Lies, Damned Lies, and NeverTrump: A Defense of Dennis Prager

Note: an abridged version of this column appears at The Federalist Papers Project.

Dennis Prager set the conservative blogosphere ablaze last week with a column asking why there are conservatives “who still snipe (or worse) at President Trump,” who “remain anti-Trump today” despite the fact that for the next three and a half years, he’s our only means of getting national conservative policies across the finish line.

Prager’s first suspected reason:

While they strongly differ with the Left, they do not regard the left–right battle as an existential battle for preserving our nation. On the other hand, I, and other conservative Trump supporters, do […] To my amazement, no anti-Trump conservative writer sees it that way. They all thought during the election, and still think, that while it would not have been a good thing if Hillary Clinton had won, it wouldn’t have been a catastrophe either.

Exactly right, and a crucial point that NeverTrumpers, for all their self-righteousness, never seriously addressed.

Prager’s conclusion:

They can accept an imperfect reality and acknowledge that we are in a civil war, and that Trump, with all his flaws, is our general. If this general is going to win, he needs the best fighters. But too many of them, some of the best minds of the conservative movement, are AWOL.

I beg them: Please report for duty.

Amen! This column was a much-needed reminder of the big picture, which NeverTrumpers tend to sorely lack. And sure enough, a string of pundits jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate that they’ve done no introspection whatsoever since the election. Continue reading

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Of course: Trump prepping Kristallnacht, according to deranged, abortion-enabling ‘Catholic’

It shouldn’t need to be said that Simcha Fisher’s latest screed—“‘Pro-life’ Trump is engineering an American Kristallnacht”—is pure demagoguery, but after seeing it shared on social media by more than a few people who should really know better, apparently it does.

And before anyone affords the attack added weight because the author professes to be a pro-life Catholic, recall that Fisher has a history of hysterical slanders such as that Republicans “openly encourag[e] people to despite the weak.” So it’s not about Donald Trump being uniquely awful; she would be telling monstrous lies about any GOP president, and it’s disturbing that anyone other other than hardened leftists would approvingly spread her deranged, hateful rantings.

Now, you would think to any ethical author — especially any author who claims to accept “thou shalt not bear false witness” as a direct order from the Creator of the Universe — an accusation as severe as replicating an infamous Nazi massacre that was part of a years-long program of actually oppressing an entire group based solely on their religion would require a pretty high burden of proof. So Fisher must have caught Trump doing something really, horrifically beyond the pale, right?

Wrong. Fisher is the one using a paper-thin pretext to (in her words characterizing Trump) “whip up fear, suspicion, and outrage. To make people feel unsafe and angry.” The entire basis for her fear-mongering is that Trump has ordered DHS to publicize crimes committed by aliens, particularly illegals in sanctuary cities.

That’s it.

To any rational, competent adult who’s been following the illegal immigration debate for more than five minutes, the legitimate purpose here is obvious: draw attention to suffering caused by refusing to enforce our immigration laws, thereby increasing pressure on politicians to support real enforcement.

But if Fisher admitted that, it wouldn’t be as easy to fear-monger. So instead, she maliciously attributes racism to the objects of her own prejudice. The closest thing to a counterpoint she even tries to muster is pointing out “immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States” — a statement that (a) omits “illegal” before “immigrant,” as leftist propagandists always do, and (b) is beside the point. The issue is not whether illegals are more criminal; it’s that the total number of crimes they commit, whatever it may be, is a needless addition to native-born crimes. The only reason they happened here at all is because our willful negligence let them in/let them stay in the first place.

Lastly, since Fisher so casually throws around Nazi references and the fascist label, it’s worth reminding people that she voted for Hillary Clinton and has in past elections said she was “thrilled” to learn a GOP candidate wasn’t pro-life because it freed her to vote Democrat. So even as she invokes Holocaust Remembrance Day to falsely accuse Trump of “openly trying to engineer” mass slaughter of Mexicans, she has no problem supporting those who perpetuate the actual holocaust of abortion, not to mention the party that champions literal curtailment of our individual rights and the democratic process.

Presumably Simcha Fisher’s audience is largely confined to the lunatic fringe, but I have observed that, bizarrely, she also attracts a small handful of more moderate fans who embrace her hate as a legitimate expression of Christianity. Heaven only knows how she pulls that off, but I certainly wouldn’t want to trade places with her when she finds out whether God concurs.

New at TFPP – ALERT: McConnell STABS Pro-Lifers in The Back; Colludes With Democrats

Today’s annual March for Life in Washington, DC comes as the pro-life movement has its first opportunity in years to make real progress toward ending abortion. But Republicans being Republicans, they may yet find a way to squander it.

Politico reports that during a GOP retreat this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw cold water on his House colleagues’ hopes of saving babies anytime soon:

Rep. Trent Franks had a simple question for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a private GOP meeting here Wednesday: Would he take up anti-abortion legislation the House passed? McConnell shot back that it would never get through the Senate because Democrats aren’t “pro-life” and have the votes to stop it.

So why don’t you just change the rules? Rep. Bruce Poliquin demanded moments later. McConnell dodged, suggesting it’s not going to happen […]

They’d love to kill the filibuster, a nuclear option the tradition-bound McConnell is loath to deploy.

“The public doesn’t want to hear about process; they want to see us get stuff done,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). “I think there is a very low threshold of tolerance among our electorate right now for historical process (and) precedent.”

No, Leader McConnell, Democrats don’t “have the votes,” because they don’t have the majority. You are choosing to let them hold bills hostage.

Read the rest at The Federalist Papers Project.

New at TFPP: Pro-Life? Why Voting Your Conscience Means Voting Trump

This is it. Election Day is tomorrow, and despite what #NeverTrumpers will tell you, the differences between a Trump administration and a Clinton administration will be enormous.

At the Washington Examiner, Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life have an incredibly important editorial urging pro-lifers to vote for Donald Trump. The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s the bottom line:

If Clinton and the Democratic Party get their way and repeal the Hyde Amendment, as many as 60,000 more babies would be aborted every year, paid for by taxpayers. We must not cross that Rubicon.

Then there are the estimated18,000 children a year who would die in painful late-term abortions. This would go unimpeded by Clinton, who says a baby on its due date has no constitutional rights. That adds up to 312,000 human lives lost over one presidential term.

The fact that this even needs to be said—to other pro-lifers, no less—at this late date is downright scandalous. But it does, because the maniacal sophistry of the #NeverTrump movement has convinced a sizeable minority of conservatives that protecting their self-image is more important than the election’s impact on the lives, freedoms, health, safety, and prosperity of more than 324 million Americans.

On abortion alone, one need not like, respect, or trust Trump (speaking just for myself, I certainly don’t) to understand that there’s an enormous difference between him, a candidate who may not have personal ideological investment in the pro-life cause but has every incentive to listen to the right people, sign the right bills, and appoint the right judges (and no incentive not to), and Hillary Clinton, a candidate who:

Read the rest at the Federalist Papers Project.

Conservative Standards Is Now on Facebook!

I’m pleased to announce that Conservative Standards now has an official Facebook page, a one-stop shop for all the new writing I do here, for Live Action, or anywhere else on the web, plus original bite-sized commentary on the news of the day, conservative principles, and the battle for America’s survival. So please like Conservative Standards on Facebook and share with anyone else who may be interested. Thanks!

Steinem Smears Pro-Lifers as Anti-Gay; Here’s How to Respond

Today at Live Action, I have a response to recent comments by Gloria Steinem at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, the first of which was:

“Why is it that the same people who are against birth control and abortion are also against sex between two women or two men?” Steinem asked her audience, reports the Memphis Flyer. She continued that those people “are against any sex that cannot end in reproduction.”

Unfortunately, an editorial judgment was made to cut out part of my response, so I am presenting an expanded version of the rest here, where hopefully it will help equip pro-lifers to deal with this line of pro-abortion attack.


How does this strawman complaint fail? Let us count the ways. First, plenty of people—and not just pro-lifers—have acknowledged that antipathy toward abortion doesn’t automatically correlate with views commonly maligned as “anti-gay,” as evidenced by polling that indicates public opinion simultaneously becoming more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriage yet unchanged or less accepting of abortion.

Gee, it’s almost as if abortion and same-sex marriage are two different issues with distinct pros and cons that can be evaluated separately! Yes, most pro-lifers are also conservatives and/or Christians, but there are plenty of other pro-lifers all over the religious or ideological spectrums. There are even pro-lifers who are gay themselves, so good luck trying to use this argument on them, Gloria.

Second, it is true that conservatives (religious and secular alike) tend to oppose both abortion and the redefinition of marriage. For some people that’s may be because the Bible frowns on both; but for the most part it’s because both violate the Founding principles which conservatism exists to conserve: the right to life, and marriage’s function as a societal building block.

But by framing it as being “against sex between two women or two men,” Steinem gives the slanderous impression that we would take control of their private lives and punish them for what they do in their bedrooms, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no real movement in the United States to criminalize gay sex, relationships, cohabitation, etc. The only real gay debates going on today are civil recognition of same-sex marriage, which is entirely separate from the question of tangible benefits, and Steinem’s allies attempting to force private citizens—under penalty of law—to participate in ceremonies that violate their convictions.

Finally, endlessly repeating the clichéd “controlling sex is pro-lifers’ secret ulterior motive” conspiracy theory won’t change the fact that our stated reason for opposing abortion—it kills innocent people—is scientifically, objectively, irrefutably, obviously true. Anybody claiming not to understand that recoiling at violence against children is one of the average person’s most basic human intuitions—which anyone who dismisses this obvious motivation to oppose abortion is doing—is lying.

These days, there seems to be an increasingly-vocal minority of pro-lifers who don’t recognize that the abortion lobby and the radical gay lobby are two factions of a common agenda. But while their friendship and support in protecting the preborn is valuable, all pro-lifers should be able to see through Steinem’s attempt to smear our movement with these falsehoods.

There’s No “Christian Case” Against the Pledge of Allegiance

At PJ Media, John Ellis has a post entitled “Why as a Christian I Don’t Pledge Allegiance to the American Flag,” but a more apt name would have been “How to Imagine a Conflict Where None Exists.” He argues that pledging allegiance would violate his conscience as a Christian, because “I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. I owe my fidelity to a sovereign King named Jesus,” and “it’s impossible to owe fidelity to two potentially competing kingdoms”:

And let’s be honest, often, and increasingly so, the concerns of the United States government are at odds with the concerns of King Jesus. What happens to allegiance during those moments? From my perspective, Christian either have to compromise their allegiance to King Jesus or demonstrate that by “I pledge allegiance to the United Stated of America” they only meant some of the time, making their “pledge of allegiance” dishonest.

With countless important crises demanding Christians’ attention–like, for instance, only a third of Christians in this country ever hearing their churches speak out against the slaughter of preborn babiesthis is the crisis of conscience Ellis sees within the faith? This was important enough for a column?

To be clear, the author is obviously correct that Christians owe their allegiance to Christ above and beyond their allegiance to secular authorities. However, pledging allegiance to the flag is not pledging allegiance to any specific administration, officeholder, policy, etc. It’s not even pledging allegiance to the government itself; it’s pledging allegiance to the principles the country is founded on, and not only do those principles not conflict with Christian principles, they actually include appreciation for the Creator (as the source of our rights) and share several basic values with Christianity.

It’s completely possible to be 100% devoted to Christ and the flag simultaneously. In fact, the Pledge of Allegiance to which he’s objecting already explicitly says the nation is “under God,” so it doesn’t ask him to pervert or reverse his priorities in the slightest.

Ellis cites Massachusetts’ latest attack on religious liberty (forcing transgender dogma on churches) as an example of supposed conflict between allegiance to God and allegiance to America. But he misses the fact that by attacking religious liberty, Massachusetts is also attacking one of the constitutional principles the Pledge calls on Americans to support. So pledging allegiance to the flag doesn’t obligate us to support Massachusetts’ action, it calls on us to resist it.

For some much-needed sanity and perspective, let’s turn to one of the most beautiful commentaries on the Pledge of Allegiance ever spoken.

I desperately hope Christians don’t take the author’s misguided thinking as a reason to withdraw further from the political process; that will only give the secular radicals he fears less resistance to their efforts to extinguish religious liberty and stigmatize Christian values.