Tony Perkins / Jan. 20, 2021

For Trump, a Personnel Best

The conservative movement will be in a much better position because of the determination of men and women at every level of government.

When frustrated people decided to take things into their own hands January 6th, a lot of Americans got hurt. There were the actual victims — the men and women who lost their lives and others who were injured. But because of the Left’s double standard there were also good and decent Americans who will have to live with the fallout of what happened, even if they had nothing to do with it and even condemned the lawlessness. Some were there — like the peaceful protestors who desperately wanted to be counted. Others weren’t, but they were just as concerned about the future of elections after what happened in November. But the group that will suffer most are the people who deserve it least: the hard-working men and women of the Trump administration, who spent four, long years trying to set our nation right again.

When Marine One carries Donald Trump away from the White House for the last time, Americans won’t just be losing a president. They’ll be losing an army of tireless pro-lifers, freedom fighters, and deeply committed patriots too. Those are the men and women who, when the president was out front exchanging blows with the Left, kept their heads down — working as hard as humanly possible to make his conservative agenda a reality. They’re the ones who, despite the firestorm around them these last two weeks, pressed on — no matter how much mud the media slung their way.

In these last handful of days, while others might have been tempted to clean out their offices, these unsung heroes have worked until the final whistle — issuing rules, proclamations, and other policy changes that will make it harder for Joe Biden to undo what they’ve accomplished. Not surprisingly, the media isn’t interested in covering that story since it might interfere with the narrative that everyone who worked for this president is a bloodthirsty, racist insurrectionist. The truth is quite different. When all is said and done Wednesday, the conservative movement will be in a much better position because of the determination of men and women at every level of government. And we owe our friends a great debt of gratitude for it.

While the rest of the world is distracted with a flagrant display of the lawlessness at the Capitol, the rank and file of the Trump administration refused to let that stop them. With the president’s blessing, they’ve issued a preemptive proclamation on the National Sanctity of Human Life Day (which happens to fall on Joe Biden’s watch this Sunday) and School Choice Week. They’ve also taken the opportunity to tell any incoming extremists that if they think they can waltz in and abolish girls’ sports on some misguided legal authority, they’re wrong. And the Department of Education made sure to leave them a 13-page memo explaining why.

At the Department of Labor, Secretary Eugene Scalia used these last few days to publish a final rule on religious freedom, making it harder for the new administration to sever ties and contracts with faith-based groups. Our friends at HHS followed suit, making sure to leave one rule looming over Biden’s new agency. Under the Office of Civil Rights, Roger Severino’s team made it clear that a) hospitals and other federally-funded health centers have an obligation to help infants who survive an abortion; and b) that no one rations care or discriminates because of a patient’s disability. “This rule will promote the fundamental American principle that all lives are created with equal worth and dignity, no matter the circumstances…” Roger insisted.

Even the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) got in on the act, firing a warning shot to banks, savings associations, and other financial institutions eager to cancel accounts based on a customer’s political ideology or industry. If banks want to sever ties with certain companies or people, they need to justify those decisions “quantitatively and objectively,” OCC insists. “This is just a nondiscrimination principle. If you’re not going to serve somebody for a service that you have chosen to offer to others…then you have to do the homework and show why this person is risky.”

Interestingly, OCC’s move was in the works long before January 6, when Democrats started demanding that companies stop doing business with Republicans. The initial reason for the rule was because too many financial groups were blacklisting the oil industry. But now, with liberals demanding that banks crackdown on Trump officials and other conservatives, this new “fair access” policy might have arrived just in time.

Over at Homeland Security, even Chad Wolf’s decision to step down was done out of a desire to protect the agency’s accomplishments. After days of speculation about the reasons for Wolf’s resignation, he stopped by “Washington Watch” to set the record straight. He explained that over the last several months, his department has been tied up in litigation over whether his title as “Acting Secretary” (and his predecessor’s) gave him the authority to make certain decisions. After a handful of negative rulings, Wolf decided, “There was no longer a legal means to resolve these cases. So anything that I did going forward, even over the last eight to 10 days of the administration, would be litigated, would be challenged. And we were continuing to lose these cases, so I wanted to make sure that the consequential work that the department had done over the last four years was in good hands… I didn’t want to put the department at risk.”

It was a selfless act — something that’s come to define, not just DHS, but so many of the Trump administration’s leaders. So while the media and far-Left drone on about how ashamed Americans should be for supporting this president, I refuse to be. This administration wasn’t just about one man — it was about thousands of people living out their conviction for us. They leave these four years exhausted, but they should also leave them proud. Because regardless of how the chapter ended, the story of what they achieved matters.

Originally published here.

Couric to Conservatives: Get with Deprogram

Reeducation camps. Deprogramming. Where have we heard those before? Oh, right. Communist China — and now, apparently, Katie Couric. The far-Left darling of the mainstream media may be retired, but she doesn’t mind joining the liberal press in its call for punishing members of Congress who questioned the election results. “They’ve bought into this big lie,” she insisted on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “and they bought into this big lie. And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.”

Deprogram these people? Into what, conservatives want to know? Little totalitarians? Little socialists? The comments, which echo the true feelings of Big Tech, Big Business, and the media, were shocking — but more shocking, to some, is how far we’ve fallen — and how fast. In a matter of weeks, America has become a nation where the ruling party wants to lock up anyone they disagree with — and then brainwash them into their radical way of thinking. How is that “unifying?” The party of Joe Biden is vowing to heal our country. Please tell me they have a better plan than insulting the beliefs of 75 million people and threatening forced indoctrination on half the country.

“This sort of rhetoric from Couric — which comes across as so condescending and elitist — underscores the divide between our media, which primarily resides in New York and Washington, and the rest of the country, which is moderate to center-right per multiple polls. And it’s why the industry is so mistrusted and frowned upon,” Hill columnist Joe Concha lashed back.

Of course, conservatives have almost come to expect this sort of thing from someone as out-of-touch as Couric. What they are surprised to hear is a group of evangelical “leaders” essentially agree with her. Their campaign isn’t to reeducate conservatives, per se — but to shame them. Silence them. Embarrass them to such a degree that they’ll never engage in politics again. And, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

The reality is, these Never Trumpers, some of them evangelicals, have done nothing but sit in their ivory towers these last four years and heap criticism on the well-meaning Christians trying to protect our country. All they do is harass and chastise the believers on the frontlines of the culture, because they think we didn’t make the right choice between two imperfect candidates. But for them to sit back and say, “There’s a reckoning coming for any Christian who supported Trump. Look at what’s happened,” is unconscionable.

Let me tell you what’s happened — a lot of good and positive change for this nation. Has the last four weeks been a pleasant ride? No, and I wish we could all go back and undo it. But to say that this last month should have kept evangelicals from supporting Donald Trump is just hogwash.

FRC’s David Closson and I talked about this on “Washington Watch” Monday, and he agreed that it’s tragic the Capitol riots have triggered this reaction and given Never Trumpers this “I-told-you-so” moment. But the reality is, these “evangelical leaders,” many of whom have been critical of the administration all four years, never supported President Trump in the first place. “You know, personally, I don’t think the president’s rhetoric since November has been super helpful. I think it’s distracted from an otherwise consequential term. But to read these articles that have come out in the last couple of days [that suggest] we’ve sold out our beliefs — that’s not true. Evangelical support for Trump has always been qualified,” David pointed out. “It was always conditional.”

“There’s only one person that deserves unqualified and unconditional support from Christians, and that’s Jesus Christ. And so this revisionist history, going back and saying [people] should never have supported the president, I think that’s unfortunate and opportunistic.”

One of the things that bothers me most about these Never Trumper attacks is that they continue to set up this false argument about evangelicals. They want to know why so many Christians were drawn to a man who was so obviously disconnected to what evangelicals believe about personal morality and so on. Look, we only had a choice. And I’ve said this before — I was not an early Trump supporter. I campaigned around the country for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas.). But when it came down to a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, guess what? I began having conversation with Donald Trump — and I supported him based on a set of preconditions that he met throughout the course of his first term. For anyone to suggest America would be better off today had Hillary Clinton been president the last four years is ridiculous.

Look at what the Trump administration has accomplished — including over 200 federal judges and three U.S. Supreme Court justices. He’s taken religious freedom protections to a level this country — and the persecuted church around the world — has never seen. We’ve watched him take tough action on politically-correct transgender bathroom mandates and military policy. The list goes on and on and on. And again, none of those things would have been possible under Hillary Clinton. As David pointed out, we have a two-party system in this country. And, for better or worse, Christians need to engage in that system to speak truth to power.

And I will tell you this: when I had an issue with the president or a decision he made, I told him or his staff. Unlike other Republican administrations, he welcomed our communication and input. That doesn’t mean he always took our advice, but he did listen.

What Never Trumpers want is for Christians to feel ashamed enough to walk away from the political process. They think that if believers stay on the sidelines, we won’t get our hands dirty — and we’ll somehow appear more righteous to the outside world. But life isn’t made up of perfect choices, and Christians can’t be blamed for the imperfect candidates set before us. We can only work with what we have. But this I can assure you. If Christians are persuaded or shamed into stepping back from bringing light to the broader culture, including politics, America’s moral descent and the loss of fundamental freedoms will accelerate at warp speed.

Originally published here.

Planned Profiting: Abortion Groups Line up with Demands

It’s been a long time since Planned Parenthood had such a good friend in the White House. And CEO Alexis McGill Johnson is making sure they cash in on every moment.

On the eve of Joe Biden’s swearing in, the head of America’s biggest abortion business said, “We have a ton of work to do to undo the harm over the last four years, but knowing we have champions there who understand what needs to happen in the first 100 days is tremendously exciting,” she told NBC News. “We are ready to hit the ground running on Day 1,” she has insisted, pointing out that filling key posts with abortion extremists is one of the group’s biggest goals.

So far so good, based on Biden’s picks — not the least of whom is his vice president. Kamala Harris, as even Newsweek has noted, is to the Left of even Bernie Sanders, voting — not once, but twice — to destroy babies born alive. Now, the focus turns to other vacancies, where the most radical pro-abortion administration in history can solidify its deadly goals. “We know that personnel is policy,” Johnson said. “So we’re making sure that those positions are filled with sexual and reproductive health champions.”

Another way they plan to force Biden’s hand is with their “Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice,” where they spell out “first priorities” that would roll back President Trump’s pro-life accomplishments. Together with other groups, Planned Parenthood demands immediate action that shows Biden’s commitment to abortion-on-demand. Of course, Joe Biden (who NBC was careful to label as a “devout Catholic”) seems more than willing to comply — making several controversial picks to lead Health and Human Services (HHS), among other things.

But the irony of this conversation all comes back to the shame-game Never Trumpers want to play with conservatives now. They argue that Christians should all be so embarrassed for supporting Donald Trump, pointing to the fallout from the Capitol riot. It’s a convenient and disingenuous argument, considering that before January 6 (or even as far back as November 3) the church had literally hundreds of reasons to vote for Trump. Even now, Planned Parenthood is making our point for us. These last four years of pro-life policy are exactly why no Christian should regret their support for the Trump administration.

If his policies were so hollow, so inconsequential, then why is the Left so committed to overturning them? The reality is, Donald Trump and his administration did more to protect the unborn in America and around the world than any president in U.S. history. And if that’s something some evangelicals think we should be ashamed of supporting, then shame on them. They’ve clearly lost their moral equilibrium.

Right now, the church should be focused on one thing — and one thing only — and that’s prayer. It’s time to stop pointing fingers over events none of us could control and start getting on our knees in a humble posture for our nation. America and the incoming Biden administration desperately need God’s guidance. We need to plead His protection over this nation and ask for His wisdom to permeate and direct our new leaders. Join FRC over the next several weeks in diligently focusing on these seven prayer points as we seek unity and healing for this nation — and the church. Also, tune in Wednesday evening at 8:00 pm for this week’s edition of Pray Vote Stand.

Originally published here.

Is Everything MLK Fought for Lost?

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day came at the perfect time for our nation this year, as we struggle to make sense of the worst divides since segregation. What can the church do to bridge gap? Is unity even possible at this point? Kelvin Cochran joined me on “Washington Watch” to look back at what Dr. King would have to say about both.

Originally published here.

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

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