Tony Perkins / February 11, 2020

2020 Dems to Pro-Lifers: Get Out!

There are a lot better ways to spend a Friday night than watching Democrats fight over who hates Donald Trump more. And Americans must have agreed, tuning in at about a quarter of the rate they did early on in the debates. But for the seven million viewers who picked the candidates over MacGyver, there were some important (if unsurprising) moments.

There are a lot better ways to spend a Friday night than watching Democrats fight over who hates Donald Trump more. And Americans must have agreed, tuning in at about a quarter of the rate they did early on in the debates. But for the seven million viewers who picked the candidates over MacGyver, there were some important (if unsurprising) moments. New York magazine’s headline writer must not have been on the beat long, noting, “Democrats Finally Get Around to Talking about Abortion.” Funny, I didn’t realize they’d stopped.

If there’s one thing Donald Trump’s competition hasn’t been shy about mentioning, it’s their abortion extremism. Down to the last second of birth (and after), the candidates’ sworn allegiance to the industry hasn’t exactly been a secret until now. Still, Friday night’s event did officially put the Democrats on the map as the most radical yet. From vowing to make Roe v. Wade permanent law to pledging to only nominate pro-abortion judges, the seven people on the stage didn’t even pretend to be moderate where innocent unborn lives are concerned.

Even Pete Buttigieg, who’s desperately trying to convince America he’s a “moderate,” let the mask slip last week — first, when he couldn’t bring himself to oppose infanticide on “The View,” and then Friday when he agreed that judges would have to be pro-abortion to even be considered for the courts. Obviously, his message pro-life Democrats (like Senator Bernie Sanders’s, I-Vt.) is simple: Get out. When Democrats for Life’s Kristen Day asked the former South Bend Mayor if he wanted the backing of the party’s 21 million pro-lifers, he replied that he wasn’t going to earn their support by “tricking” them. “I am pro-choice. And I believe that a woman ought to be able to make that decision.”

Senator Sanders, who’s proven to be Buttigieg’s closest competition in these first few primaries, was much more blunt on Saturday. “Is there such a thing as a pro-life Democrat, in your vision of the party?” MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked him at a presidential forum. “I think being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat,” he insisted.

On social media, the backlash was almost instantaneous. “Pretty rich for a political Independent to tell millions of Democrats we don’t qualify,” Pro-life Democrats for America hit back. Princeton professor Robbie George couldn’t believe it. “Here’s Bernie Sanders officially excommunicating pro-life Democrats, he tweeted "So: if you’re pro-life you are unacceptable, unwanted, an intruder. Time to go elsewhere.”

The other candidates had equally unwelcoming messages for the 29 percent of Democrats who consider themselves pro-life. “We all have the litmus test. Everybody on this row feels exactly the same way about a woman’s right to choose,” businessman Tom Steyer said. When it comes to stacking the courts, Vice President Joe Biden agreed: “A litmus test on abortion relates to the fundamental values of the Constitution.” Coming from Biden, a man who, until last year, agreed that Americans shouldn’t have to pay for abortion, any reasonable pretense on the issue is as good as gone.

For the rest of the field, there was never much doubt how far outside the mainstream the candidates were. As CNS News points out, “Of the five sitting lawmakers still in the 2020 Democratic presidential race — Sanders, Warren, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) — all earned 100 percent scores from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2018.”

Unfortunately for Democrats, not a whole lot of voters agree with them. Only eight percent of Americans support the Democrats’ late-term abortion platform, according to the Harvard Center. And the voters on their birth day abortion wagon are even more dismal: six percent. There’s a consensus all right — but it’s not for abortion.

The numbers from Marist are even more frightening from the DNC’s perspective. Their 2019 poll found that 75 percent of Americans favor substantial restrictions on abortion, including 60 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of those who identify as “pro-choice.” Women, who’ve been exploited by the Democratic Party for years, feel even more strongly — a reality even Democratic pollsters admit. So when Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says that “If there’s ever a time in American history where the men of this country must stand with women,” he’s right. But, like the rest of his movement, he’s dead wrong on what that stand should be.

Originally published here.

Fifth Third Time’s a Charm on Choice

700 kids. That’s how many students would have lost their scholarships — and a chance at a better life — if Fifth Third Bank hadn’t come to its senses. Instead, after a week of uncertainty, the company sat down with Florida parents and pastors and decided not to listen to Florida’s cultural bullies. It’s one thing for a company to support LGBT extremism. It’s quite another, the bank agreed, to hurt needy children in the process.

Most kids had already left school for the weekend when they got the good news: one of the biggest contributors to the Florida voucher program wasn’t dropping out after all. Fifth Third Bank — who’d joined Wells Fargo in abandoning the scholarships — had gotten an earful from the local community. And, after a few days of protests, rallies, and non-stop phone calls, the business finally relented: its $5.4 million investment in school choice for the state would go on — regardless of what the Orlando Sentinel and a handful of liberal lawmakers think.

It was a major reversal for the bank, who threw the program into complete chaos earlier in the month — all because parents had the option of using those scholarships for religious schools, who (not surprisingly) have religious beliefs. Democratic Reps. Anna K. Eskamani (D) and Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) apparently object to that and have been harassing corporate donors to drop their contributions over those schools’ biblical views on marriage and sexuality. Local parents, pastors, and politicians were furious — including a good number of their Democratic colleagues. Members like Reps. James Bush III (D) and Rep. Al Jasquet (D) couldn’t believe their party would actually use children as pawns to appease the LGBT Left. “We have children that need these opportunities,” Bush said. When there’s a chance for parents to have a choice that will help their kids, “we should afford them that opportunity.”

So when Fifth Third’s leaders finally listened to reason and reinstated their donations, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who’s been an outspoken champion of the program, was thrilled. “I am glad to see Fifth Third Bank putting students and their families above destructive identity politics," he said. "It shows people can raise their voice and overcome the insane ‘woke’ agenda that drives our politics and culture. School vouchers provide opportunities for low income and special needs students, and I am proud of all the Floridians that stood up for these children.” Other leaders from both parties, including Governor Ron DeSantis (R), also praised the company for seeing the bigger picture.

As principals like Lakisha Robinson know better than anyone, this option is sometimes the only option for parents. Her Victory Christian Academy is right smack-dab in the inner-city of Orlando, an “oasis in the desert,” as she calls it. “We’re almost all minori[ties],” Lakisha explains. “We have mostly African-Americans… in an area that’s mostly impoverished.” When parents have the choice between a failing school or a private one, “it’s a whole other ballgame.”

But Victory, like other schools in the program, is “unapologetically Christian,” so having bullies at the door is nothing new. “We catch a lot of different heat in this area," explained on "Washington Watch." But the reality is, Lakisha explains, no child is forced to go to their school — parents choose it. And they do so, she points out, even when they aren’t Christians themselves because "they love the positive environment of the academy” and its proven success.

Sure, she agrees, they could get more money being a charter school (which is what a lot of liberals have tried to push Victory toward), but that would mean surrendering their values. “They [wouldn’t] allow us to use our Christian curriculum or… allow us to keep Christian in our name. And we want it to be Victory Christian Academy, not Victory Academy.” The state’s voucher program is one thing that helped her school keep its identity and offer a high-class education. “It means more to us to stand firm on God’s principles.” These needy neighborhoods, she insists “need the Word of God more than anything.”

And the results speak for themselves. In these past 18 years, students are graduating and getting into good universities. “These are first generation college students,” she says. Their lives — and the lives of their families — will be forever impacted because of this program. If Fifth Third Bank can see that, surely Wells Fargo can too. Join us in calling on their leadership to put aside their petty agenda and support Florida’s children. Contact them by phone or email here. Schools like Lakisha’s depend on it!

Originally published here.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Run over 'Em!

Registering people to vote isn’t for the faint of heart, as a group of Florida Republicans discovered. Six Trump volunteers were just going about their business when a 27-year-old plowed his van through their tent — nearly running people over and slamming through their tent. “It happened so quickly," one woman shook her head. "I just barely got out of the way.”

The driver, Gregory Timm, even took out his cell phone to video the wreckage, flipped people off, and drove away. Florida police say the man was ultimately arrested on counts of aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and driving without a license. Although authorities refused to say if the attack was “politically motivated,” the optics are hard to ignore.

Along with state officials and members of the Republican Party, the president condemned the violence, warning the Left to be careful “who [they] play with!” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted that the GOP “will not be silenced by cowards, and these disgusting acts will only make us work harder to win November.” Florida Senators Marco Rubio ® and Rick Scott (R) were grateful no one was seriously injured but promised that Trump supporters “will not be intimidated.”

The attack, which adds to the Left’s already impressive “rap sheet" of more than 600 incidents of violence and harassment against conservatives, is nothing new for the president’s supporters. The hostility is becoming more common — but for most Americans, it’s no less shocking. We’ve heard Democrats say publicly: "Get up in congresspeople’s faces,” reject civility, “when they go low, kick them.” Liberals from Eric Holder to Hillary Clinton have given their permission to get physical. “Don’t be surprised,” Tucker Carlson has said, “when the mob obeys.”

Trump supporters have dodged bricks, eggs, punches. They’ve come home to fake blood spray-painted on their house (from university professors!), been heckled, hounded out of restaurants, even run off the road. Now, vans are driving into crowds of innocent people. “The hate,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry agreed over the weekend, “is toxic and dangerous.”

As far as the president’s opponents are concerned, the ends justify the dangerous means. It’s clear from the violence we’ve seen — from the mobs, the shooting of members of Congress, and the harassment of administration officials and others in public life — that the rancor is going to increase. As Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings proved, some liberals are willing to go to great lengths to destroy the lives of those who disagree with them.

As we’ve said from the beginning, there’s absolutely no room for violence in a civil society — on either side. And conservatives should never, ever respond in kind. But just as importantly, we cannot surrender our voice or our vote in the face of this intimidation. The world will see the true colors of the “tolerant” crowd. But let them also see our resolve to stand for truth in a culture of conflict with love. Remember, as followers of Jesus, we don’t speak the truth to win a debate or even win favor — we speak the truth to win the freedom of those who will hear and respond it! But in this increasingly hostile culture, people need to hear truth. Be bold, be courageous!

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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