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Prof. Robert George is a vast improvement on James Carville.
James Carville, Bill Clinton’s political strategist supposedly coined the now infamous: “It’s the economy, stupid.” This admittedly smart strategy, widely attributed to have won Clinton the Presidency, is now being chanted, mantra-like, by the mainstream media and the Washington political elite as they fundamentally misunderstand the brewing anger and frustration amongst everyday Americans.
They think this is all about dollars and cents. They think that it’s all about a $13-trillion debt and trillion-dollar annual deficits far into the future. Washington, in its arrogance, thinks this is all about spending the people’s money.
But that’s a somewhat superficial reading of the people’s discontent. The grassroots grumbling is not just about money. It’s about freedom. The people are justifiably annoyed that their pockets are being picked; however, they know that the loss of their God-given, constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms is as grave a concern.
The past eighteen months have seen a brutal assault on liberty. As government grows, personal freedoms shrink. The private industry buy-offs and bailouts, cap-and-trade, the government takeover of health care. The price tags are bad enough. But what’s truly frightening is how they diminish freedom.
Take religious liberty, the first among equals, so to speak. As Thomas Jefferson once defined it, “a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.”
When it comes to religious liberty, this Administration has vacillated between indifference and contempt — both of which are equally dangerous to this important and fundamental human right. For instance, only a few weeks after Obama moved into the White House, his Administration filed a rescission proposal to undo a Bush-era regulation protecting the conscience rights of health care workers. And the sweeping changes to American health care delivery just signed into law similarly include no real conscience protections.
The Obama Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reversed a previous EEOC ruling, accusing a small Catholic college in North Carolina — Belmont Abbey — of sex discrimination because it doesn’t cover contraceptives in its faculty health insurance plan. By this reasoning, what religious institution — be it hospitals, colleges, nursing homes — will not be forced to choose between upholding the doctrines of its faith and meeting its secular mission?
Some could argue that this is just as much an aversion to all things George W. Bush as it is the stereotypical liberal distaste for all things religious. But the Obama Administration has been equally disdainful of religious liberty activities championed by the Clinton Administration.
President Bill Clinton and his State Department signed the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act into law and aggressively executed its protections. However, President Obama did not nominate an Ambassador to fulfill that role for a year and a half, signaling that senior envoys for HIV/AIDS and Guantanamo took precedence over worldwide promotion of religious freedom.
But the American people are not contemptuous of or indifferent to religious liberty. Perhaps that is why Professor Robert P. George is emerging as a leader in today’s movement for freedom.
As the McCormick Chair of Jurisprudence at Princeton University; founder of the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank; and founder of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, which is being emulated on college campuses from NYU to Williams, Professor George is best known in academic circles as a constitutional and legal scholar.
But George is equally respected amongst policy-makers and commentators, having pursued the practical application of his ideas as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the President’s Council on Bioethics.
Hailed as “this country’s most influential conservative Christian thinker,” George was recently featured in a long profile in the New York Times. He is considered a bridge between academia, policy, and religion. Politicians, including several presidential contenders, seek his scholarly insight and religious leaders seek his political acumen. As Rev. John Myers, Archbishop of Newark, has put it, “Whenever I venture out into the public square, I would almost invariably check it out with Robby first.”
George does not shy away from the culture wars. In fact, he seems to relish confronting the “secularist orthodoxy” of today’s liberals. He sits squarely on the side of the so-called Religious Right, though that would be a far too simplistic characterization of his dogma.
At the center of George’s philosophy is the premise that the principles of morality are not necessarily divined through faithful revelation; they are born of right reason and natural law. In spite of this seeming dissociation with faith — or perhaps because of it — George passionately defends the right of every person to pursue his relationship with his Creator in the way that suits his conscience.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online