by The Daily Signal | 3.27.18
Ken McIntyre, a 30-year veteran of national and local newspapers, serves as senior editor at The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation's Marilyn and Fred Guardabassi Fellow in Media and Public Policy Studies. Send an email to Ken.
Editor’s note: For our roundup of letters at year’s end, we thought we’d highlight some letters from The Daily Signal’s audience that we meant to publish earlier. Enjoy, and don’t forget to write us at email@example.com.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: Americans elected Republicans to stand behind President Trump and work out any plan that needs help being passed. If we had wanted to vote for Democrats to have the numbers to win, we would have voted that way. We gave the power to the Republicans, but they are siding with Democrats and nothing is getting done.
Cleaning the swamp must be done, and Democrats are determined not to let this happen. I never believed in term limits for our elected officials, but I’m ready to vote that way. I think so many elected officials get in office and do nothing to support the president. And why is it that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together on repealing broken-down Obamacare?
I am tired of all the scares we get, day in and out, to take something else from federal employees. We are retired and haven’t had a real raise in years. Every time we get a raise, our health premiums go sky high.
The bias in the mainstream media continues to increase. Before the end of 2017, there is something you can do to combat this. Find out more >>
I can tell President Trump a place he can take money from: Look at all the perks our elected officials enjoy. Meal tickets, travel expenses, expense cards that allowed thousands of dollars for a pizza party and Nancy Pelosi’s buying thousands of dollars of alcohol. Why are taxpayers paying for all their perks? They make more than enough money to pay their own way in Washington.—Mary Tuttle
Dear Daily Signal: Congress is not going to repeal Obamacare because lawmakers are beholden to campaign donors. You can’t have health care reform unless and until the health care industry stops the price gouging, particularly the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies interested mostly in big profits. These entities and lobbyists all have a seat at the table and donate to campaign funds. This appears to be a racket.
People are forced to purchase generic medications mostly from offshore suppliers. Big problem there, too. What is in these drugs that is causing all the dangerous side effects? And why are there medications that people can’t get off? Time for a full investigation.
It is past time for a cure for cancer and other diseases, but the industry obviously doesn’t want a cure. They make too much money on treatments. Also, fraud and overbilling are not being addressed. Pharmacies are having a field day with nursing homes. Who investigates all of this overbilling?
So many problems in the health care industry easily could be remedied, but there is no real interest. It is all for show.—Norma Mabry, Columbia, S.C.
Dear Daily Signal: In my view, the No. 1 problem in D.C. is that congressmen and senators constantly are re-elected and do not have term limits like the president does. They end up serving for decades, and their focus shifts from serving their country and constituents, if that was ever their motivation, to getting re-elected and gaining more power.
The year 2017 amply demonstrated this issue. The Founders anticipated this, and gave a means to rectify it in Article 5 of the Constitution. Article 5 deals with amending the Constitution, and provides two means.
The one that has been used exclusively to date is that Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment and sends it to the states, three-fourths of which (38) must ratify the amendment for it to be approved.
The other way to amend the Constitution is for two-thirds of the states (34) to propose convening a constitutional convention. If the states approve the same charter, a convention is convened and may consider any amendment to the Constitution. This has been used as a red herring by opponents who say any crazy thing could be proposed. When the organization making this push convened a mock convention, though, that didn’t happen because of the rules. But even if something crazy were proposed, it would be sent to the states, and 38 would have to approve it before it became an actual amendment.
The organization pursuing this effort is called Convention of States, of which I am not a part. To date, 12 states have approved a resolution calling for a convention, so organizers need 22 more. All kinds of potential amendments could be considered, including ones requiring a balanced budget, setting term limits for Supreme Court justices, and specifying the ability of Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions.
But the single most important amendment is congressional term limits: two six-year terms for senators, six two-year terms for congressmen. Congressional term limits are the key to draining the swamp.—George O’Neal, Dayton, Ohio
Building a Wall, Paying for Border Patrol
**Dear Daily Signal: **I’m a retired state trooper. After reading Fred Lucas’ story on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (“How GOP Attorneys General Forced Trump to Act on DACA“), I was thinking: What is the big opposition to the border wall?
Answer: Money. Well, how about figuring out the cost and efficiency of a wall versus Border Patrol officers?
The wall would be a solid barrier that could have an assortment of electronic detection and/or cameras rather than wages, vehicles, and retirement benefits for an overwhelming force that so far really hasn’t stopped border crossings.
Border officers still will be needed, but a much smaller force could seek out those detected at the wall. Stopping the action before it happens would lessen costs for holding facilities, hearings, courts, and so on.
It would seem the wall could break even in cost in a short period of time and be more efficient.—Ken Parsons
The Left’s Problem With American History
Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for Jarrett Stepman’s informative article on Christopher Columbus (“The Truth About Columbus“). I am a retired senior citizen, and I must admit I needed to refresh my knowledge. This article did that.
To me, there are those who wish to strip and tear apart the very fiber of our nation. This is deplorable. In my opinion, most of these divisive, far-left liberals do not even know what they are speaking of.
They need to re-educate themselves on world history and U. S. history, written by truly objective sources. Perhaps in the long run that would not help, because they seem to have closed minds. But at least they could become better educated about which they speak and protest against.
The Daily Signal is a beacon of hope and clarity for me, and I thank Mr. Stepman and all the staff at The Daily Signal. Your articles are always “first class.”
I am disabled and live on Social Security. While I couldn’t contribute due to disproportionate medical costs in 2017, I certainly will be able to do so starting in January 2018. Please continue to report the truth, because the so-called mainstream media is not doing so.—Randolph L. Groninger
Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, “How a Radical Left-Wing Historian Birthed the Anti-Columbus Movement“: If Howard Zinn is a valid historian, why does he not realize that we have memorial statues of communist mass murderer Vladimir Lenin standing in Seattle, New York City, and Los Angeles that are not a part of U.S. history and should be destroyed?—**Aubrey Yancey **
The National Anthem and the NFL
Dear Daily Signal: Genevieve Wood is exactly right in her NFL commentary (“The Hypocrisy of the NFL“). When it comes to political statements and acts by employees while on the job, they can do whatever their employer lets them do.
If there are ramifications, the employer will be the first to suffer or benefit and the first to have to explain the conduct to the customers (in this case football fans).
As an employee you have the right to say whatever you want or act however you want (within the law) constitutionally, but your employer has the absolute right to fire you or condone what you do as well.
So it looks to me like some NFL managers and owners decided to take a political stand. That entitles them to suffer the positive or negative consequences as well. It’s a business decision. We’ll see how it goes. As for me, I decided I wouldn’t be watching any games at all. I’m sick of it, and I don’t have to be a victim of their politics.—Dave, Florence, Ore.
I have stopped watching the NFL until the league decides to step in and stop these protests during the national anthem.
I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and have no respect for these overpaid athletes who disrespect the things that set us apart from other countries. If they don’t like it, they should leave with all the Hollywood jerks who threatened to do so after Donald Trump was elected.
President Trump is voicing what many in the country have no venue to do. Who wants to listen to me or will publicize what I have to say? You may be surprised how much support he has, as do Genevieve Wood and The Daily Signal for your commentary.—John Cox, North Carolina
Thanks for Genevieve Wood’s video commentary, which I shared. The NFL has successfully branded itself as a home for heroes—bigger, faster, stronger, better. They come into our homes via TV, and we cheer for our favorites. We are loyal to our team and individual players, and believe we know them. We like them and believe they like us.
But fans are slowly beginning to realize that the NFL image is incredibly deceptive—a product of ultraslick marketing. The NFL is all about its fame, fortune, and political agenda—an agenda that many patriotic Americans oppose. Maybe it’s time to question our loyalty to the NFL. Maybe it’s time for a boycott.—Patriotic Moms
I have been a diehard NFL fan for over 45 years, since I was a kid. If these players cannot respect our national anthem when soldiers fought to raise our flag in numerous wars to give them the right to play football and they do not respect that, I do not need to watch them.
Isn’t there a better way to protest than our anthem, which represents the land of the free? Why don’t these players turn in their jerseys and go overseas to Iraq, Afghanistan, or North Korea, so we can have equal rights in our country?
Do they think the women of these countries are treated fairly? Take off your jersey and give away your million-dollar salary and really stand up for what you believe. What a bunch of cowards, kneeling for our flag.—Tommy Van Ess, Madison, Wis.
Equating a Christian Baker With Nazis
Dear Daily Signal: Regarding Kelsey Harkness’s video report on baker Jack Phillips, I don’t understand why people think his religious views make his right to refuse service less than their right to have a cake made (“Underreported: Christian Baker Reacts to Government Official’s Comparing Him to a Nazi“). If you, for any reason, force what you want on someone concerning a service they provide, you might as well just say, “And spit in my food while you at at it.”
I wouldn’t want to make someone provide a service for me. Their rights and beliefs should be respected, too. And the happy same-sex couple who caused themselves and this guy so much grief should have just moved on down the road and found a baker that was more than happy to make their cake. Without the spit.—Brenda Reardon
I enjoy Kelsey Harkness’ reporting of truthful facts that help give the other side of the story about American values. Much of the rest of the current media does not do that.
Their information is slanted, liberal gibberish found within the circles of biased, talking heads with an agenda taken from scripted, anti-American journalists.
My question to them is: When your freedoms are gone and the Constitution is only a fading memory, who will you turn to when you are silenced?
Please continue to unmask those who will continue to come after our freedoms with a vengeance that is right out of the un-American playbooks of the fascist parties. America needs to wake or be overrun from outside our borders.—John Buckley
The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal union, equal to heterosexual marriage in all civil matters such as Social Security spousal benefits, spousal health care benefits, spousal benefits in tax matters, and so on. The ruling did not include a decree that everyone also must accept that gay marriage is a religious union ordained by God.
It’s not included because the Supreme Court is not authorized to speak for God. That’s outside their jurisdiction.
However, because of the First Amendment, if a gay couple wants to believe their marriage is a religious union, they have a right to believe that. But they don’t have a right to force anyone else to believe that. The Supreme Court cannot force anyone to believe that.
The court does not have the authority to dictate to anyone what their religious beliefs must be. So people who believe in traditional marriage—that the only marriage ordained by God is the union of one man and one woman—have the right to that religious belief and the “free exercise thereof.”—Anita Goodspeed
Sessions, Mueller, the FBI, and Russia
**Dear Daily Signal: **As 74-year-old voter, I always felt that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be weak when it came to prosecuting “his” own people, namely Congress (“Amid Trump’s Threats, Conservatives Rally Around Sessions“).
Rudy Giuliani has the capabilities, the toughness, and the proven fortitude to do the job that needs to be done. This yearlong, ridiculous witch hunt into Russia should be stopped immediately. It is a political vendetta.—Maureen Waite
Please, someone out there with public exposure, advocate for Jeff Sessions to cancel his recusal from the Russia probe when special counsel Robert Mueller goes beyond his original mandate of campaign-related investigations. That was the context of the recusal, and it should change when that mandate is exceeded.
We are well past that point, with Mueller going into Trump business matters 10 years gone by. Sessions is fully, credibly qualified to reverse his recusal and take control of his department.—Robert Toews
Trump needs to take the political heat. Fire Mueller and explain why to the American people. If the president leaves Mueller in place, this is not going to end well. He is going to find something made up, half true, a process crime, whatever. Trump should also fire Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein for making such a bad decision and folding under pressure so fast.—**Bob Trento **
The attorney general should have done something long ago rather than waiting until now to issue another vague and empty warning (“Jeff Sessions Warns Sanctuary Cities About Missing Out on Help to Fight Crime“).—M.D. Barber
How about an article on the merits of President Trump’s firing the FBI director and threatening to fire his attorney general and the special counsel due to Trump’s highly questionable relationship with the Russian government (“Legal Experts Weigh in on Trump’s Right to Be Riled at Sessions, DOJ“)?
Your article should deep-dive into the problems for our country if we have a president who has been financed for years by the Russian government and the oligarchs it controls. Of course, you would never write that article.
The Heritage Foundation has become a hypocritical door mat for Trump. You have lost all credibility on all subjects. Close down shop. Trump’s supporters, like himself, do not read. So unless you are spoon-feeding his cult leaders, Rush and Hannity, no one is reading you. Hopefully your donations reflect this as well.—Mary C. Oliver
NASA and the American Spirit
Dear Daily Signal: Regarding the commentary by Bonner Cohen and James Conway, NASA lives in myriads of fantasies and wastes the taxpayers’ money (“How to Make NASA Great Again“) How much more money is going to be allowed to go to waste by NASA? The foolishness is so extravagant.
The people cannot and will not take care of this planet, yet NASA seeks somewhere else to make a complete garbage dump, and at the cost of their lives in propelling their foolish desires.
Was it ever possible to replenish Mars with plant life and treatable air and water? A child would possibly think in these terms, yet educated clowns are demanding that we try these insidious fantasies.
What does the immense cost for a Mars expedition supply for our nation? Initially a certain cost figure will come out, but it will escalate exponentially in ensuing years. We should stop the whimsical ideas immediately and focus on the real needs of mankind here on terra firma.—Ivars Loce
While there are some flaws to this commentary on NASA, the basic concept is accurate. Landing a man on the moon in less than a decade was a great accomplishment, but it was a disaster for the long-term exploration of space.
The correct approach is to build a space infrastructure—which should include the International Space Station—that would allow for regular visits to the moon and elsewhere at the lowest cost with the greatest amount of safety.
I’ll also say that NASA should not be deciding where they should go. That’s a job for Congress and the president. NASA is primarily an engineering organization that should be given goals to achieve, not set them itself.—Kevin W. Parker
**Future of the Filibuster **
Dear Daily Signal: The parties in the Senate are so diametrically opposed, it is difficult to see how any meaningful legislation will get passed (“Conservatives to Trump: Short-Term Victories From Killing Filibuster Could Be Costly“).
The legislators in each party, particularly the Democrats, march to the beat of their leaders. They are loathe to step out of line, even for the good of the country.
What a bunch of puppets. The common good and logic seem to have departed the legislative process in recent administrations.
It does seem the filibuster is too easy to engage, with 60 votes (20 percent more than a majority) necessary to override one. Perhaps 55 to 57 votes would achieve desired results.
Maybe the filibuster is an excuse for inaction and kicking the can down the road. The can is getting worn out.—Brad Kocher
Thanks for being a voice of reason and truth. I would like to see your White House correspondent, Fred Lucas, who I follow closely, do an article on the reasons for getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate.
First, remember that it was then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who got rid of it for federal judges, thus allowing President Obama to pack the courts with liberal activist judges who have been doing everything they can to slow or stop President Trump’s agenda.
Second, it was current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who killed the filibuster for Supreme Court justices.
So here is where we stand. President Trump can’t fulfill his agenda due to opposition by the congressional swamp. If this continues, he will be blamed instead of Congress. We will likely take a beating in 2018.
This is what the Democrats are planning for. And if they win back the Senate, here is exactly what will happen: The new Democrat majority leader immediately will abolish the filibuster, and the liberals will unleash a socialist/communist attack on this country that will destroy us.
Wake up to reality. The Democrats play hardball while Republicans play badminton.
Republicans should get rid of the filibuster and pass every bit of the Trump agenda. This would give the economy a huge boost, create massive jobs and wealth, and actually make America great again. No Democrat would dare attempt to undo this, as they would be laughed out of office.
The future of our country is at stake, and it seems to me that Republicans are totally clueless. God help America.—Dale Athanas, Old Lyme, Conn.
More on Those Banned Farmers
Dear Daily Signal: The case of Steve and Bridget Tennes, the Michigan farmers banned from the farmers market, is a can of worms that should never have been opened (“Farmer Fights Back Against City Ban of Traditional Marriage Supporters From Farmers Market“).
However, now that it’s opened, I stand with the farmers and religion. It would serve the city of East Lansing right if the farmers all banded together and boycotted the farmers market. But that solves no problems and could hurt everyone.
So the only amicable solution I see is for the city to back off and make amends. Yeah, the city’s feelings are going to be hurt. But more than likely, city officials won’t relinquish their “power.” Then the public will have their say. It might just be the end of the farmers market.—Stanley Howey
I read with interest Kelsey Harkness’ article about Steve and Bridget Tennes being prohibited from selling their produce at the farmers market in East Lansing, Michigan (“Couple Banned From Farmers Market Over Same-Sex Marriage Views Speak Out“).
I pray the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Colorado baker with similar problems. Perhaps it will play an important factor in the Tennes family’s case. Keep informing us about the stories we never read about in the mostly liberal press with a biased agenda.—Jo Ann Rinaldo
Thank you for covering this important story. I fully support the Tenneses in their right to free speech and freedom from an intolerant government. Please keep us up to date.
This is what is hugely wrong with our country today, the intolerance of government. I am a conservative who is extremely disillusioned with Republicans currently serving with my president.—Maribeth Hueber, Cincinnati
What’s Great About America
Dear Daily Signal: As sad as it is to see the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, it is watching people come together that gives us hope in these troubling times (“Hurricane Harvey Brings Out the Best in Americans“).
Prayer helps. No looting, no marching, no protests—very reassuring, despite the tragedy. It is wonderful to hear this nice news in the face of all the bad. Thanks for making my day a little lighter.
Now we need to realize we will all have to sacrifice to help our neighbors. God bless us and keep us and make us see we are one.—Susan Rose
No, They’re Not Liberals
**Dear Daily Signal: **I admire and look forward to your daily reports. I have only one quibble, and it is the use of the term “liberal.” What a wretched misnomer.
“Liberal” once meant a philosophy opposite to that of a “conservative” party, but no genuine liberal party exists anymore. In fact, we have more true liberal politics on the right than anywhere else.
George Will observed that the party on the left are really “progressives” who believe history has a destination known only to them, and they want to take us there. They have zero right to the name liberal.
In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich A. Hayek long ago commented: “It has been part of the camouflage of leftist movements in this country, helped by the muddle-headedness of many who really believe in liberty, that ‘liberal’ has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control.”
Call them “progressives” or lefties, police-staters or what you will, but please don’t dignify them with the honorable term liberal. They are anything but.—Tom Anderson, Eureka, Calif.
This and That
Dear Daily Signal: I just wanted to thank Kelsey Harkness for doing such a great job. The mix of fun and satire on her “Problematic Women” show is wonderful (“Why Wonder Woman Is a Problem for Feminists“).
I know that the issues we face are serious, but fighting the irrational views of the left with a smirk is so much fun.
I loved the Windex commercial too. Maybe it is because I have a 9-year-old daughter, but it actually made me cry. Keep up the good work.—Pastor Dominick Cuozzo, New Egypt, N.J.
If these “Dreamers” are wanting to stay in the United States, why have they not tried to become legal residents (“Trump Signals Willingness to Trade ‘Dreamers’ Amnesty for Merit-Based Immigration Reform“)?
I believe all they want is free stuff, education we pay for, and food and housing they get free or subsidized by us, the taxpayers. It is time they step up and admit they broke the laws of the USA. No other country would let this go on.
Americans are taxed above and beyond to pay for those who do not do the right thing, morally or legally.—Cindy Haschke
I’m writing about Rep. Phil Roe’s commentary, “Union Bosses Have Too Much Control.” I got laid off from my job after 10 years. It was a union job, and our union was useless to say the least. Its only purpose that I saw was to make sure people who should have been fired a dozen times over kept their job over a paperwork technicality.—Ryan Woody
President Trump should cancel by executive order all exemptions from Obamacare (“How Trump Could Force Congress and Its Staff to Live Under Obamacare“). Congress does not think it is a severe punishment on American citizens, so they should be allowed to live under the program they support.—David Jerome
Having graduated from a well-known scientific and technology college, I see absolutely no reason why more women are not studying engineering and related subjects. It is their choice and their choice alone.
My school has had an extensive drive the past eight years to enroll more women, with great success. The current freshman class is nearly 50-50. You start at the freshman year in high school trying to convince young women that math and science are not evil subjects to be avoided at all cost.—Merle Southern
Regarding recent riots and protests, I see many participants dressed in what I regard as terrorist garb such as black-hooded shirts and masks. Anyone dressed like that is asking for a possible deadly response from an old fellow like me. A masked person typically represented someone bent on deadly violence in my day.
What does it take for our law enforcement to react to this sort of ignorant and aggressive behavior? Why is deterrent action not taken before violence begins? Where are the water cannons of yesteryear? This is getting serious, folks.—John H. Ross, Montrose, Colo.
They say every vote counts, but does it (“Get Involved Locally. You Might Just Save the Country“)? When I was young. I wanted everything done for me, but my parents didn’t agree with me, thank goodness. Today, just where are the parents and are they collecting any and every government handout?
At some point in my life, I came to the realization that if I wanted something then I needed to figure out what it was and how to get it. Somehow, I figured out that if government gave it to me, someone else had to pay for it since government doesn’t earn a dime.
I have nothing against helping people, but if I’m going to help them they need to put something in the pot as payment. States like Maine are changing their laws to require that. Seems when that happens the lazy folk move to another state, and costs to states like Maine decrease.—Sinclair Doggett
How Are We Doing?
Dear Daily Signal: Thanks for writing about the news the way I hear it and understand it. The Daily Signal is the best. Now I want to know how to get the news across to my liberal friends so they will listen.
One radio commentator suggested that President Trump register to run as an Independent in the next election. I think that would be a good idea. If 60 percent of the rest of the country splits 30/30 between Democrats and Republicans, Trump would win with his 40 percent.—Susan Rose
I thank you for your complete, accurate, and honest reporting of cultural and governmental problems. To add interest, often included in the reports are previous decades’ contribution to the cause and history of an event. This gives a citizen a way to pray for the event or topic, and for those involved, and for solutions—including things for which the citizens of the country must take responsibility.—Nancy Shaffer, Warsaw, Ind.
Exactly what have the conservatives done for our country in the past 37 years? There is so much horrible stuff you guys have done to unravel a generally peaceful society, which still does not have health care for all.
And you wonder why the conservatives are not talked about glowingly? The Daily Signal is sending all the wrong signals to the citizenry.—Chris Chalogias
Thank you for inspiring messages and columns, such as those by Walter Williams.—Don Ranck, Paradise, Pa.
The blocking of highways, kneeling and raising fists during NFL games, and police shootings all have stemmed from the disruptive “resistance” movement. After hearing how good the stock market is, and how a lot of jobs are opening up, just what is the left complaining about? The losers are turning into anti-America.—Carol Crowe
After 55 years of being a liberal Democrat, having been raised at the altars of FDR and LBJ, I became disgusted and frankly embarrassed by the “Democrat” Party. What happened? So here comes Mr. Trump and brings with him my governor, Mike Pence, and pulls me into his triumph of November 2016.
I now am a contributor to The Heritage Foundation, and am re-reading Robert Rector (no relation, sadly), with a different eye. The Daily Signal is my wake-up paper.—Anne Rector, Indiana
Love the “We Hear You” page. Many contributions are knowledgeable, articulate, and even eloquent. Many with lots to contribute to our democracy have been silenced already, i.e. no one hears us. Please continue this feature, at least weekly. It’s nice to know we are not alone.—Liana Silsby
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Term Limits? Why would you establish an end date for your job when so many members of Congress are RIP - Retired in Place... How about an alternative used by industry when in trouble. Automotive was forced to a 2 tier wage and benefit system. Why don't my home state Reps from Michigan introduce a term limits bill that exempts currently elected members of Congress from limits but "All newly elected members of the Senate and House of Representatives are limited to two terms. I'd propose extending the base term of a H of R to 4 years and reducing the Senate term to 4 years. If you can't handle that then leave the Senate at 2 - six year terms. Why wouldn't you? I dare you to. You're career is protected if you get elected.