Category Archives: Our Contributors

Obamacare Architect Exposes Progressive Totalitarianism

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Jonathan Gruber-MSNBC

Jonathan Gruber-MSNBC

Professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT, who designed the Affordable Care Act, used to be the symbol of the Democrats’ technocratic bona fides, and an example of how big government with its “scientific” experts can solve social and economic problems from health care to a warming planet. Yet a recently publicized video of remarks he made at a panel in 2013, along with 2 other videos in the same vein, has now made him the poster child of the elitist progressives’ contempt for the American people, and their sacrifice of prudence and reason to raw political power.

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Obama Midwifes a Nuclear Iran

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Khamenei and Obama via Breitbart.com

Khamenei and Obama via Breitbart.com

The news that President Obama has sent a secret letter to Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei––apparently promising concessions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for help in defeating ISIS–– is a depressing reminder of how after nearly 40 years our leaders have not understood the Iranian Revolution. During the hostage crisis of 1979, Jimmy Carter sent left-wing former Attorney General Ramsay Clark to Tehran with a letter anxiously assuring the Ayatollah Khomeini that America desired good relations “based upon equality, mutual respect and friendship.” Khomeini refused even to meet with the envoys.

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Book Review: Crucified Again; Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians by Raymond Ibrahim

by Terry Scambray // New Oxford Review 

download (17)                                                 Islam: Victors Vanquishing Victims

                             Crucified Again; Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians by Raymond Ibrahim.  Regnery, 2013.  247 pp.

Throughout  the Muslim world from Morocco to Nigeria to Indonesia – and even occasionally in Western Europe and North America, Christians are being harassed, tortured and murdered.  As reported by Reuters in January, 2012, some 100 million Christians were then being persecuted while a few years earlier the British Secret Service, M-16, put the number closer to 200 million.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion worldwide.” (A statement that elicited condemnation from many world leaders.) The Organization for Security and Cooperation on Europe estimates that a Christian is killed for his faith every five minutes.

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Election Day: What’s at Stake

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

The election and reelection of Barack Obama have seemingly realized the progressive dream of transforming America from its traditional Constitutional order to one more similar to Europe’s––an activist rather than a limited federal government, one whose power and reach extend into the market economy, trump state sovereignty, and subject individuals to the ideological preferences and aims of the federal Leviathan and its managers. What is at stake today is the continuing dominance of these statist ideas.

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Janet Yellen Shills for the Democrats

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

At a conference last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen recycled a shopworn Democrat talking point about the supposed crisis of income inequality and stalled economic mobility. “The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concerns me,” Yellen said, going on to wonder “whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history,” especially “equality of opportunity.”

Like the mythic “war on women,” this progressive sound bite is misleading and duplicitous, based on statistical sleight of hand. Worse yet, it is a pretext for more and more government expansion and intrusion into the economy, and for more and more redistribution of income through entitlement programs. It makes one wonder what one of the most powerful government officials impacting the economy, supposedly a politically neutral technocrat, is doing recycling Democratic campaign slogans.

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The Politics of Victimhood

Image credit: Squiddles

Image credit: Squiddles

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas 

Gabby Giffords, the former Democratic Congressman from Arizona who was shot in the head at a campaign rally in 2010, has come under fire recently for exploiting her horrific experience for political gain. Using her celebrity as a famous victim of gun violence, Giffords has created a Super PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, focused on gun control legislation. Her group has produced political ads for Democratic candidates that feature other victims of gun violence, and that suggest the candidate’s opponent supports policies that contribute to such violence.

Even supporters of Giffords’ own party are uncomfortable with this electoral tactic. At Politico, Alex Isenstadt wrote recently that Giffords “has unleashed some of the nastiest ads of the campaign season, going after GOP candidates in Arizona and New Hampshire with attacks even some longtime supporters say go too far. And Republicans on the receiving end are largely helpless to hit back, knowing a fight with the much-admired survivor is not one they’re likely to win.”

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The President We Deserve?

Will Americans choose a difference course for the country this election season?

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

In 1920 H.L Mencken wrote prophetically, “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

Like the long tradition of antidemocrats from Plato to Founding Father Fisher Ames, Mencken believed that a democratic leader would reflect the self-interested aims and passions of the necessarily mediocre mass of voters. The disaster of Barack Obama’s administration invites reflection on the truth of this proposition.

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Still Getting Jihadism Wrong

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

President Obama’s recent claim that Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam was nothing new. Since 9/11, we have heard from both ends of the political spectrum that jihadist terror has material causes and psychological conditions created by social, political, or economic dysfunctions. This argument is an old one, and was common in the aftermath of 9/11. Typical of such thinking was Bill Clinton’s claim that “these forces of reaction [al Qaeda] feed on disillusionment, poverty, and despair.” Left unexplained is the fact that billions of other people around the world even more impoverished and hopeless have not created a multi-continental network of groups dedicated to inflicting brutal violence and mayhem on those who do not share their faith or who block their visions of global domination.

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Reasons for Political Hope

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Many Republicans are excited about the midterm elections. They see a good chance of taking over the Senate, which means they can neutralize Obama’s last few years in office. Many also are hopeful about the presidential election in 2016, though Hillary Clinton will enter that race with decided advantages. Regaining the presidency, some believe, will lead to a reprise of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, in which the country was turned from its leftward drift under Jimmy Carter.

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The Incredible Lightness of Being Barack Obama

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Barack Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly was so insubstantial, so full of airy platitudes, and so adulterated with the gaseous clichés of bankrupt internationalism and progressive bromides that I thought at any minute he might just float away.

First was the obligatory call “to renew the purpose of the U.N.’s founding,” which apparently is “to observe and enforce international norms,” the most important being “to ensure that no nation can subjugate its neighbors and claim their territory” and to promote “the path of diplomacy and peace and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold.” Such phrases are so common and uncritically received that we forget “international norms” do not exist. Different peoples have different “norms” about, for example, the use of violence to achieve their aims. Nations will sign treaties that seemingly express our norms, but that doesn’t mean they believe in them. More often, such treaties are mere mechanisms for one nation to get what it wants from another. The sorry history of U.S. arms-control treaties with the Soviet Union and then Russia, treaties the Russians violated for decades to improve their nuclear arsenal at our expense, is just one example.

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