim a faux connection with Middle America through supporting Boy Scouts. <p>Updated: Fri May 11, 2018</p> b60d0c0f9a2e7685d7ec8dd91e1103f9 Upstream From Culture for 05/04/2018 Fri, 04 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the book "After the Ball," psychologist Marshall Kirk and ad man Hunter Madsen painted a picture of what the gay rights movement should do to normalize and advance their agenda in America. The book came out in 1990. Kirk and Madsen treated their book as a manifesto and we have witnessed their vision.</p> <p>The propaganda effort the authors set out included inserting gay men and women into Hollywood to start writing shows with gay positive characters, then make gay characters normal characters on shows. They would get friends in the media to positively cover the gay rights movement. Advertisers would feature gay men and women in advertisements as an ideal. Gay celebrities would be championed. Churches, too, would be involved, with liberal churches rejecting Christian orthodoxy championed and those that kept the faith vilified. <p>Updated: Fri May 04, 2018</p> 3ca3e115f0a00fa6375287f3a438b67c Madness in the Western Mind for 04/27/2018 Fri, 27 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>By the time you read this, Alfie Evans may be dead. Evans is a toddler with a rare disorder that has required him to have a prolonged hospital stay. His disorder is little understood, and instead of trying to understand it, doctors decided it would be best to remove Alfie from ventilation and let him die.</p> <p>Alfie's parents protested, as they had not explored all treatment options. But the British state has largely decided that parents are only permitted to raise children so long as the parents raise them as the government sees fit. A court determined that it was in Alfie's best interests to die. Left unsaid, the judge is a secular activist of left-wing causes and the parents are lower middle class devout Catholics. One must wonder just how much the judge's own bigotry played in the decision.</p> <p>Because the United Kingdom has decided Alfie really belongs to the state, the state can kill him. A doctor assured the courts that within five minutes of removing Alfie's ventilation, the child would die. Seventy-two hours later, Alfie still fought for his life. Naturally, the courts stepped in and ordered him starved to death. To let Alfie survive would be to admit the British social health care system had failed. Alfie must die for the good of the bureaucratic conscience. Alfie and his parents must know their place.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 27, 2018</p> e1613f53244848be5cba870fec1f6937 A Moral People No More for 04/20/2018 Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The American experiment is at an end. The nation will continue. But barring some crisis that rouses the American people to our better angels, the experiment is over. Our founders determined that our republic had to be premised on a good and moral people. The law is only as good as the people. There are just too many examples of the people not being so good.</p> <p>Evangelical support for the president is at an all-time high. This news comes as more Playboy playmates and porn stars come forward to confess to adultery with the president while his wife was pregnant. Even many of the president's ardent supporters now acknowledge it. But they do not care, because the president gives them what they want.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2018</p> 871e81fd5752839a1e6cf89f0812fe3e Paul Ryan Departs for 04/13/2018 Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I spent the better part of this week in Washington, DC, including Wednesday, the day Paul Ryan announced he would not seek re-election. It has been expected. He has not been happy for a while. Let me make one point that too few reporters have made about Paul Ryan.</p> <p>The Speaker of the House is 48 years old. He is older than his dad was when his dad died. In fact, the Speaker's father and grandfather both died at ages younger than the Speaker. He has the opportunity to have relationships with his children in ways he never got to have with his father. His family is in Wisconsin and he is missing out on a life he was not sure he would ever get to have.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 13, 2018</p> 9e16c824d9f06109b8123f7da1296c31 The American Cultural Revolution for 04/06/2018 Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Kevin Williamson has been fired by The Atlantic. Williamson is one of the great conservative intellectuals of our times. He has a keen wit and frequently engages in heterodox opinions that make his writing and thinking intriguing. For a decade he wrote at William F. Buckley's National Review until hired away last week by Jeffrey Goldberg, the Editor of The Atlantic.</p> <p>The Atlantic fancies itself a place of intellectual diversity where the best writers across ideologies can share their views. But Williamson's hire drew burning rage from the left. Williamson's birth came from an unplanned pregnancy. Instead of aborting him, his birth mother gave him up for adoption. As you might imagine, Williamson has strongly held views on the matter of abortion. A week after hiring him, Jeffrey Goldberg bowed to the leftwing mob and fired Williamson for, in part, how he might make the pro-abortion women in the office feel.</p> <p>Never mind Williamson's feelings on abortion and that he could have been aborted himself, the editor took the brave stand of worrying about the hypothetical feelings of pro-abortion women in the office. The left told us that the purges happening on college campuses were contained to the campus. Yet here we are today with one of the best voices of conservatism fired from a job for his conservative views.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 06, 2018</p> f1df4bfeb93c4b6bd9eff0ab5de5d3e1 The Most Important Weekend in History for 03/30/2018 Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Survey academic historians on the most important events in history and, regardless of their personal beliefs, they inevitably tend to list the execution of a Jewish carpenter some time around 33 AD as one of the most important events. Whether atheist or religious or Muslim or Buddhist, historians recognize that civilization shifted on this weekend nearly 2000 years ago.</p> <p>The death of Jesus of Nazareth reshaped the map, gave us a common set of idiomatic expressions, brought down empires, inspired the rapid evolution of art and gave the world a truly global religion. While Judaism is still anchored in Jerusalem and Islam in Mecca, Christianity is a global phenomenon where, even as it purportedly declines in the West, it continues to spread in China, Africa and South America.</p> <p>Those of us who do believe that Jesus was more than a mere carpenter point to this and find reason to believe had Jesus merely died, he'd just be one of hundreds of men who claimed to be the Jewish messiah during that time period. There were certainly others. Most of them are lost to history. Jesus, however, remains. The gospel writers recorded that Jesus did not just die, but conquered death and rose again. The Apostle Paul documents that Jesus appeared to more than 500 people in the 40-day period between his resurrection and ascension into Heaven.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 30, 2018</p> a03302a1dd7fc3d8a29115a486db9e48 Another Excuse to Avoid Blaming Hillary Clinton for 03/23/2018 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have you ever paid to use a social media service? Does Facebook send you a bill each month, or Twitter demand a credit card for use of its service? When you log into Google, does it force you to pay before searching the web or checking email? Of course not. The reason is that you are the product. You no more pay Facebook for your ability to use its services than a banana pays a store for the right to be put on a shelf for purchase. You may not think of yourself as a product. You may not have a UPC barcode label on you. But you are a valuable commodity being sold by these companies. These companies' customers are called advertisers, who buy your data profiles and then target you with ads for their goods and services.</p> <p>Last week, it came to light that people who took a humorous test on Facebook to see which Disney princess they most closely matched were actually being profiled by the test creator. You may have thought the test creator really cared which Disney princess you were, but really they cared about who you are. Facebook allowed the test creator to offer the test and collect psychographic information about you to identify your personality and, from that, extrapolate the issues that motivate you to take actions like voting or buying a new toothbrush. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 23, 2018</p> 63cf13931c2789170852ff11642c0e5c If a Conservative Speaks, Will Liberals Hear? for 03/16/2018 Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>If a tree falls in a forest with no one around, does it make a noise? That grade school joke of sorts has a serious contemporary equivalent. It is increasingly clear that if a conservative speaks up, liberals will not actually hear it unless the conservative tells them what they want to hear. Consider four separate and unrelated stories that now all relate.</p> <p>The Washington Post just covered the story of a student killed by the MS-13 gang. To the paper's credit, it has fairly extensively covered MS-13 in its local reporting. But nationally, conservatives have raised concerns about the gang mostly to deaf media ears.</p> <p>After President Trump referenced the gang in his State of the Union address earlier this year, the Washington Post ran an op-ed downplaying the threat from MS-13. The author of the piece disagreed that MS-13 needed to be more seriously addressed by the Justice Department. Around the same time, the Washington Post ran stories with the following headlines:"'You feel that the devil is helping you': MS-13's satanic history;" "MS-13 member in Maryland convicted in racketeering case;" "'Vying for control': How MS-13 uses violence and extortion in America's jails;" and "'People here live in fear': MS-13 menaces a community seven miles from the White House." The paper stands almost alone in covering the gang.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 16, 2018</p> 68fd745415d1031b0b65944ea88293be The Island of Misfit Toys Takes Over for 03/09/2018 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Peter Navarro is not a household name, but he should be for the damage he wants to do to the American economy. He is a left-wing academic from California. His economic ideas tend to be on the fringe and he has largely been rejected by both Democrats and Republicans. But Navarro, a man who supported Barack Obama banning the incandescent light bulb, has captured the imagination of one man: Donald Trump.</p> <p>President Trump named Navarro his Director of the National Trade Council, a new organization within the White House with the purpose of advising the president in trade negotiations. Other White House staff members have largely blocked Navarro from the president over the past year. Many White House insiders have noted that Navarro had limited access to the president. But as the competent members of the Administration have left or been fired, Navarro has patiently waited them out.</p> <p>Liberal and conservative economists have long ago acknowledged that tariffs lead to economic disaster. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law, raising tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods. The effect was to exacerbate the conditions of and prolong the Great Depression. Liberal economists like Paul Krugman and conservative economists like Milton Friedman agreed that the tariffs did not trigger the Depression, but they also agree that the tariffs worsened the situation. Other countries started a trade war with the United States, and what could have been a quicker departure from depression became a prolonged quagmire.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 09, 2018</p> 07e9b1db24b4e1a9c649900e4dbb3112 Solar-Powered Conservatism for 03/02/2018 Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>On June 20, 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter dedicated solar panels newly installed on the White House roof, saying, "In the year 2000 this solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy." Less than a decade later, President Ronald Reagan had the panels removed. The panels of the day were not very efficient and were doing little more than heating water.</p> <p>Fast-forward to today and it is clear the Carter-era stunt did much to cement in the minds of conservatives that solar energy is a waste of resources and must be subsidized. Compounding conservative distrust, liberals from coast to coast insist that the government subsidize wind and solar power to more quickly replace carbon-based energy sources. Conservatives see the left pushing for a subsidy of Carter's solar legacy and they naturally gravitate toward traditional power monopolies.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the traditional power monopolies are taking advantage of this. And in some parts of the country, energy prices are soaring despite the United States' overwhelming oil and natural gas production, and the addition of solar- and wind-power facilities to the national power grid. Look no further than South Carolina to see monopolistic traditional power companies stifling free-market innovations in power. The state, more and more an economic free-market engine, is slowing down with the most expensive energy costs in the southeast.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 02, 2018</p> 9442d73be02df6ef66a93bbd258c3811 Graham, Guns and Common Tongue for 02/23/2018 Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The Rev. Billy Graham is now with his Creator. I suspect there will be no more men who can transcend the divides of this country in the way Graham could. He was unique in his ability to share the gospel through radio, television and even the internet. He did so with an intensity in charm that one lacking familiarity with his message could capture his point while those who were intimately familiar with the faith could fall deeply in love with it.</p> <p>To the extent Graham's death has elicited criticism and attack, much of it has to do with his common man approach. Some were left wanting. Others see a common man who garnered uncommon attention and think there must be something fraudulent about him. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Elite opinion makers and leaders, often drawn to worldly comfort and not gospel suffering, have a hard time relating to Graham because they have a hard time relating to the common man.</span><p>Updated: Fri Feb 23, 2018</p> fdced9b9c51332c5b2b05f6a6d05e82c A Dumb Idea for 02/16/2018 Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney deserves enormous credit for doing something that has long been needed. He wants to reform the food stamp program in America. The program has waste, fraud, and abuse issues. It is not terribly efficient. There are people in the program who do not necessarily need to be there. So hats off to Mick Mulvaney for undertaking the thankless job of reform.</p> <p>The problem is not that Mulvaney undertook reform, but what the proposed White House solution to the food stamp program is. They want to send food stamp recipients boxes of food each month. Mulvaney describes it as a "Blue Apron" style program.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 16, 2018</p> 0eb3900e45e142f2508030812e9abbaa If You're Reading This, You're Dead for 02/09/2018 Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission ended President Obama's "net neutrality" regulations. Those regulations were passed with no reason, but a fear of what might happen to the internet by major corporations. They were not needed. But Democrats declared that their repeal would cause people to die.</p> <p>Republicans rolled back Barack Obama's individual mandate that forces Americans to buy health insurance whether or not they want it. Statisticians declared Americans would lose their health insurance if the GOP did this, ignoring that those losing health insurance would be those actively choosing to forego an insurance plan. Again, Democrats declared the GOP would cause people to die.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 09, 2018</p> 4fa04270be972d4d3c22334dc53bc88e The Practical Side of a Reasonable Compromise for 02/02/2018 Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0800 <p>During President Trump's State of the Union address, he laid out four pillars he felt were necessary to a compromise on immigration. </p> <p>"The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age. ... The second pillar fully secures the border. ... The third pillar ends the visa lottery &#8212; a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. ... The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration," said the president in the House of Representatives. The president's plan for DACA citizenship would be a 12-year plan requiring education, work or military service without conviction of crimes during that time.</p> <p>Many of the president's most ardent supports vocally support the second, third, and fourth pillars of his plan, but they equally oppose his first. Some of his supporters have taken to calling the President "Amnesty Don." There are actually real and serious public policy concerns for deporting all illegal immigrants, including DACA recipients that have nothing to do with race. Democrats want to treat any such policy proposal as racist and they do so to their detriment and the detriment of any serious discussion on the issue. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 02, 2018</p>