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Gary Bauer / Jun. 2, 2016

End of the EU?

Later this month, British voters will go to the polls and cast their ballots on a referendum to stay or exit the European Union (EU). The vote is often referred to as the “Brexit” — short for “British exit.” You may recall that Barack Obama went to England several weeks ago and threatened British voters if they dared to leave the EU. Obama suggested England would be at the back of the line in future trade deals.

Later this month, British voters will go to the polls and cast their ballots on a referendum to stay or exit the European Union (EU). The vote is often referred to as the “Brexit” — short for “British exit.”

You may recall that Barack Obama went to England several weeks ago and threatened British voters if they dared to leave the EU. Obama suggested England would be at the back of the line in future trade deals.

Obama’s threats may have worked, at least initially. Two weeks ago, polls showed a 10-point advantage for those seeking to remain in the EU. But something has changed.

Two new polls conducted for The Guardian, a left-wing newspaper, find British voters favor leaving the EU by a 52%-to-48% margin.

This sudden shift comes after new ads focusing on the lack of border controls. The ads tell voters that if they want to stop the transformation of Britain resulting from massive waves of immigration then they should vote for Brexit.

It is still a very tight race that could change again before the vote. But the polling shows just how potent the immigration issue is throughout the West.

With that in mind, a new analysis of Census Bureau data finds that 3.1 million new immigrants arrived in the United States in the past two years. That’s more than 1.5 million immigrants per year. Of those new arrivals, a third or 1.1 million were illegal immigrants.

As Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies put it:

“The numbers raise profound questions about assimilation and the impact of immigration on the nation’s education system, infrastructure, and labor market, as well as the size and density of the U.S. population. It is difficult to find a public policy that has a more profound impact across American society than the level of immigration. It is certainly appropriate that immigration should be at the center of the current presidential election.”

Human Lives Matter

I hesitate even to comment on this particular issue given the passion of animal rights groups. But I am sure you are well aware of the recent incident at the Cincinnati Zoo. If not, congratulations for avoiding the coverage.

Here’s a brief summary. On Saturday, a three-year-old boy somehow managed to fall into an enclosure in the gorilla exhibit. A gorilla grabbed the child, who was understandably quite scared. Zookeepers made the decision to shoot and kill the animal rather than risk it hurting the little boy who had gotten into the enclosure.

You can call me old fashioned. You can even accuse me of speciesism. (Yes, that’s a real thing apparently.) But while it was certainly a tragic situation for the gorilla, it was not a close call in my view.

Human lives matter. Human beings are more important than animals.

But whatever your instincts tell you, ponder this: Since this incident took place over Memorial Day weekend, this gorilla received more media coverage than the soldiers and heroes whose lives we were supposed to honor over the weekend. And that may be the saddest thing of all.

French For President?

In the last 24 hours, speculation about a possible conservative independent campaign for president has focused on David French, a respected pro-life constitutional lawyer, decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and columnist for National Review.

French is reportedly talking to the kind of people he would need for such an effort, but he has not yet decided whether to run. Obviously, someone who is not a household name is unlikely to draw significant support.

But even if French gets only a couple of percentage points, he could draw them from disgruntled conservatives who might not otherwise bother to vote, which in turn should help conservative candidates down the ballot — especially in critical Senate contests. That is one argument some in the #NeverTrump movement are making to justify the effort.

The more likely scenario, in my opinion, is that French would take votes from the Republican nominee, benefitting the Democratic nominee. This scenario could potentially lead to another situation like the 2000 Florida recount, where a small number of votes determines the result in one or two key swing states. Stay tuned. It is going to be a wild year.

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