Editor’s note: We begin selections from the mailbag this week with a letter from a reader in Georgia that gets at why The Daily Signal exists. See for yourself. Be sure to write us at [email protected]—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: Thanks to The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation for presenting articles such as Rob Bluey’s podcast interview with Sebastian Gorka on the threats, both foreign and domestic, to our great country (“Sebastian Gorka on the Biggest Threat Facing America and What Trump Is Doing About It”).
I have supported and will continue to support The Heritage Foundation in its efforts to wield the most effective weapon against tyranny—a well-informed electorate through education and protection of basic freedoms of speech, expression, and the press.
My dad landed on Red Beach on the Pacific atoll of Iwo Jima as a 19-year-old Marine in February 1945. Though he was wounded twice and survived for 30 days of combat before being medically evacuated, he never talked about his experience until his later days, when he realized the importance of sharing.
One day as we sat in the yard swing trying to stay comfortable in the stifling heat of a west central Georgia summer, just out of the blue, he felt compelled to share something with his 25-year-old son that I will never forget. No, it wasn’t specifically about his combat experience. It was about modern-day warfare, the combat we find ourselves locked in today.
He said: “Son, the very freedoms I risked my life to defend will slowly disappear in your lifetime.” I had no clue why he said that and what he meant by what he said. He said it most emphatically and with a tone of regret.
My dad was not the type you questioned or asked to repeat things. Even though it completely went over my head, I did not dare ask him to explain. I am 70 now and we lost dad at 88 in 2013. Yet I still hear those fateful words. Now, 50 years later, I see very clearly what he was trying to warn me about as I was engaged to be married.
Though I now see clearly the motive of his warning, he left me the tools to resist, to persevere, to triumph over the tyranny that would steal freedom from my heritage: “Pray, work hard, work honest, never give up the fight, never give in to evil. Remember that truth and good will prevail in the end.”
Thanks, Dad.—Phillip Lee White, Warm Springs, Ga.
An interview with "Why We Fight" author @SebGorka on the biggest threats facing America, the dangers of socialism, and his first encounter with Trump. Listen: https://t.co/IDZkTAD4Gj via @GinnyMontalbano @DailySignal
— Rob Bluey (@RobertBluey) November 5, 2018
Dear Daily Signal: Sebastian Gorka, speaking with Rob Bluey on your podcast, is absolutely correct: China is plotting to take down the U.S. economy by replacing the dollar as the international currency of trade with its own.
As part of this, the Chinese are attempting to steal technology from others to accelerate their way to worldwide hegemony. Thank God we now have a president who loves this country and is unafraid to push back against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
However, we have an equally sinister enemy within this country—the radical left. They too seek to destroy the country so they can rebuild (transform) it to enable their tyrannical control.
The extreme hatred spouted by their leadership has driven their base insane and allowed them to be taken over by evil. Yes, evil. It is why they promote and engage in violent behavior without regard to the damage they cause to either people or property.
Our government will deal with China, but the rest of us are going to have to be the tip of the spear in the battle against leftist tyranny. Our primary weapon should be the power of the ballot to drive leftists and their cohorts in the Washington establishment, which does contain Republicans, out of power.
I found it amazing that Sen. Lindsey Graham came out of his shell after the death of Sen. John McCain and during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings taught the GOP what it means to have a spine.
I for one have been getting tired of all of the milquetoasts in the GOP who appear to fear their shadows. We desperately need a few good men and women to lead the battle.—Randy Leyendecker, Kerrville, Texas
China and other nations may pose problems for the U.S. from time to time, as will random acts of terrorism, but we can deal with these. The real threat to America will come from within, from our own people who want to “fundamentally transform America” into something it never was and was never meant to be.
The appeal of “free stuff” is a powerful attractant. It comes from some people who come from poor or low-income families who are envious of what others have.
It also comes from some people who have been given everything they needed and wanted who believe they are entitled to things they don’t earn and now face the prospect of having to earn the things they see other people have that they want. (Oh, the horror!)
Real life scares them, and frightened people will grab on to promises of salvation (socialism) like a drowning man will grasp at a straw.
This is the real “clear and present danger” to our republic and our way of life. Socialism doesn’t bring the equality of prosperity to everyone, only the equality of misery.—Drew Page
Gorka says of a recent poll: “They find 42 percent of millennials would like to live in a socialist or communist America.”
Well, let’s give them the opportunity to do so, in another country. Perhaps they could observe firsthand the way I did, through military service. This has got to be the result of our failed education system and its extreme liberal bias.—Herman Mueller
— FRC (@FRCdc) November 15, 2018
Standing Firm Amid the Blows of Gender Politics
Dear Daily Signal: God bless Isabella Chow for standing for righteousness, as Rachel del Guidice reports (“Why This California College Student Is Choosing to Stand Up for Her Beliefs on Gender”). If they kick you out of your seat as a senator, Isabella, consider yourself blessed.
You shouldn’t keep casting pearls before swine. They don’t know what to do with them.—Jim Dandi
The left officially has become the largest hate group in U.S. history. There is no debate on this.
The “left” comprises about 25 percent of the population, and all people who do not support their (often radical) views are harassed, intimidated, and excluded.
They have become the very hate groups that they claim to have always disdained. So now we will get to see what it felt like for the Jews in Germany and for blacks in the U.S., as they confronted hate. Progressives are the new Nazis and KKK.—Anthony Alafero
Isabella Chow is very brave. I thank her for taking a stand for Christianity. I am sure it has cost her a great deal. Her courage is inspiring.—Helen Hunt, Columbia, Miss.
I am always puzzled by the decision of Christian young people and their parents to attend liberal indoctrination centers posing as institutions of higher learning.
That their core beliefs and worldview will be viciously attacked is a given constantly, until they agree to surrender them and embrace the degradation of the mob. So many better alternatives for real learning will build up faith in God and equip one for a life of service to him.—Michael Waters
Isabella Chow, you are an inspiration! You hang in there, and I will be praying for you.—Tonya Acre Merrill
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) November 9, 2018
Calling Out the Progressive Agenda
Dear Daily Signal: It is amazing that most leftists cannot explain what socialistic and democratic forms of government are, as Jarrett Stepman’s commentary suggests, nor do they realize the long-term effects of those systems (“Progressives Want to Burn Down Any Institution That Doesn’t Favor Them at the Moment”).
In conjunction with that, leftists do not understand America’s constitutional republican form of government, why it was created, how it works, the protections it offers the entire populace, and how it enhances philanthropy while supporting capitalism.
However, like any organization, it can be corrupted—when those at the higher and highest levels of our government stop working for its citizenry (the foundational mandate of our Constitution), and instead work to support their personal motives. Religion and politics should be kept out of government.
The executive branch leads. The legislative branch creates laws. The judicial branch judges, according to the Constitution. Together they govern of, for, and by the will of the people—not vice versa.—Dan Dean
Jarrett Stepman, you are amazing. Your journalistic viewpoints are always spot on.
The left are idiots. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. They are crybabies and brats who act out every time they don’t get their own way. Why anyone pays any attention to Joy Behar or Whoopi Goldberg at all is beyond my ability to comprehend.—Tonya Acre Merrill
Since this is not your America, lefties, then you are welcome to leave it. I prefer the old days of law and order, which your kind is attempting to change. Don’t like the rules? Please, go find yourselves a better place to be and leave my country alone!—Donald Leegh, Augusta, Ga.
The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws, and its elections.
Now their treason is coming to a head. They are engaged in a struggle for power against the government. That’s not protest. It’s not activism. The old treason of the ’60s has come of age. A civil war has begun.
This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.—Wes Potts
The sign “This is not our America” is unfortunately correct. In that light, I think that they, and all other progressives, should leave. May I suggest Wakanda? Just go to Kenya and walk west. I’m sure you’ll find it.—John Palmer
Just move to a country where illegal immigrants come from, leftists. Or Venezuela is up and running; go there. Leave your citizenship behind. We don’t want you back.—Suzy Jules
What Veterans Say About Effort at Supreme Court to Remove Peace Cross War Memorial
”Will they begin chiseling the crosses and stars of David off gravestones in Arlington next?” Jake Hill, a decorated Marine, asks. #VeteransDay https://t.co/s6tE4Zge6h @DailySignal pic.twitter.com/HW7oRXFzgd
— † Crusader (@Wil_Johnson1) November 13, 2018
Defending the Peace Cross
Dear Daily Signal: Despite the words from residents who’ve joined the suit against the Peace Cross, as Troy Worden reports, the word “offensive” is not listed in the lawsuit at all (“What Veterans Say About Effort at Supreme Court to Remove Peace Cross War Memorial”).
The issue is maintenance and upkeep of a religious symbol on public property using taxpayer dollars in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. This has nothing to do with rewriting history, forgetting the past, or dishonoring veterans.
The American Humanist Association has stated that they are in favor of a memorial to honor vets as long as it doesn’t involve religious imagery. Quoting veterans is disingenuous and particularly ironic when they invoke the First Amendment.
Next time quote lawyers and constitutional scholars, people who are qualified to discuss the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause therein, for that’s the main argument against this memorial.—James Webb
I’d like to point out to the Supreme Court a 1892 case known as Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, which I learned about in the book “The Rebirth of America,” edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and published by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation.
The court decided then that we were emphatically a Christian-based nation. Therefore, removing this 120-year-old cross monument in Bladensburg, Maryland, would be a destruction of our historical values.
The attorneys in defense of that World War I memorial would be wise to review this book, specifically the chapter titled “One Nation Under God.” It is full of quotes by Founding Fathers and others who envisioned a nation not run by religion, but one that held the Christian faith in deep respect.—Dail F. Melton, Braselton, Ga.
Public property is what it says; it belongs to the republic, to everyone. Monuments should not be threatened by the someones who just want to be noticed as crusaders for something they and a few others want to force on the majority.—Henry Vance, Waynesboro, Va.
Look at the courthouse where the Supreme Court makes its decisions. There is a lot of symbolism there for Christianity. We have forgotten why this country was founded as people come here to live, even with different value systems.
We as a culture need to remind children of their gift of living in this county. Please let us protect our culture so that we may maintain our freedoms and worship the Lord thy God.—Barbara A. Drabek, Fort Myers, Fla.
Nothing in our Constitution mentions God or the Bible or Jesus Christ.
There is only one clause in our Constitution that is similar to what is written in the Bible (Article IV, Section 2). Everything else in our Constitution is not at all like anything in the Bible, and some of it directly contradicts what is in the Bible.—Alan Turner
Even though atheists are an increasing percentage of the population, they shouldn’t be allowed to impose their views on the rest of us.
According to a recent World Values Survey, 4.4 percent of Americans self-identified as atheists. So why should this small segment of the population have a right to take away religious symbols, when 70 percent of the population claim to hold to some form of Christianity?—Wes Potts
— ???K.J. Pritchard ? (@KJPritchard4) November 16, 2018
Democrats’ King of Election Recounts
Dear Daily Signal: Having Democratic lawyer Marc Elias anywhere near the vote gathering and counting centers is akin to allowing the fox to live in the hen house (“6 Big Election Hits by Marc Elias, Democrats’ Recount King”).
Where is the Republican lawyer who knows how to fight bare-knuckle style? We must get in the gutter where the Democrats have always stolen elections, to keep Elias and similar slimeballs at bay.—Terry Dwyer
One illegal vote will disenfranchise a single legal vote. Disenfranchise! One of the favorite words of Democrats everywhere.
Here’s my take: Either Democrats are too stupid to know how to vote correctly or they’re too stupid to know how to properly take custody of ballots once they are posted or received. Which is it?
If you’re this stupid, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote. If you take a test and can’t color in the box properly, your answer doesn’t count. Neither should your vote.—David Lisk
It has become perfectly normal since the 1990s that elections are lost and then manipulated so a recount is necessary, so the winner (almost always a conservative) becomes the loser.
This year alone, within a week, election fraud or vote manipulation has been cited in very similar circumstances in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Illinois.
There are other potential cases, but the closeness of those races cannot merit the same scrutiny that these do.—Ken McDonald
Widespread voter fraud is a lie to inspire a fear-and-outrage narrative. How many have taken even one minute to consider what the logistics of pulling it off would be, let alone no one getting caught?
Certainly among individuals caught who’re facing real prison time, many would sing like a bird for a plea deal providing proof and hard evidence.
Any actual research shows it a lie. Even The Heritage Foundation’s own data show it to be a rare occurrence and usually committed through ignorance and the occasional idiots trying manipulate some local seat.—William Robert
One idea to eliminate a lot of these shenanigans is to separate the accounting for the ballots from the counting of the ballots.
After all ballots are received and accounted for, then and only then does the counting begin. Sure, it will delay the process for a few days, but I’d rather wait a couple of days. We’ve already endured a year or more of campaigning, what’s a few more days?
Once all parties agree that all the ballots are in, any recount will only count those ballots, not “found” ones.—Roger Zegers
If you’ve watched, researched, and compared as long as I have, you know the gangsters admitted they’ve always done what needed doing for the Democrat Party. They, and movie stars, mostly donated money to the Dems.
The immoral beat goes on and on. All things are seen and known … and have their consequences. Those in charge of voting need to follow the law, and our government needs to see that they do.—Bonnie McGuire
Fraud, deception, activist judges, political cowardice, and failures of law enforcement. It’s all pretty disgusting and does not bode well for our once-revered republic.—Steve Fowler
— Ed Feulner (@EdFeulner) November 9, 2018
The Origins of Birthright Citizenship
Dear Daily Signal: I would agree with Ed Feulner’s commentary on birthright citizenship that the intent of the authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was clear in their minds and in their debates (“If Trump Ended Birthright Citizenship by Executive Order, He’d Be Enforcing Existing Law”).
Unfortunately, the language they used when they wrote the amendment does not clearly express their intentions. The Supreme Court came to that conclusion in 1898 in the case of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark.
It doesn’t matter what Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan noted in the 19th century. It doesn’t matter what “constitutional scholar” Edward Erler said. There are lots of constitutional scholars, with lots of varying opinions.
It doesn’t matter what Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College opined, and it does not matter what President Trump thinks, or what you or I think. It doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court justices thought in the decisions prior to that of 1898.
What does matter is the last high court decision on birthright citizenship (U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark). This decision set the precedent for determining that anyone, with a few limited exceptions, born on U.S. soil (or soil under the jurisdiction of the U.S.) is a citizen of the United States.
Was the language used in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment misinterpreted by the Supreme Court in its 6-2 decision? Possibly. Certainly the two dissenting justices thought so.
Lots of people—including current justices, former justices, constitutional scholars, and law professors—who believe that many of the court’s decisions were wrong due to “misinterpretation” of the written law.
As I see it, there are but two remedies:
1. Pass another amendment to the Constitution that more clearly defines “birthright citizenship,” and to whom it does and does not apply.
2. Let anyone born on U.S. soil who was denied birthright citizenship file suit in federal court and, if denied in court, file an appeal with the Supreme Court, which can render a decision.—Drew Page
We have to understand what that phrase—”subject to the jurisdiction of”—meant in 1868.—Kate Ratigan
I don’t believe it’s up to Congress to clarify this law. The Supreme Court should be the final say. And if the court determines that the president is right, it’s up to Congress to change it. President Trump is correct in enforcing the laws.—Wayne Mayer
— All American Girl (@AIIAmericanGirI) November 22, 2018
Learning About the First Thanksgiving
Dear Daily Signal: What is missing from your podcast discussion of the Mayflower Compact with historian Robert Tracy McKenzie is that the compact set up a commune in which all would give whatever they raised into communal storage, from which each person had an equal draw on the resources (“Podcast: The Surprising Story of the First Thanksgiving”).
As human nature would dictate, many did not work very hard because it offered no individual reward. Some worked little at all; why work if you are to be given everything you needed?
That caused the colony to fail in spite of help from the Indians. They nearly starved to death. William Bradford then originated a new compact that gave each family a plot of land that they could work on and keep the fruits of their labor.
This was basically a case of capitalism replacing socialism/communism. It stimulated trade within the colony and with the Indians. The colony thrived under the new system and had a major banquet to honor and thank God for delivering prosperity. That was the original Thanksgiving.—Randy Leyendecker, Kerrville, Texas
Early American history is absolutely grand. It’s relatively recent, so in many cases we can understand with some certainty who did what when.
Today I’m grateful to be born in the U.S. and to have attended school before major and negative revisions set in. Your podcast guest, historian Robert Tracy McKenzie, might be surprised that we nonelites were taught generally right along the lines of his interpretations.
Our dinner table was filled with historical discussions about major figures and events in American history: the black, the white, and the gray. Both parents enjoyed history and read endlessly in that context. We were taught not to apply today’s mindless cultural perspectives against yesterday’s occurrences.—Samuel Mazzuchelli
Not to be a stickler for details, but the first Thanksgiving was in 1619 at Berkeley, Virginia. Next year will be the 400th anniversary of that Thanksgiving—Greg Knapp
I’m not falling for this version of the first Thanksgiving for one second. Is Robert Tracy McKenzie such a genius that all of America’s historians for the past couple-plus centuries got it wrong until he came along?
This is utter hogwash and reflects the hubris of those in academia. To me, this version is just one more effort to rewrite American history, but coming from an institution that our side, and The Daily Signal, would trust.
My suspicions were highly raised when Dr. McKenzie enlightened us with his version of why the Pilgrims came.
Could any sensible person with a modicum of wisdom believe that such puddle-deep motivations as those proposed by Dr. McKenzie prompted a band of sober-minded and grounded Christians to embark on such an arduous, perilous journey, putting themselves and their children at risk? A boat full of 16th-century adrenaline junkies, whooping it up to the New World …
This is another attempt at rewriting our magnificent history by some young punk who thinks history began at his birth. I’ll have none of it.—Jane Blacksmith
This and That
Dear Daily Signal: I am a longtime reader. I greatly appreciate the quality journalism, reporting, and commentary that The Daily Signal provides.
However, I am writing to express grave concern regarding your practice of releasing the names of suspects in mass-casualty incidents, such as in the articles “11 Dead in Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting; Gunman Faces Hate Crime Charges” and “Multiple Men Were ‘Ready to Take a Bullet for Any Single One of Us,’ Says Woman Who Survived California Shooting.”
Each time your editors allow these names to be included, they actively make the decision to contribute to the frenzy of media attention that draws other unstable individuals into committing these types of atrocities. While I expect nothing better from the mainstream media, The Daily Signal has demonstrated a commitment to a higher standard, and this practice seems a grave violation of that standard.
Perhaps there is a rationale in this decision that I am overlooking. If so, I’d appreciate an explanation.—Timothy de Laveaga, Philadelphia
Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s policy generally is not to use a photo of the gunman or other perpetrator in such a crime, and to minimize use of his or her name in our coverage. We picked up both of the cited articles from The Daily Caller News Foundation, however, and our agreement with that organization doesn’t allow us to delete such facts.
I hope President Trump will open up the report on the Steele dossier by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. This would clear up a lot of material that seems to be always in question about how it was designed.—Adam Schwartz, Honesdale, Pa.
Why would businessman Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, not give that $1.8 billion to pay down the national debt instead of giving it to Johns Hopkins University? Or give it to the migrants to help them settle in Mexico. Start a fund for medical care. A college will support only the left’s agenda.—Windle White
Sarah Sleem and Troy Worden helped to compile this edition of “We Hear You.”