Eight Things To Love (or Not Love) About 2016

Photo credit: Peter Stevens via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The 2016 presidential race is now in full swing, and so much has been going on. Candidates have been putting their feet in their mouths and moderators have been starting fights while the rest of the us try to deal with issues of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here are eight things to love and strongly dislike this election season:

Love: The Catholic Bishops

The bishops have recently come out with a statement saying that Catholics who support abortion and euthanasia are in formal cooperation with evil. Formal cooperation means you are directly involved in the evil act even if you are not partaking in it. What does this mean for the Catholic vote? Catholics who wish to remain in good standing with the Church cannot vote for pro-choice candidates. I applaud the bishops for proclaiming their beliefs in a time when it is not popular to be Christian or pro-life.  While many politicians will do anything for power, the USCCB reminds us that policies never trump principles.

Don’t Love: Moderators

The moderators this year have been an absolute mess. Almost every question has been a total joke. They’re so bad that the candidates won’t even answer them (shout out to you, Governor Kasich). I will have to give them some props, however. During the CNBC debates, the GOP candidates became a glorious, conservative team fighting in the name of a fair and quality debate. On top of that, terrible moderation makes for very entertaining television. Continue Reading

Sorry Trump, Muslims Have a Right to Religious Liberty, Too

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Religious freedom is a core American value, one of those things that really do make us different. We invented it. We practiced it from the beginning. And I am not going to let it go without a fight.

Watching President Obama blame the American people for having security concerns over Syrian refugees is disgusting. But watching Donald Trump refuse to rule out serious violations of Americans’ fundamental constitutional rights is equally so.

Yes, the mainstream media are trolling for gotchas. And yes, I understand that Trump’s core supporters just want a big strong alpha male who will thump their enemies. But respect for our core constitutional values is a precious and fragile inheritance. Most of the rest of the world doesn’t have our deep American faith that our rights come from God, not government, and that core among these is the right to seek God and serve Him freely.

Yahoo News asked Trump whether he would do warrantless searches of American Muslims, or issue some kind of special Muslim ID badge, the way the Nazis required Jews to wear special identification. Donald Trump refused to rule out sending the secret police after people based on their religion. You can’t get more un-American than that: “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy.

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Trump: The Out-of-Touch Outsider

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Outsiders often respond to the critique that they are inexperienced by countering that the silver lining is their freedom from the problems of Washington.  “Sure, I’ve never been elected, but that’s why the people want me – I’m like them, I know what they’re like and what they want.”  That response falls apart for GOP front runner Donald Trump, who manages to display both flaws in a “yuge” way:

  • The “Deportation Force” – This could demonstrate his lack of understanding of the nation’s current military/ police capabilities.  It could demonstrate that he’s unaware of how sensitive the issue of policing is.  It could demonstrate that he looks to speak or take action before considering a budget – a point further proven by the bankruptcies of his companies.  Rather than suggest greater empowerment of the Border Patrol, the GOP candidate suggests expanding the federal government to forcibly remove people from their homes.
  • The Starbucks Red Cup “Outrage” – The only name I’ve read who seriously thinks this is a “controversy” is Josh Feuerstein, but, otherwise, it seems the majority of Christians don’t care.  However, according to the GOP front runner, Starbucks has for the first time removed the words “Merry Christmas” from its seasonal red cups, even though the depths of a Google search reveal that the Starbucks cups have simply had wintry decorations, such as snow foxes, snowflakes, and ice skaters, rather than anything remotely Christian, for at least the past five years.  In fact, the first red cup had a drawing of a “jazzy Santa,” which is not the most accurate depiction of St.
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What Do the Paris Attacks Mean for the 2016 Election? (VIDEO)

*Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris.*

Frank Cannon is president of the American Principles Project and a respected conservative political strategist with over 30 years of experience.

What I think is much more important is the events in France over the last week.  I think it is a boon for two particular candidates: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.  I think the idea that business as usual and particularly adhering to a sense of how you are supposed to operate — this political correctness — is really, really at its weakest point ever.  And so I think that Donald Trump’s candidacy is strengthened by that, against all conventional wisdom, and I think that Ted Cruz’s candidacy is also strengthened — ironically, both of them appealing to similar voters.  And I think you see a resurgence a little bit of Trump in states like New Hampshire.  And the thing that’s surprising to me is that a state like New Hampshire is more for Ted Cruz than it is for Marco Rubio given Marco’s great debate performances.  So I think that what you have is a confluence of events that I think, on balance, strengthens Cruz the most, but also keeps Donald Trump in the game much longer.


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