Amy Reigns Supreme
After years of dreaming about this moment, she couldn't have known that her time would come at such a pivotal moment.
Americans have learned a lot about Amy Coney Barrett in four weeks. They know about the family’s chinchilla, which parent does the laundry, and whether the Notre Dame alum hates warm puppies (she doesn’t). But they’ve also come to know more important things: she loves her country, its Constitution, and she’ll stand on her faith no matter how many Democrats try to shame her for it. In the end, that’s what Americans will remember. And in this next chapter of the Supreme Court, that’s what they’ll respect.
With Chief Justice Roberts, the mother of seven raised her hand, with another on the Bible, and took the judicial oath of office. After years of dreaming about this moment, she couldn’t have known that her time would come at such a pivotal moment: her country in one of its darkest years, a hurting people on the verge of a bitter election. But maybe Barrett’s confirmation — a symbol of young, honest, humble hope — is what our nation needs: a woman at one of the highest pinnacles of government who’s still inspired by the good of America.
“I love the Constitution,” Barrett said again, at her White House swearing in, “and the democratic republic it establishes. And I will devote myself to preserving it.” Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), like a lot of conservatives, watched the president’s nominee hold her own through the process with pride. “Marsha Blackburn and I have had the most wonderful conversations about how great it is that President Trump made this nomination — a strong woman of faith, a mom, [who is] obviously extremely successful and bright in her career. It really does give women something to aspire to.” Maybe now, she said, conservative women will start to realize that they “don’t have to march in lockstep with what the liberals believe in idea of a woman should be. And I think it’s important for us to recognize that we can be conservative, and we can be strong, and we can set that example for others.”
But unfortunately, while the American people have warmed up to the newest justice, the same can’t be said of Senate Democrats. In a pathetic display, they marched, one by one, to podiums or Twitter accounts and bashed the confirmation. On the floor of the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) even dared to call it “one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.” Why? Because his chamber confirmed an accomplished woman who wants to uphold the law? What a sad commentary on the state of the Democratic Party.
This is a justice whose first speech after her swearing in was to say that she understood her place. “The confirmation process has made ever clear to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate,” Barrett insisted. “It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences… It is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences. Federal judges don’t face election. Thus, they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.” Those sentiments aren’t just a win for Republicans — they’re a win for every American who cares about the Constitution. But then, maybe that’s the problem. Democrats don’t. They’re terrified of the rule of law because it stands in the way of every radical thing they want to accomplish.
So instead of celebrating the confirmation, they warned of “consequences,” like Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), or uttered profanity like Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). Or you say outrageous things, like Senator Schumer, who apparently didn’t sense the irony when he thundered that “generations yet unborn will suffer the consequences of this nomination.” He’s right about one thing. Generations will be affected, to be sure — but under a justice who reads no right to abortion in the shadows of the Constitution, they will not suffer.
Piling on the Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) even threatened to upend the lower courts. “Hundreds” of judges, he warned, shouldn’t “be allowed to sit peaceably without our re-examining the process, the results, and the consequences.” The bottom line, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) fired back, is “they want to rig American democracy. Overturn the results of the last two elections. That’s their agenda. [Joe Biden], of course, [is] going to give into it. He doesn’t have the guts to say it.” Of course, David Harsanyi points out:
“When you’re under the impression that the system exists solely to facilitate your partisan agenda, something will seem ‘broken’ every time you lose. When Barack Obama was unable to pass his agenda after 2010, the system suffered from ‘dysfunction.’ … But now that Democrats are in the Senate minority, employing the very same tools to slow the president, we must ‘fix’ the Electoral College, the Senate, and, most recently, the Supreme Court.‘”
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, regardless of what the Left does or says, Barrett’s confirmation should have been a happy night for our country. But it’s also a clear reminder of what’s at stake in seven days: a republic and a Constitution, if we can keep them.
Originally published here.
Your Vote: A Step into the Arena
William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, once said, “Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them. And as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined also. Therefore governments depend upon men rather than men upon governments.” Hundreds of years later, Penn’s insight has proven true. Just look at the condition of our country — America’s debt, its broken families, the unborn casualties, our sexual confusion, and radical views of biology and morality. Penn was right: we get out of government what we put into it. And lately, that’s nothing to be proud of.
As we approach the opportunity that we have every four years to select our leaders, we’re hearing again from some evangelical leaders — some of them Never Trumpers — who continue to raise the issue of character and insist that it matters more than any good Donald Trump has done. In their opinion, it’s better for Christians to sit this election out than cast a ballot for a man they consider morally compromised.
Let me first say that I agree with them: character does matter. In fact, I don’t know a Christian who hasn’t struggled with this question at some point in the last five years. Our friend, Dr. Albert Mohler, wrote an extremely thoughtful piece this week explaining that he, too, wrestled with this — and didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016 because of it. Now, after watching the president these last four years, he’s come to the conclusion that Trump’s character is a much more complicated issue. While his past failings and Twitter account are difficult to swallow, the president’s actual policy has been principled and practical.
“We are tempted to separate [them],” he writes, but in many “policy is character.” In a world where actual human lives are on the line, Mohler argues, “I cannot accept the argument that a calm man who affirms the dismembering of babies in the womb has a superior character to a man who rants like Genghis Khan but acts to preserve that life. In my ideal world, I would vote for a candidate in whom the personal, the principled, and the practical earn my admiration. I do not live in that world. I live in this world, and I must act accordingly.”
As someone who’s been a part of the conservative movement for 25 years, I do wonder how many of these leaders who are talking about the character of political candidates have actually worked to see men and women of Christian faith elected? Have they given money to their campaigns? Have they lent their influence to help them? Have they used their platforms to give exposure to Christian men and women who’ve been called to public office? Or are they selectively interjecting now — only using their voice when it’s convenient?
My experience as a candidate and elected official is that very few Christians have been willing to step into the arena where the clash of worldviews takes place. It’s much safer to be a commentator of the sidelines. The result of those Christian figures “playing it safe” as spectators, rather than participants in our republic, often means that the options we have in candidates are less than ideal — in many cases, falling well below the biblical criteria of what we should be looking for in our leaders.
So what are Christian voters supposed to do? Let someone else decide who our president is because we don’t like the choices before us? Absolutely not. We should do what the majority of evangelicals did four years ago. They considered the two choices they had — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — and, realizing both had moral failings, they looked at the candidates’ priorities, policies, and personnel. In those areas, it was no contest.
Based on what Donald Trump has done in these last four years, I do not regret my decision to support him. As Dr. Mohler pointed out, “Donald Trump has been the most effective and consequential pro-life president of the modern age… [I]n both executive actions and court appointments, President Trump has gone far beyond what would have been politically necessary to secure his base.” Do we agree with everything he says and does? No. But I also realize that a lot of the conflict and division that we see is the result of him and his administration standing up to the forces who would lead this nation down a devastating, reckless, and godless path.
Also, because of the relationship that evangelicals have established with the president, we’ve been able to communicate our concerns on things like Trump’s occasional language and vulgarity. At the end of the day, however, I have a whole lot more to agree on with this president than to disagree.
As William Penn also said, the character of our government will reflect the characters we put in it. In other words, personnel is policy. When Americans elected Donald Trump four years ago, they weren’t just casting a vote for him, but for thousands of people at every level of government. One of Trump’s cabinet secretaries, a personal friend, once quipped that President Trump may not be a Sunday School teacher, but he sure knows how to hire them. And it’s all of those Sunday school teachers throughout the administration, who’ve been determined to carry out Trump’s promises to advance the sanctity of human life, to restore religious freedom, and rein in the run-away activist courts.
There have been other Republican presidents who were really good men, like Ronald Reagan, who apparently didn’t know how to hire those Sunday School teachers — and, as a result, very few of his promised moral reforms actually happened. From the sanctity of human life, to the restoration of religious freedom, to the placement of men and women of constitutional conviction on the courts, there has not been a better president in my lifetime than Donald Trump.
A vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Dr. Wayne Grudem warned on “Washington Watch.” “You may think you’re doing something morally pure, but you’re doing something that is morally questionable, because you’re helping the really corrupt and evil policies of the Democrats to take control of the nation. And that’s a threat to [all of us].”
DISCLAIMER: Tony Perkins has made an endorsement in his individual and personal capacity only, and it should not be construed or interpreted in any way as the endorsement of FRC, FRC Action, or any affiliated entity.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.