3 Myths Dispelled (Again) by Liz Cheney’s Removal

“Do you think your defiance will change the course of things?” taunts a prison interrogator.

The beaten inmate, imprisoned and slated for execution for refusing to bend to the demands of the leader of his tribe, answers, “If God gives us free will, we’re responsible for what we do…or fail to do. I can’t do what I believe is wrong.”

It’s a memorable exchange from the trailer of Terrence Malick’s wonderful movie, “A Hidden Life” (the lines are in the film as well, but broken into separate scenes). Though the war story depicts a much darker, more sinister time in world history than the one we’re in now, and thus drawing any direct parallels would be both tasteless and inaccurate, the broader theme of conscience, disobedience, and personal consequences is something I think about quite often.

It’s mainly because I don’t see a lot of profiles in moral and institutional courage these days, at least not in the realm of American politics, where I spend a lot of time writing. So, when one does present itself, like what we’ve seen with Rep. Liz Cheney since January 6th, I take notice.

By standing tall (with very few on her side) against the shameful deceit and unaccountability her party has largely committed itself to, in regard to that day and the election that proceeded it, she has likely ended her esteemed political career. She knew all along that she would lose both politically and professionally from holding steadfast to the truth, in the interest of defending her oath to her office and the Constitution… but she has done it anyway.

For that, I have immense admiration and respect for her. And just as Cheney’s stance says important things about her character and devotion to her country, her impending removal as House Republican Conference Chair says even more about the current state of her political party. Along with demonstrating where the GOP’s priorities and loyalties lie, it — once again — dispels some myths that the Republican party has been trying to sell for the last five years or so.

Let’s look at a few of them:

Myth #1: The GOP is against the cancel culture

They clearly aren’t, not when cancellation is politically helpful to them. Aside from the fact that over 150 Republicans in Congress voted to effectively cancel the results of the 2020 election, Liz Cheney is being removed from her position as the third ranking Republican in the House for no other reason than that she won’t stop telling the truth about the election and its violent aftermath.

Myth #2: Support for Trump has always been about policies, not personal devotion

It bears repeating: Trump lost the election. He’s no longer a public official, and can neither sign nor block legislation. He can’t make executive decisions nor any decisions in government.

When he was in office, however, Liz Cheney’s votes aligned with his positions 92.9% of the time. The voting record of Elise Stefanik, Cheney’s much talked about and inevitable replacement, aligned with Trump’s positions only 77.7% of the time.

Cheney also has a far more conservative voting record than Stefanik, earning a 78% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. Stefanik’s rating is only 44%. While it’s probably pointless to cite these particular numbers since the Republican party has largely abandoned conservatism in recent years, I did so because some Trump fans reading this piece will predictably argue that Cheney is a liberal. She clearly isn’t, nor is she a “Never Trumper,” being that she voted for Trump twice.

But in the arena of personal loyalty to Trump, which is measured not by policy platforms, but rather unconditional, passionate defenses of the man (as perhaps best exhibited by Rand Paul), Stefanik rates much higher than Cheney. She has not only served as an unapologetic, reflexively defensive Trump mouthpiece, but even voted against the certification of the Electoral College. Her explanation for doing so included a host of thoroughly debunked claims that contributed to the Big Lie that ultimately provoked what happened at the U.S. Capitol. And she’s still repeating those falsehoods in interviews (including this week).

In regard to the January 6th assault, some may remember that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was initially up front about Trump’s part in it. Five days after the attack, he even bragged in an interview about how he’d stood up to Trump on the phone, telling him to “Stop this!” and accept the results of the election. Two days after that, he bluntly echoed the words of Liz Cheney, stating on the House floor that Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.” He also said, “Some say the riots were caused by Antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so.”

Stop this. Trump bears responsibility. Conservatives should be the first to say so.

But then, Republican polls came in showing what GOP members of congress were also hearing from their political base and donors: We don’t care what Trump did or didn’t do. We’re standing by him. You’d better too, if you know what’s good for you.

McCarthy waffled, abandoning his rhetoric and position, and also abandoning Cheney and other House Republicans who had the gall to continue telling the truth about what had happened (with some of those individuals backing it up with their impeachment votes). McCarthy flew down to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump, get back in the former president’s graces, and as The Dispatch’s Stephen Hayes puts it, “enlist Trump’s help in achieving his career-long objective of becoming speaker of the House.”

Since then, GOP state parties have censured Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and have aggressively sought to primary them out of office in the next election. A few weeks ago, the House GOP went as far as holding a no-confidence vote to try and oust Cheney from her leadership position, and McCarthy was recently caught trashing her on an open-mic (for continuing to say exactly what he was saying a few months ago about the January 6th attack).

None of this has anything to do with policy. It’s all about servitude — servitude to a disgraced former leader who’s now a private citizen. Those who are sufficiently servile to that individual, of course, have nothing to worry about.

Case in point, openly bigoted conspiracy nut Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz (who’s currently under investigation for having sex with a minor), are both in better standing in the GOP Congress, in the Republican party, and with Kevin McCarthy… than Liz Cheney is.

Myth #3: Trump’s critics can’t give him up

While it may be true with some, it’s actually the Republican Party who refuses — almost in its entirety — to give the man up.

Let’s review some of the things that Trump lost for the GOP over his four years in office: the presidency, the House, the Senate, Georgia and Arizona, the suburbs, lots of independents, and literally the party’s very platform. These losses have rendered the GOP largely useless in mounting effective opposition against President Biden’s progressive agenda and spending spree.

Yet, high-ranking leaders within the party are still unequivocally declaring that Trump is, in fact, the leader of the GOP. The House Minority Leader is still regularly meeting with him, along with other party leaders eager to get their Mar-a-Lago social-media pictures beside the former president. Elected Republicans who Trump has a personal beef with are being demoted, censured, and primaried (in some cases, all three). Aspiring Republican presidential candidates like Nikki Haley, who said in January that the GOP should have never followed Trump (and should never do it again), are now vowing not to run against Trump (and instead support him) if he runs in 2024. And of course, Trump remains a huge staple in the GOP’s fundraising efforts, even as he continues to spread the Big Lie, and very publicly trash prominent Republicans like Mitch McConnell, and even his former Vice President, Mike Pence.

Yet, some complain that it’s people like Liz Cheney, and those who still comment on Trump’s continued stranglehold on the GOP, who can’t “move on” from the guy.

Jonah Goldberg addressed this point in a recent piece, writing, “This is the double standard that has marked the entire Trump era. He gets to behave however he wants, belch out whatever absurdity or slanderous lie he pleases, and it’s okay because that’s who Trump is. But if you dissent, object, or just point it out, you’re the one who is obsessed. You’re the one who has ‘derangement syndrome.’ You’re the one who can’t move on.”

He’s right, of course. And as National Review’s John McCormack puts it, “Purging Cheney doesn’t help the GOP move on from Trump. It proves the party is terrified of moving on from Trump.”

Sadly, it’s that terror that continues to define the Republican Party. And I’m afraid it will for some time.

Order John A. Daly’s novel “Safeguard” today!




Coal Workers Union Doesn’t Always Represent Coal Worker Values

Attention readers: Dennis Prager is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Salena Zito.

GRAYSVILLE, Pennsylvania — When coal mine employee John Morecraft heard last Monday that United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts approved of President Joe Biden’s plan to move the nation’s energy industry away from fossil fuels, Morecraft said he anticipated the news would be misconstrued.

“I knew the story would come across as though all coal miners approved of this deal, with no mention of how (un)representative the UMWA is of the coal miner population,” said Morecraft, just before going down for his shift at the Bailey Mine here in Greene County.

“The UMWA in actuality represents a small portion of the people who work in the mines,” Morecraft said. “What that means is that deal was not made with the support of most of the people who do the work in the industry.”

He is not wrong.

According to the latest energy statistics for the U.S. government, there are 6,758 coal miners working underground in this country today who are members of the UMWA, compared with the 24,820 miners, such as Morecraft, who are not members of the union.

The same goes for the surface-mine workforce, where just over 3,000 are members of the UMWA, compared with the nearly 17,000 who are not.

Once a dominant force that represented virtually everyone working in the entire industry, the UMWA membership today is the smallest portion of the mining workforce.

Had you not really followed the decline of UMWA membership over the decades and were sitting at home watching the news reports and thought, “Oh, wow, the coal miners are now backing Biden’s ‘climate-justice’ infrastructure package; maybe it is not that bad,” you were misled.

Morecraft said there’s another component of the story many people might miss. When deals like this are struck, or union bosses look the other way when the party they support hurts their jobs, he says it shows how the people who negotiate these deals are entrenched within this administration.

Morecraft does not fit any of the stereotypes of coal miners that our cultural curators in the news, government or Hollywood like to cast. He is a college-educated former history teacher who coached both high school football and basketball until he was laid off from his teaching jobs.

“I was kind of down on my luck, with students and a young family,” he said. “Working at the mine was my only way out because there are not too many jobs around here other than coal mining, which is now providing me with a life that I never would have had.”

Morecraft says he has been following in detail the proposals in the so-called “infrastructure bill,” which presently does include grants or loans to fund carbon capturing. He is not sure if those grants will stay in there: “What I don’t understand is why they’re not trying to put more money towards carbon-capture sequestration rather than displacing an entire workforce.”

Carbon capturing is not embraced by Biden’s environmental-justice base. Last year, when the House passed a clean energy package, 18 Democrats, including leftist Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, all voted against it.

And some of the most influential liberal environmental groups also objected to that bill’s plan to capture carbon dioxide from coal- and gas-fired plants. For many of these groups, it was viewed as a bargain that only benefits fossil fuel companies.

Morecraft sighed in exasperation.

“These people on the far left won’t even entertain the idea of carbon capture,” he said. “They just say, ‘No, fossil fuels are bad, and we need to go in a different direction,’ even though the technology isn’t quite there to even sustain the grid, as was shown in Texas this winter.”

In February, in the middle of an unexpected deep freeze, 3 million Texans lost their electricity when the state’s generating capacity could not meet the sudden demand caused by the plunging temperatures. Pipes froze and burst; people were left without heat and power for days; and the power grid suffered a wholesale collapse.

Morecraft says he loves his job.

“I am a fire boss, EMT, and I work in our bunker, which is the main hub of the underground. And it is sort of like a desk job, only in a mine, because I have all of these computers, and I am basically in charge of all the tracking of where all the miners go and also the CO sensors that go off.”

“More reporters and elected officials should come and take a look at what we do,” he added. “It is not at all what they think; there are no picks and shovels. There are just a lot of misconceptions. There is also a lot of presumption that we don’t care about the climate, and that always gets me. Do people not understand that we live, drink, fish, raise our families and enjoy the wildlife right in the same place where the mines are located?

In saying so, Morecraft echoes a frustration that energy workers frequently share.

Salena Zito is a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. She reaches the Everyman and Everywoman through shoe-leather journalism, traveling from Main Street to the beltway and all places in between. To find out more about Salena and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, May 03, 2021 16:01:40 -0700




Losing the Race

The spearpoint in the intense progressive battle to dissemble traditional America is the anti-racism campaign.  It’s an easy calculation: if the United States was founded on the philosophy of white supremacy, and the country is presently infected with “systemic racism,” then it’s the moral obligation of good people to destroy the society and build another more noble one.

And if you disagree, well, you are racist.

The strategy is brilliant in its simplicity and also presents the gravest social threat in U.S. history.

That’s because the corporate media, an industry full of cowardice and greed, has surrendered to the radicals thereby allowing the destructive movement to avoid scrutiny.  Some of the nation’s largest corporations are openly cooperating with racial demonization – donating millions of dollars to the Marxist Black Lives Matter Global Foundation.

But most shockingly of all is that the President and Vice President are supporting the racial subversion.

Joe Biden has openly advocated “equity” instead of equality.  He has ordered the federal government to favor certain groups of Americans based on skin color. When criticized by Republican Senator Tim Scott for this divisive policy, Biden told the ever pliant George Stephanopoulos that he doesn’t believe the American people are racist, just our society.

Oh.

The reason the President is able to peddle this destructive malarkey is because the mass media is affirming it.  The woman executive who controls TV production for Disney/ABC proudly told the world that she is rejecting first-rate programs unless the scripts conform to a racial litmus test.

After Senator Scott’s reply to Biden’s speech on Wednesday, bigots on Twitter labeled him “Uncle Tim.”

Most of the corporate media ignored the smear.

And now the race-baiting is coming to your house.

Newsweek Magazine used to be a fine fact-gathering organization.  Then it veered sharply left. Then it folded its print edition, now publishing only online.

Last week, the magazine ran an article by a radical leftist named Meggie Abendschein.  She owns a business in Texas that prefers to hire women. Remember the bigoted “No Irish Need Apply” signs?  Now it’s males instead of Irish.

Anyway, here’s what Newsweek and Meggie are serving up.  “We need to deeply embed anti-racism into our identity, our purpose and every facet of our life.  This work requires our full-throttle empathy and total commitment to dismantling an archaic, dangerous white supremacist system.”

Then Meggie brings it home.  “I was speaking with another white woman recently who told me her husband wasn’t sold on the idea of racism being our problem …

“I told her that by not saying something … was to choose comfort “

Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Let’s create marital strife if your spouse is not “woke.”

And so the battle for America once again centers on skin color.  Hello, Civil War.

But this time the sitting President is not focused on keeping the Union together. No, Joe Biden is a divider.  And with the media as his ally, he is hell-bent on conquering.




The GOP’s Challenge: Making the Party Serious Again

The Hill ran a piece this week with a headline that gave me a bit of a chuckle: “GOP worries fiscal conservatism losing its rallying cry.”

My amusement, of course, came from the notion that any party position could immediately excite people again, after effectively being banished for five years — not just in practice, but even rhetorically. The only force with that kind of rejuvenating power is nostalgia, and it generally requires more than five years to take hold.

As The Hill piece points out, the GOP’s wholesale abandonment of fiscal conservatism, to facilitate Donald Trump’s political instincts, makes it very difficult for the party to combat (or even argue against) President Biden’s efforts to pass trillions of dollars in new government spending. After all, roughly $8 trillion was added to the national debt under Trump. That four-year accrual nearly matched what was added under Barack Obama in the span of eight years.

Still, some in the GOP, like Senate Republican Whip John Thune (who was interviewed for the piece), say the party has to try.

“I’m frankly very concerned about the level of spending and debt,” said Thune, “and I think Republicans have got to be the adults in the room and exercise the fiscal responsibility that seems to have been absent, lacking the last several years.”

Having some adults in Washington would certainly be nice. Our debt crisis is an inarguable, looming disaster — the most predictable catastrophe our country will likely ever go through. The problem is that there’s no longer any passion for addressing it. Those who were serious about fiscal conservatism (like Paul Ryan and Justin Amash) were chased out of DC for being insufficiently loyal to Trump, and those who only pretended to be serious about it (like Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows) simply washed their hands and moved on to Trumpier things.

With such issues off the table, the GOP spent the last four years fueling populist emotion off of mostly rhetorical cultural battles. This put the party in a box that it could have some serious trouble breaking out of (if it even wants to). In front of cameras, Republicans in congress continue to channel clownish cable-news pundits, exciting their base not by attacking big-government spending and other serious national threats, but by lashing out against things like “Big Tech”, Black Lives Matter, and alleged Dr. Seuss and hamburger bans.

Cultural outrage porn sells very well, of course, and the entertainment wings of both the political right and left certainly thrive off of it. But this is no way to govern a country.

A former cable-news pundit recently told me that he believes “the biggest single institution dividing Americans is cable TV news.” I think he’s probably right, which is why it’s a terrible idea for elected leaders to be emulating hosts on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN.

Case in point, Tucker Carlson’s show is the highest rated political program on television, watched every weeknight by millions of impressionable, narrative-hungry GOP base voters. And what did those people hear when they tuned in last night? An angry Carlson instructing them to literally call the police and report child abuse whenever they see children wearing COVID masks outside.

No, Carlson wasn’t joking. And yes, stuff like this is where all the passion is on the right. Carlson is even being added to presidential primary polls for 2024.

The Democratic party abandoned fiscal conservatism decades ago. It’s not coming back on the left. But the GOP and most right-leaning voters at least understand the problem, and aren’t so much opposed to pursuing it (or even view it as a liability) as they are distracted from it in today’s wacky political environment. This belief — that had a lot of game-changing passion behind it not so long ago — may currently be little more than an abstract vision through the thick haze of incessant cultural catastrophizing, but a haze can be cleared.

The trick is how to clear it.

At the onset of this column, I mocked the idea that a party position could immediately find passion again after its years-long abandonment. But what if that passion comes from outside of the party?

People should consider that the fiscally-conservative Tea Party movement, that arose in 2009, and led to the GOP winning back the House and later the Senate, started not with political leaders or partisan narratives, but with a single, impassioned rant by CNBC’s Rick Santelli on the floor of a stock exchange.

Many on the right like to pretend that those party gains weren’t successful in curbing Obama’s spending, but they actually did keep additional trillions from being added to the debt, including the trimming of deficits in Obama’s second term.

In other words, it can be done. The GOP may not have the credibility or will left to pull it off themselves, but perhaps some individual or event does. Who or what that might be, I don’t know. But I hope it happens, and I hope the GOP pays attention and harnesses it.

Because right now, they’re a fundamentally unserious party during very serious fiscal times, and they’re in desperate need of a wake-up call.

 


Note from John: I’ve been writing a weekly non-political newsletter since October, covering topics like art, music, humor, travel, society and culture. I’ve been surprised by, and thankful for, how many people have been signing up for it. If it sounds interesting to you, I’d love for you to subscribe (it’s free).

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Affluence + Secularism = Boredom = Leftism

Just as physicists look for equations to explain the natural world, I have always thought it useful to look for equations to explain human nature. For example, in my book on happiness, I offer this equation: U = I – R. Unhappiness = Image – Reality. The difference between the images we have for our life and the reality of our life is one way of measuring how much unhappiness we experience.

Here, I offer another theorem, this time to help explain leftism.

A + S = B = L

Affluence + Secularism = Boredom = Leftism

The search for an equation to help explain leftism (as distinguished from traditional liberalism) emanates from these facts:

Most leftists come from the upper and upper-middle class. This was true for the two founders of leftism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx was supported by his family and by Engels, who was a wealthy businessman and the son of a very wealthy businessman. All the Western spies for the Soviet Union were economically secure. And the great funder of radical causes today is a billionaire — George Soros.

Nearly all leftists are irreligious people. And the breeding place of leftism, the university, is the most secular institution in modern society.

These two facts produce a problem: Many people lack meaning in their lives. And lack of meaning is another way of stating “boredom” — a boredom of the soul.

People need meaning. After food, that is the greatest human need. As important as sex is, there are happy people who go without sex (loss of a partner, never having found a partner, vows of chastity), but there are no happy people who go without meaning (no matter how much sex they have).

This need for meaning has traditionally been met by four things: religion, family, providing for oneself and one’s family, and patriotism. And all are fading.

Let’s begin with religion. In America today, religion is in sharp decline. According to Pew Research, more than a third of all Americans born after 1980 identify with no religion. That is the highest percentage ever. In a recent Gallup Poll, only 47% of American adults said they were members of a church, mosque or synagogue. It was the first time since Gallup began asking Americans about religious membership in the 1930s that a majority of Americans said they were not members of a church, mosque or synagogue.

Next comes family. Marrying and making a family have always been sources of meaning to the great majority of people. However, like religion, the American family is also in steep decline. For the first time in American history, according to Statista, as of 2020, nearly half of all men in America (46%) have never been married, and 41% of American women have never been married. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 85.4 million Americans 18 and over have never been married. There are presently 130 million unmarried American adults. Worse yet, as Dr. Bella DePaulo of the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote in Psychology Today, “Half of all solo single people don’t want a romantic relationship or even a date.”

As every criminologist knows, a lot of single men is a problem for society. And as the ubiquity of women on the left and among the left’s angriest protesters makes clear, a lot of single women is no blessing either.

Another nearly universal source of meaning has been providing for oneself and one’s family. That’s why, though the poor lack money and material wealth, they have never lacked meaning. Figuring out how to feed one’s family every day provides a person with a great deal of meaning.

Finally, belonging to one’s nation also provided meaning to most people in modern history. But love of country largely died in Western Europe after World War II, and it is dying in America today.

So, then, with the four primary sources of meaning dying — killed in large measure by leftist ideology — meaning must be found elsewhere. And that is where the left steps in. Leftism has always been a secular religion. It kills traditional religion and presents itself as a secular alternative.

It certainly provides meaning. “Anti-racism” and saving the world from a threat to its very existence (global warming) are two prominent life-filling examples.

Therefore, the only way to prevent the left from destroying America and its core value of freedom is to make the case for Judeo-Christian religions, the importance of marriage and family, and the unique achievement of America as the world’s first and greatest multiracial, multiethnic, multinational society.

Americans should have been making that case in every generation. Post-World War II, they forgot, or never really believed, that the land of the free is, as former President Ronald Reagan warned, always just one generation away from losing its freedom.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, Apr 26, 2021 18:30:58 -0700