UN Bears the Blunt of Trump
It’s been called everything from a “well-cooked pudding” to a “shotgun marriage.” But there’s one word no one is using for Donald Trump’s UN speech — and that’s “timid.” After eight years of diplomatic pleasantries, Americans finally exchanged their apologist in chief for a frank and fearless leader. Jaded by two terms of nuance and ambiguity on the global stage, voters wanted a president who wouldn’t mince words. And Tuesday, Donald Trump did not disappoint.
“For Americans,” Ambassador John Bolton explained, “plain speaking is still a virtue. And there was a lot of plain speaking in that speech.” For once, voters have a president who doesn’t use the global stage as an excuse to bludgeon his own country. They have a man proud enough to fight for America’s best interest. To the relief of most voters, the days of weak-kneed posturing are over. “Thank God,” Rev. Franklin Graham cheered, “we have a president who is not afraid to speak truth to the whole world.” Or to embrace the values that made America great. Trump said:
Strong, sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God… In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people, where it belongs. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else.
In soundbite after refreshing soundbite, President Trump made it clear that his biggest goal is protecting America — not propping up a global body that’s failed to affect change in this volatile new world.
The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all. Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism… If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.
Then, in his most quotable line of the speech, Trump fired his own shot across the bow at Kim Jong-un:
The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.
If that offends the Left’s sensibilities, let it. As The Wall Street Journal argues, “Traditional diplomacy isn’t getting through to Mr. Kim and his entourage, or their patrons in Beijing. After years of Barack Obama’s niceties that ducked the problem, maybe the world needs to be told some unpleasant truths about an evil regime with a weapon of mass murder and the means to deliver it.”
In a major departure from the last administration, Trump not only used the words “Islamic terrorism,” he threatened to destroy it. “We cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world…. We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.”
In a slap at the foreign policy of the Obama administration, he called the Iranian nuclear deal “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” It was, he insisted, “an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.” But, he went on, the crisis created by terrorists — the genocide of religious minorities — doesn’t mean that Americans should have to bend their rules or sacrifice their safety to respond benevolently.
The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort. We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people, and which enables their eventual return to their home countries, to be part of the rebuilding process. For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region. Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region, and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible. This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach.
Finally, in a swipe at the UN, Trump vented about the lack of return for America’s hefty investment in the body. “The U.S. is just one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.” We want — and deserve — a “much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world.”
And that includes, as his administration has openly advocated, a return to the defense of international religious liberty. Our State Department must lead the way by returning priority to the human right of religious freedom. Only then can America be the voice for the voiceless that the world expects and deserves. In the words of the president, we look forward to a new chapter with our global neighbors, where “We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all.”
Originally published here.
The Trans Agenda in Schools: It’s Elementary
Do parents even have a role in their children’s education these days? That was the question posed to one school board in Rocklin, California, where administrators have intentionally kept moms and dads in the dark while they push transgenderism on kids as young as five. Angry parents lined up to complain about the indoctrination, which started when the school demanded that students call a young boy a girl — and continued when another teacher read a book about gender-confusion to her kindergarten class.
Hundreds of families, community leaders, and pastors turned out to protest Rocklin’s handling of the situation, which left dozens of young children confused and scared. And why shouldn’t it? The American College of Pediatricians calls this kind of transgender propaganda “child abuse.” But despite the outcry, Rocklin’s board went ahead with a ridiculous policy that gives teachers more authority than the students’ own parents. With unanimous approval, the board will now let “teachers decide if an issue is controversial.” Teachers will also decide — not when, but if — parents are notified about controversial lessons on gender. And, in the most outrageous development of all, the district has decided that it will not allow families to opt their kids out.
Forty families have pulled their children from the district — and I don’t blame them! It shows a stunning amount of arrogance on the part of the academic elite to suggest that teachers know better than parents. That’s in direct contradiction to the biblical instruction to mothers and fathers to train up their children in the way they should go. Parents are the first line of defense for their kids, especially as education becomes an even deeper liberal abyss. Now, districts like Rocklin are robbing moms and dads of their authority on an issue that shouldn’t be a classroom discussion in the first place — let alone an elementary school one.
San Antonio families can sympathize. Monday night, local families streamed into the city’s school board meeting to object to a gender-free policy that would let boys into girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. As usual, members approved the rules without ever consulting parents! And the backlash has been severe. More than 1,300 San Antonio residents have signed their names to a petition in opposition to the guidance, our friends at Texas Values explain.
“The community here in San Antonio needs to understand that we’re here tonight for every student — not just one particular kind of student,” said Elizabeth Gonzales. “If we’re truly wanting to be united, we must be fair and just to every student. And to be fair, we must make sure parents and students are being given ample opportunity to come to the table and be heard. I believe in doing that, there will be change.” Until then, she (and countless other parents around the country) aren’t so optimistic.
In schools, discussions aren’t allowed. And in an environment that already stigmatizes any form of religious expression, it’s not difficult to see where this kind of ideological oppression leads. What’s more, teachers are increasingly sending students the subtle message that parents don’t know what they’re talking about. That’s a dangerous seed to plant — and one that only grows as teenagers transition from public schools to public universities.
Too many parents have abdicated their leadership role in their kids’ education. And if moms and dads don’t take it back now, there won’t be much hope left.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.