As many of you know, I am proud to be one of three people appointed by President Trump to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. One of the Commission's responsibilities every year is to examine the condition of religious liberty around the world and to report on countries that are engaged in ongoing violations of the basic human right.
This year's annual report was released today. It highlights countries where there have been improvements, like Sudan, which has gotten rid of a radical Islamist government. It also highlights countries we are deeply worried about, like Nigeria, whose Christians are being systematically murdered by Boko Haram and other jihadist groups.
But for several years now, one country has been in a category all by itself — communist China.
China has effectively declared war on all faiths. It doesn't matter whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or a follower of a spiritual movement like Falun Gong, the Chinese communists demand that you remain loyal to the Communist Party above all else.
Beijing's communist bosses are also using technology to enhance their persecution, establishing a literal surveillance state.
Of course, China has been in the news a lot lately for exporting the coronavirus all over the world, causing untold human suffering and economic ruin. It is also trying to export its influence, using military might and financial power to intimidate other countries into following the Chinese model of oppression rather than the American model of liberty under God.
The clash between these two world views will determine what kind of world our children live in.
A new Washington Post poll finds strong support for President Trump's executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States. According to the survey, 65% of Americans support the president's order, while 34% oppose it.
Self-identified Democrats were evenly split, at 49% for and against, while Republicans (83%) were overwhelmingly in favor. Two-thirds of Independents also favored the temporary pause on immigration, as did 61% of "non-white" respondents.
Professor Michael Hanmer of the University of Maryland, who conducted the poll, added, "One of the most surprising results is that majorities of 18-to-29-year-olds, who tend to be more open to immigration and have a more global perspective, support the proposal to block immigration."
When the president issued his executive order suspending immigration, one Washington Post columnist blasted Trump, suggesting he was simply trying to "to paper over his colossal failure to manage the pandemic." The left-wing outlet The Nation echoed such sentiments, writing that Trump's order was "an evil attempt at distraction."
But an overwhelming majority of the public says it was the right thing to do.
Once again, we see just how out-of-touch the left is with the American people. Americans favor border security. They oppose the left's open border agenda. They reject Joe Biden's demand to give free healthcare to illegal immigrants.
By the way, the Post poll also asked Americans to rate the president's handling of the coronavirus crisis. Forty-seven percent rated his response as "excellent" or "good," compared to 52% who said his response was "poor" or "not so good." Given the left-wing media's non-stop negative coverage of the president, I'd say that's a pretty good result.
Stop The Gotcha Game
Speaking of the media's bias, did you happen to hear the question that New York magazine's Olivia Nuzzi asked at Monday's press briefing?
In case you missed it, she asked President Trump, "If an American President loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be re-elected?"
The president acknowledged the loss of life, and went on to discuss the things his administration is doing to fight the virus. But it's clear that the only thing Nuzzi cares about is defeating Donald Trump.
Kudos to former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who roasted Nuzzi for her "clown question." Fleischer tweeted:
"It's clown questions like this that can make the briefing a waste of time. The only point of that question was to provoke. Not learn anything new. Not provide information to viewers. The point was to get under Trump's skin. Good to see POTUS rose above and didn't take the bait."
Fleischer is absolutely right. It was a gotcha question with no useful purpose. And after carefully considering Fleischer's critique, Nuzzi came back with a really thoughtful response, "Oh shut the f-ck up."
Left-wing hacks have hijacked the press briefings. They are using them to attack the president, rather than educate the American people. These so-called "journalists" are ideological warriors. They are propagandists, not reporters.
Their job, as they see it, is not to report the news, but to smear the president while providing cover for their weak candidate, Joe Biden.
Standing For Freedom
Attorney General William Barr has instructed U.S. attorneys to safeguard our civil liberties and prosecute any infringements of our rights being imposed under the guise of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a memo to prosecutors, Barr wrote:
"Many policies that would be unthinkable in regular times have become commonplace in recent weeks, and we do not want to unduly interfere with the important efforts of state and local officials to protect the public. But the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis."
One example of what Barr is concerned about is how churches have been singled out for different treatment. Why is it okay for people to gather at Walmart but not at church? In other cases, people who own vacation homes have been prevented from visiting them.
Protecting public health and preserving civil liberties in a pandemic is a balancing act to be sure. But I cringed when New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy defended his lockdown orders by telling Tucker Carlson, "I wasn't thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this."
I can't imagine any conservative uttering those words. Elections have consequences, my friends. And if fascism ever comes to America, it won't come from the conservative, small government right, but from the big government, progressive left that is also increasingly intolerant of free speech and religious liberty.
Laying Off Nurses?
When the coronavirus first hit the United States, the great fear that the CDC and top medical experts warned against was that the virus would crush the American healthcare system. That's why President Trump and other elected leaders supported drastic efforts to "flatten the curve."
Well, we did flatten the curve, and part of that effort involved canceling elective surgeries in order to keep people home and free up medical resources.
But now hospitals and medical offices are laying off nurses and other healthcare workers, with many on the verge of bankruptcy. Why? Because these elective surgeries are essential to their fiscal health.
Not that long ago, there were grave warnings about a shortage of hospital beds. We now have such a surplus of beds that many healthcare workers are being laid off.
Hopefully, as more governors take steps to reopen their states, they will also lift bans on elective medical procedures sooner rather than later. If they don't, there will be another massive bailout of hospitals.