Education

What Can’t Be Debated on Campus

Pilloried for her politically incorrect views, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax asks if it’s still possible to have substantive arguments about divisive issues.

What Can’t Be Debated on Campus
ILLUSTRATION: JOHN CUNEO

There is a lot of abstract talk these days on American college campuses about free speech and the values of free inquiry, with lip service paid to expansive notions of free expression and the marketplace of ideas. What I’ve learned through my recent experience of writing a controversial op-ed is that most of this talk is not worth much. It is only when people are confronted with speech they don’t like that we see whether these abstractions are real to them.

The op-ed, which I co-authored with Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego Law School, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Aug. 9 under the headline, “Paying the Price for the Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture.” It began by listing some of the ills afflicting American society:

Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.

We then discussed the “cultural script”—a list of behavioral norms—that was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s:

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

These norms defined a concept of adult responsibility that was, we wrote, “a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains and social coherence of that period.” The fact that the “bourgeois culture” these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s, we argued, largely explains today’s social pathologies—and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.

 

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The Rule of Shutdown Politics
Democrats oppose a bill that reauthorizes children’s health care.
 
By The Editorial Board
Jan. 17, 2018 7:21 p.m. ET
 
Washington is going through one of its hoary melodramas with the threat of a partial government shutdown at 12:01 Saturday morning if Congress doesn’t pass a funding bill. These are usually worth ignoring, but in this election year we are likely to see more such showdowns. So it’s important to understand the rule of shutdown politics: Democrats want a shutdown but Republicans will get blamed for it.
 
This has been roughly true in every shutdown brawl we’ve watched going back to the 1980s. It doesn’t matter if a Republican is President with a Democratic Congress, or vice versa, or if Republicans run both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Sometimes Republicans deserve the blame, as they did with Ted Cruz’s kamikaze run for ObamaCare repeal in 2013. But even if they work in good faith to avoid a shutdown, the media blame Republicans, and many voters figure the GOP must be at fault because it’s the party that prefers smaller government.
 
Democrats understand this and they use it as political leverage. That’s what’s going on this week behind the scenes as Republicans struggle to put together a budget that can get past the Freedom Caucus in the House but also get at least nine Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster in the Senate.
 
Democrats don’t want to take yes for an answer. GOP leaders want to negotiate a two-year budget deal separate of negotiations over immigration. But Democrats are refusing, though the date when new work permits will no longer be issued to the so-called Dreamer immigrants is the first week of March.
 
Democrats are refusing even though the tentative budget deal being hashed out behind the scenes would also give them a big increase in new domestic non-entitlement spending over two years. Republicans would get more defense spending. Such a deal will give more Republicans heartburn on the policy merits, but Democrats still won’t accept.

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Americans for Prosperity offer ‘Road to Freedom’ to Colorado lawmakers

Author: Joey Bunch – January 17, 2018 – Updated: 19 hours ago

Americans for Prosperity(Courtesy of Americans for Prosperity)

You won’t find Bob Hope or Bing Crosby but Americans for Prosperity are urging Colorado lawmakers to take the “Road to Freedom,” the conservative organization’s legislative agenda.

Colorado Politics scored an early review of the AFP’s positions on energy, education, transportation and the  Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

You can read the document by clicking here.

“We made great strides in 2017 defending TABOR and advancing policies that promote economic freedom,” Jesse Mallory, AFP’s state director and the former Colorado Senate Republicans’ chief of staff, said in a statement.

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A Big, Beautiful Trump 2018 Issue

Civil-service reform could get bipartisan support, even in a rough election year.

Environmental Protection Agency employees and environmental activists gather in Chicago to protest the nomination of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, Feb. 6.
Environmental Protection Agency employees and environmental activists gather in Chicago to protest the nomination of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, Feb. 6. Photo: Carla K. Johnson/Associated Press

President Trump is on the hunt for a 2018 issue—a strong follow-up to his tax-cut victory that will motivate voters and gain bipartisan support. Democrats are pushing for an infrastructure bill, inviting the president to spend with them. House GOP leaders are mulling entitlement reform—a noble goal, if unlikely in a midterm cycle.

Fortunately for the president, there’s a better idea out there that’s already a Trump theme. It’s also a sure winner with the public, so Republicans ought to be able to pressure Democrats to join.

Let 2018 be the year of civil-service reform—a root-and-branch overhaul of the government itself. Call it Operation Drain the Swamp. Continue reading

Newt Gingrich: Get ready for the great political surprise of 2018

The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory.

After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.

Two very interesting columns (one by Barry Casselman and one by Scott Adams) illustrate how the media is deceiving itself.

Casselman contends that the Democratic victory in Alabama may have blocked a year-long embarrassment and actually strengthened Republican prospects in the Senate. He asserts there may be a new political wave coming, but no one knows whether it will be a red or blue wave.

As I listened to the end of the year “analysts,” I was struck by how little they know, how little they have questioned their own mistakes, and how mutually reinforcing their false information has been.

Adams, the author of Dilbert, has a list of 20 political opinions and predictions made about President Trump and his Administration, which were just plain wrong. He suggests if you were wrong about 15 or more of these assertions, you might quit talking about politics while Trump is in the White House. By Adams’s standard, most elite “analysts” would have to be quiet, because they have been so consistently wrong about Trump.

As I listened to the end of the year “analysts,” I was struck by how little they know, how little they have questioned their own mistakes, and how mutually reinforcing their false information has been.

These are not analysts. These are liberal propagandists. Much of what they assert is just plain wrong. Fake news is, sadly, an accurate term. And the topic about which they have been the most fake is the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

First, the media lied about the tax bill in an effort to convince most Americans their taxes would go up.

Then, the media took surveys of people who opposed the GOP bill based on the false information supplied by the media.

Then, the media talked again and again about how unpopular the Republican plan was and how it was going to weaken Republican candidates in 2018.

Then, the bill passed, and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be dramatically better for Americans than the elite media had described.

In fact, the tax cuts will be the 2018 proving ground of media liberal bias and dishonesty. Continue reading

Voters Increasingly Favor Democrats for Congress, New Poll Shows

Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds 50% prefer Democrats to lead Congress after next year’s midterms; 39% prefer Republicans

 
Voters increasingly want Democrats to control Congress after the 2018 elections, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that offers several warning signs for the Republican Party.
 
Asked which party they prefer to lead Congress after next year’s midterms, 50% said the Democrats and 39% said Republicans. That 11-point lead is wider than the 7-point advantage Democrats held in October, and it is the first double-digit advantage for the party since late 2008, ahead of the Democrats’ win in the presidential election that year.
 
The poll also found that 59% of Democratic voters are showing the highest levels of interest in the coming midterms, compared with 49% of Republicans.
 
Pollsters who conducted the survey said that taken together, the two findings show that Democrats have an edge in enthusiasm at this early stage of the campaign.
 
At the same time, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating ticked up 3 percentage points in the new survey from October, to 41%, due in part to higher marks from members of his own party. Some 56% in the new poll disapproved of his job performance.

In the past, a Democratic advantage on the question of who should control Congress hasn’t translated into electoral gains unless the lead reached double digits. The party led by 10 percentage points on average in 2006, ahead of retaking control of the House and Senate that year, and it led by 14 points on average in 2008, when Democrats gained more than 20 House seats.

 
Smaller leads haven’t accompanied significant pickups in congressional elections, in part because of voter turnout among some Democratic groups is lower than among Republican groups, and due to congressional district lines that in many places favor Republicans.

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The Reagan Club meets on the first Thursday of every month at The Amazing Grace Community Church ( 541 E 99th Pl, Thornton, CO, 80229) from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. with doors open at 6:00 p.m.. We feature different programs and speakers as we honor the 40th President. The Reagan Club of Colorado seeks to promote the Constitution, smaller government, lower taxes, personal freedom, helping candidates, and educating the public about one of our greatest presidents, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

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