Obama's Priorities, Sanders' Slander, Black Lives, Blue Lives
Recent polls find that two-thirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, nearly as many say their values are under attack, and 57% feel like they are falling further and further behind. There appears to be a war on law enforcement.
But don't worry -- the White House has its priorities. I'm sure you'll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our top officials spent the whole day at the White House yesterday confronting the burning issue of . . . gender stereotyping in the toys our kids play with.
Now, don't you feel better?
Sanders' Slander - Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has run into a buzzsaw of criticism, and he deserves it. During a recent interview with the New York Daily News, Sanders was discussing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians when he repeated ludicrous casualty figures from the 2014 Gaza War.
Sanders claimed that "over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza." He went on to say that "a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed," adding that "Israel's force was more indiscriminate than it should have been." According to the United Nations, not exactly a pro-Israel source, just over 2,100 Palestinians were killed.
Expressing concern for "accuracy and accountability," Jonathan Greenblatt, leader of the Anti-Defamation League, called on Senator Sanders to "correct his misstatements."
Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to the United States, was more pointed. "First of all, he should get his facts right. Secondly, he owes Israel an apology," Oren, now a member of the Israeli Knesset, said. "He accused us of a blood libel. He accused us of bombing hospitals. He accused us of killing 10,000 Palestinian civilians. Don't you think that merits an apology?"
Sadly, what Sanders refused to acknowledge is that any civilian casualties in Gaza were caused by the strategy Hamas deliberately deployed. Under international law, the use of human shields constitutes a war crime, and the combatants who are using human shields are responsible for those civilian deaths. Few countries would show the restraint Israel demonstrated in Gaza.
But this is bigger than Bernie Sanders. He is the candidate of the left, the choice of those who think Hillary Clinton is insufficiently liberal. He is the choice of the university campuses, winning Millennial voters by lopsided margins of 80% or more.
Sanders is playing to his crowd. The anti-Israel mindset reflected in his remarks is the worldview of the political left in America. The campuses that joyously welcome Bernie Sanders when he speaks, quickly return to their other favorite activity after he departs -- harassing Jewish students and anyone else who dares to defend Israel.
Do Black Lives REALLY Matter? - That is the question ESPN analyst and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis asked recently.
Noting that homicides in Chicago are up more than 80% this year, Lewis had the courage to challenge the Black Lives Matter movement to focus its concern on Chicago and the scourge of black-on-black crime taking place in America's urban centers.
Here's some of what he said in an emotional video a few days ago:
"In Chicago alone the murder rate has soared 72 percent in 2016 -- 88 percent in the first three months of 2016 compared to the last year. I'm trying to ask the question to an organization of black lives, if they really mattered, then why not riot now? . . . I'm trying to figure out in my mind why no one is paying attention to black men killing black men?
"Why do we always find ourselves the victims, and now we have the separation once again that we're being victimized because of one bad white cop, two bad white cops, three bad white cops, killing a young black brother.
"But every day we have black-on-black crime, killing each other. . . The March murder rate rose by 29 percent, but we're not rioting in the streets over black-on-black killing each other. . .
"Brothers, if nobody will scream to you, I will scream to you. I know black lives matter because I'm a black man. But stop killing each other. Man, we have to put these guns down in Chicago. Baltimore. Miami. Man it ain't that hard. You have to be okay with earning a right living. It ain't supposed to be easy. . ."
Blue Lives Matter - Monday I told you about the assassination of Trooper Chad Dermyer, a Marine veteran, who was shot multiple times at point-blank range at a bus station in Richmond, Virginia. Trooper Dermyer's death coincided with new statistics indicating that police deaths by gun fire are up 150% this year. The war on cops is real.
But there is encouraging news, too. America's silent majority is speaking up in support of the men and women on the thin blue line.
Last month, Captain Rance Quinn and Captain George Sims of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department stopped for lunch at Chili's. As they were talking, a family who had just finished got up to leave and walked past them. A teenage girl slipped a napkin with a note on their table as she walked by.
The note read, "Thanks for keeping us safe." Her family also picked up the tab for Captains Quinn and Sims. Captain Quinn said, "When we looked over and she was by the door, I gave her a thumbs up and she gave a little smile," adding, "It was very powerful thing that she did."
They weren't the only ones who showed their support and appreciation that day. You can read more at the Kansas City Police Department's Facebook page.
The next time you see a law enforcement officer, please take a moment to say "Thank you." Let them know how much you value their service.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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