Cal Thomas

Opinion/Analysis: Republicans’ problems can be sourced to this Eisenhower legacy they must reject

In a new book about her grandfather, Dwight D, Eisenhower, titled “How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions,” Susan Eisenhower writes admiringly about Ike’s pursuit of what she calls “the middle way.” In a decision that still infects elements of the Republican Party today, Susan Eisenhower says Ike’s pursuit of compromise and centrism led to his decision to nominate Democrats as well as Republicans to the Supreme Court. She quotes Ike’s attorney general, Herbert Brownell: “The President believed and acted upon the belief that the Supreme Court’s membership should represent divergent ideological points of view.” She says he believed this approach would “foster public confidence in the court…” Ike could not have foreseen future battles over all federal courts and how his successors would mostly nominate judges who fit their ideological views of the Constitution, Roe vs. Wade being the most egregious of many such examples. Our 34th president gave the Supreme Court two of its most liberal members, Justices William Brennan and Earl Warren. Ike would later come to lament those appointments, saying, “I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court.” Ike had success with the middle way as supreme allied commander during World War II when his advisers and heads of Allied nations agreed on a common goal, the defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan. Unfortunately, his noble sentiment works less well in politics because Democrats do not reciprocate. The purpose of politics is to win and to demonstrate one party’s ideas and policies are superior to those of the other party. If politics is only about being liked and praised, especially by one’s ideological adversaries, the party that adopts such a philosophy is doomed to perpetual defeat and to not have its positions — if it has them — taken seriously. Democrats have been known since the Great Depression as the party of government, luring more and more voters by dispensing free stuff and promising to take care of them. Government has replaced individual responsibility and accountability. We now subsidize bad individual decisions and failure and penalize those who have succeeded by playing by what used to be called “the rules.” For many, government has become an addiction with Democrats serving as “dealers.” Republicans have had only marginal success in countering this because they don’t seem to be able to come up with a set of unified policies and goals. Instead, the GOP has become like a protein shake dieters drink because it contains fewer calories. In too many cases, Republican positions resemble “Democrat-lite.” The growing debt is only one example. Republicans seek only to manage it, not reduce it. Susan Eisenhower quotes from a letter Ike wrote to a California friend in 1954: “I developed a practice which, so far as I know, I have never violated. The practice is to avoid public mention of any name unless it can be done with favorable intent and connotation; reserve all criticism for the private conference; speak only good in public.” In this, Ike demonstrated his good character, but that didn’t stop Democrats from criticizing him about everything from the rounds of golf he played to allegations by Harry Truman and others that he was in the pocket of “reactionaries,” which translated into today’s parlance means “extreme right-wingers.” There’s a cliche about sports: “It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.” In politics it’s about winning, and if you don’t win how you played the game won’t matter. Texas politician Jim Hightower wrote a book titled “There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.” Modern Republicans might learn from that Texas liberal.

Indeed..  And well said, Cal.  Veteran columnist Cal Thomas is responsible for that outstanding, and timely, piece.  He’s exactly right!  Politics really is a contact sport.  And, Democrats historically are much better at it than Republicans because they will do whatever it takes to win; even cheat, lie, and worse.  Republicans tend to “take the higher road,” and then lose…like John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush (second term), and on and on.  Politics is about ideas, and battling it out in those arena of ideas.  And, the GOP for too long has always tried to take that “higher road” so as not to offend, or worse, to be called “racist, sexist,” and so on.  I had a boss at Ft. Carson, CO once who said, “it isn’t about winning or losing.  It’s about winning.”   Exactly..  While we should never lie, cheat or do anything illegal or amoral, we shouldn’t just lay down on the railroad tracks and get run over like a bunch of suckers.  Trump is the first GOP President I can remember who gets that, and actually fights back.  He’s the honey badger that doesn’t care…and it’s refreshing to see.  Thanks Cal!      🙂

Opinion/Analysis: After every other Democratic candidate dropped out, Obama finally endorses Biden

It isn’t like Joe Biden was former President Barack Obama’s first choice for president. Mr. Obama’s video endorsement of Mr. Biden on Tuesday came after every other candidate had pulled out. He even waited for Bernie Sanders to suspend his campaign to endorse Mr. Biden. The “moderate” Obama and the formerly moderate Biden now appear to be in bed with the hard-left, Saul Alinsky, socialist wing of their party. In all of this, Mr. Sanders is the real winner because he has managed to pull the party so far left that it might qualify to open a headquarters in Havana, or even Moscow, where Mr. Sanders and his wife honeymooned. Mr. Obama tried, but failed, to convince Mr. Biden not to run this year. According to The New York Times, Mr. Obama told Mr. Biden, “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t.” Mr. Biden wrote in his book that Mr. Obama talked him out of running in 2016 in order to clear a path for Hillary Clinton. Mr. Biden wrote that Mr. Obama “played up the appeal of leaving politics and gave little encouragement about a possible bid.” Again, according to The New York Times, Mr. Obama “offered every (2020 Democrat) candidate his counsel” and in December it leaked that the former president was secretly promoting then-candidate Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, to possible donors. Last December, Mr. Obama told a gathering in Singapore there would be “significant improvement across the board” if more countries had female leaders and that “old men” should get “out of the way.” It was a comment many took to be a slap at his much older (and male) vice president. In March 2019, a report in The New York Times said Mr. Obama called together some of Mr. Biden’s top campaign advisers and told them, they needed to “make sure” Mr. Biden didn’t “embarrass himself,” a clear reference to the growing number of gaffes Mr. Biden was committing and continues to commit.

Trump, all up til yesterday, kept asking the press at his daily briefings..  “Why hasn’t Obama endorsed Biden yet?”   It has been awfully strange how Obama was SO silent during the majority of the primary season and didn’t endorse his former VP til just yesterday…and then by only a streaming video online.  Anyway, thanks to Cal Thomas for laying out the history.  For more, click on the text above.

Cal Thomas: Coronavirus and an unexpected lesson in what matters most

Some years ago, I wrote a book titled “The Things That Matter Most.” It was a critique of the continuing impact the ’60s generation has had on the country. The coronavirus pandemic, too, offers us an opportunity to consider what matters most in our nation and individual lives. We are told to stay indoors, not travel, avoid restaurants and bars and crowds of more than 10 people. Many have been ordered to work from home. Some are being laid off or have had their hours reduced. Entertainment seems limited to the few things worth watching on TV. Rather than lament this — and there is plenty to lament — how about seeing it as an opportunity? During Lent, some people give up certain things to practice self-discipline and demonstrate their devotion to God. While there is a big difference between voluntarily giving up something and being forced to give up many things and while there’s a difference between a religious practice and an infectious virus, the principle remains the same. What are you now giving up that you could do without? Put another way, what are you now focusing on that did not get your attention before the coronavirus? Does being forced to stay indoors and spend more time with your spouse and kids (who are mostly staying home from school) offer an opportunity, or do you consider it a burden? If you are a workaholic who brings work home from the office in the pursuit of money and material things, what opportunities does this forced confinement offer and will you take advantage of them? Has making money been your primary goal? Are you making less money because you are not working as much, or maybe at all? Are you having to re-order your priorities? I recently moved. My wife and I are amazed at all the things we still have after donating many items to charity. We had to rent a storage unit for the overflow. Material things never fully satisfy and yet many of us continue to pursue them as if they do. If you crave status, does that matter as much while you focus on handwashing and other virus-preventive measures? How often did you even think about washing your hands before the virus? Last Sunday the president called for the nation to pray that God might remove the threat of the coronavirus and protect us from it. Other presidents — one thinks of Franklin Roosevelt’s call to prayer on D-Day, June 6, 1944 — have asked the nation to pray when the power of government seemed insufficient to overcome a serious challenge. Could this present a similar opportunity for those so inclined to seek a closer relationship with “the God who made us,” as Abraham Lincoln said in his proclamation for a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” in the midst of the Civil War? If nothing else is working and if politicians are incapable of guaranteeing our safety, why do so many of us continue to look to Washington for help? Leaders can do some things, but can they do what is most needed? Last question. When the virus is no longer a threat, will you return to your old ways? Will you again focus on money, things, status and work, or has this virus taught you a lesson, a lesson about what matters most for you, your family and the nation? As pastor Lon Solomon, president and founder of Lon Solomon Ministries, likes to say: “Not a sermon, just a thought.”

And a very good thought it is.  Thanks Cal!  Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist in the U.S. He is the author of “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires, Superpowers and the United States,” to be published Jan. 21, 2020. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.      🙂

Cal Thomas: ‘White poverty and me’ – Incentive, not skin color, determines station in life

In his continuing effort to pit races and classes against each other, Democratic presidential candidate and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders has said that if you are white, “you don’t know what it’s like to be poor.” He should drive some of the roads I’ve driven in West Virginia, among other places. Some of the homes of the white poor look like throwbacks from an earlier time. Mr. Sanders attempted to “clarify” his comment (a political synonym for walking it back when it didn’t play well) during a town hall meeting Monday night in Detroit. Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked him about his remark and Mr. Sanders replied, “I know about white poverty. There is no candidate in this race who has talked more about poverty than I have.” Therein lies the problem. The left talks a lot about poverty, but when it comes to programs and ideas to help people climb out of poverty, their only solution is to spend more money. If money alone were enough to extricate people from poverty and help them sustain themselves with a job and a strong family, then the more than $1 trillion spent on anti-poverty programs since the Great Society was launched by President Johnson in 1964 would have reduced the number of poor people in America. And yet the poverty rate changes very little. A rational person might conclude that spending more money on programs that have failed to achieve their stated goals is not the right answer. In April and May 1964, President Johnson and first lady Lady Bird Johnson, toured the Appalachian states. After their visit he vowed to wipe out poverty. He didn’t, and his successors haven’t, either. What do I, a now “prosperous” white guy, know about poverty? In 1965, I was a private first class in the U.S. Army, working at Armed Forces Radio in New York City for the astronomical wage of $99 a month. All of us enlisted men had second jobs to make ends meet. Mine was as an engineer at WOR-TV. I had no car, the subway was 10 cents (soon to jump to 15 cents, producing cries from the left that it would harm the poor). I had no savings and as one payday approached I had only a dime in my pocket for a one-way trip to work. Had the paycheck not arrived, I had no idea how to get home to our little apartment in Elmhurst, Queens. Hitchhiking in New York City was not an option. What I did have was incentive. I did not accept my poverty status as the final verdict on a young life. To paraphrase the song, if I couldn’t make it in America, I couldn’t make it anywhere. And so I kept at it until my Army discharge and then I moved back to Washington where I finished college, worked at a civilian media job and persisted until breaks came. While poverty does not have simple solutions, there are solutions. They begin with relaying stories to the poor about people who used to be in their situation but liberated themselves from a life of want and need by making the right life choices. Inspiration and hope do not come from government. They come from within. They also come from churches, more of which can and should “adopt” a poor family and help them move out of poverty. “You gotta have hope, mustn’t sit around and mope,” says the song from the musical “Damn Yankees.” Where does anyone hear that in our blame, envy and entitlement political discourse? Where have you gone, Horatio Alger? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. • Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” (Zondervan, 2014).

What and outstanding piece here from veteran columnist, Cal Thomas.  Kudos to Cal for throwing this back in Bernie’s face, who was shamelessly playing the race card.  Excellent!!    🙂

Opinion: The failure of multiculturalism – National leaders are closing their eyes to Islam’s refusal to assimilate

Just as radar warns of approaching storms, so does the flood of migrants entering Europe warn us of a deluge yet to come, not only for Europeans, if they continue to allow unrestricted immigration, but for the United States. Reports that women in Cologne, Germany, have been groped and robbed by men described by authorities as having “a North African or Arabic” appearance should be warning enough, but there are other and more ominous warnings that suggest worse lies ahead, unless the problem receives immediate attention and action. And it’s not just Cologne. The Gatestone Institute, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank, is in possession of what it describes as a “leaked German intelligence document,” which says, “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law.” Last October, reports Gatestone, Andrew Parker, the director general of Britain’s Security Service, said that ” ‘the scale and tempo’ of the danger to the [United Kingdom] is now at a level he has not seen in his 32-year career. British police are monitoring over 3,000 homegrown Islamist extremists willing to carry out attacks on the U.K..” On Wednesday, President Obama visited a Baltimore mosque. According to The Daily Caller, the mosque “has deep ties to extremist elements, including the Muslim Brotherhood.” That mosque is not alone, as a map on the paper’s website reveals. Explaining the president’s visit, White House spokesman Keith Maley said, “The president believes that one of our nation’s greatest strengths is our rich diversity.” I doubt terrorists believe that. I don’t believe that diversity, as practiced in America, exists in any country with a Muslim majority. Benedicte Bjornland, head of the Norwegian Police Security Service, recently warned against further Muslim immigration. When U.S. politicians suggest a similar approach, they are denounced as “bigots” and “Islamophobes,” but in Norway and Sweden, two of the most liberal nations in Europe that have welcomed Muslim immigrants, that charge will be difficult to make stick. What we are witnessing is the complete breakdown and failure of multiculturalism. Dictionary.com defines multiculturalism as “the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation.” That definition contains a glaring contradiction. A society cannot be unified if it preserves different cultures and cultural identities within itself. That’s why our national motto is translated “out of many, one.” To the multiculturalist it appears to be, “Out of one, many.” History demonstrates that no nation can long survive if it forgets why it exists. Our failure to inculcate American traditions, beliefs and history, even in the native born, not to mention immigrants, is rapidly destroying the country bequeathed to us by our forebearers. Leftists in Europe and the United States have promoted multiculturalism, believing that once Muslims experience our freedoms and dedication to equality they will want to be like us. It doesn’t appear to be working and anyone familiar with the Koran and its “kingdom of this world” instructions knows it likely won’t. European leaders, from Germany’s Angela Merkel, to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, have deliberately closed their eyes to what they see unfolding in their countries, and in others. President Obama is doing the same thing with his trip to the Baltimore mosque. Our enemies see our weakness and failure to understand their objectives, which include destroying the West and establishing a worldwide caliphate. This is not top secret information. Not all Muslims are terrorists, to be sure, but large numbers of radical Islamists profess allegiance to the faith and they are more than willing to wreak havoc in pursuit of their goals. An ancient proverb reminds us: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Indeed…  An outstanding op/ed by veteran columnist Cal Thomas.

Opinion: No more green and white

My high school colors were green and white. At graduation the boys wore green robes and the girls wore white. No one considered the girls inferior because of the color of their robes. Today, we live in different times. My alma mater, Walter Johnson High School in Montgomery County, Md., is one of several schools to have decided that their commencement ceremony this year will feature single-color robes to respect transgender students and those who do not identify as either male or female. In the age of Caitlyn Jenner, any effort to classify the sexes is becoming increasingly difficult, if not downright impossible. The Washington Post reports “student advocates” have been campaigning for this, claiming the use of one color for boys and another for girls does not allow for the full panoply of “gender identity” increasingly on display in the marketplace of the bizarre. Facebook’s attempt to accommodate gender self-identifiers by publishing 58 “gender options” met with complaints that 58 options were not enough. Unwilling to cross the PC police, the social media site now allows you to decide what you wish to call yourself. Something very strange, if not bordering on insidious, is happening to this country. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld tells a story about his 14-year-old daughter. “My wife says to her ‘…in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on the weekends so you can see boys.’” Seinfeld says she responded to her mother, “That’s sexist.” “They just want to use these words,” says Seinfeld: ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.” Entertainment Weekly writes, “Seinfeld avoids doing shows on college campuses. And while talking with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd…, the comedian revealed why: College kids today are too politically correct.” I’m no comedian, but I would imagine it’s nearly impossible to make jokes about anybody or anything these days without incurring the wrath of the easily offended. Washington, D.C., radio talk show host Chris Plante spoke about this on his program recently. Callers told stories of what their children have experienced in Montgomery County public schools. One man said his eighth-grader was shocked to hear from a male classmate that he is now identifying as a female. His son didn’t know how to respond. The caller said he didn’t know what to do. Plante, who is from a Catholic background, said, “Send him to Catholic school if you can afford it.” How can anyone not afford it when the secular authorities appear to be brainwashing the next generation into believing that any choice is valid and should be universally accepted, and that anything one might say in opposition to these new sensibilities is labeled sexist or racist? Catholic, evangelical and other private schools — even home-schooling — are the best educational options for families who adhere to traditional values. If there were an exodus from public schools by people who are sick of political correctness, not to mention the government school system’s inability to bring students up to the levels of other nations, perhaps the politicians and those responsible for these propaganda camps might wake up and offer parents school choice. As long as parents willingly put their children in a school system that not only undermines their values, but in many cases openly opposes them, and then makes children who hold to a different worldview feel odd, even bigoted and behind the times, public schools will continue to do so. This is what happens when standards are abandoned and truth becomes subjective. My senior yearbook at Walter Johnson High School speaks of its goal to produce “well-rounded individuals” and “competent young adults.” Today, these schools — with some exceptions — are producing the opposite. Graduation robes of a single color will not reverse this trend. Better get your children out now before it’s too late

Veteran columnist, and author, Cal Thomas absolutely nails it here with this great op/ed on the destructive nature of political correctness in our public schools today. PC has become SO ridiculous.. Parents need to do their part and fight back and against the liberal educational establishment, or pull their kids out as Cal suggests here, and put them in private, Catholic, or charter schools…or just home school their kids. That’s probably the best option anymore..