Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mitt Romney & Religious Intolerance

Tolerance? We have a ways to go

Exact reprint of USA Today article located here.

Americans still have a bias against Republican Mitt Romney, according to a study conducted during last year’s election. Not a political bias, but a religious one. The good news: When people understood his Mormon faith, the bias melted away.

By David E. Campbell, John C. Green and J. Quin Monson

It's now official: President Obama's honeymoon is over. And right on cue the Republicans are gearing up to run against him in 2012. Sarah Palin's book could launch her campaign, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty just went to Iowa. But the smart money is on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gaining his party's nomination.

Romney certainly has history on his side: Republicans prefer nominees who have run before. John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush and even Ronald Reagan all ran and lost before they ran and won the presidential nomination. Having run and lost in 2008, Romney is in a prime position to run and win in 2012.

His candidacy, however, faces a major obstacle that should concern all Americans: religious intolerance. Mitt Romney's membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormon church) clearly hurt him in 2008. Polls showed that anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of Americans openly said they would not vote for a Mormon candidate for president. Mormons are hardly the only religious group to face such overt hostility. Polls show that Muslims, Buddhists and people without a religion are all viewed more warily by Americans. And as America becomes more religiously diverse, we can expect still more candidates from faiths that might be unfamiliar to many Americans, or those who profess no religion at all.

The good news is that accurate information about such unpopular religious groups can help the cause of religious tolerance in America.

What we found

The importance of information is illustrated by a study we conducted during the 2008 presidential primaries and recently released. The study was an online survey experiment with a nationally representative sample of 3,000 respondents. We provided randomly selected respondents with different statements about Romney and then asked whether they would vote for him.

Some were given a boilerplate biography that did not mention religion; others were told that he has been a local leader in his church; others were told he has been a leader in the Mormon church. Still others were told, "Some people say Mormons are not Christians." By comparing reactions to these various statements, we could see how each one affected a person's willingness to vote for Romney, and also how different kinds of people responded to the statements.

The claim that Mormons are not Christians was particularly potent. Indeed, Romney tried to put this issue to rest with a much-discussed speech on religion delivered in College Station, Texas, in December 2007. In it, the presidential candidate said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind. My church's beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance."

Despite these statements, the results of our study — conducted not long after Romney's speech — suggest that his religion was a liability. When respondents were told about the claim that Mormons are not Christians, nearly one-third said they were less likely to vote for him.

Interestingly, the claim that Mormons are not Christians had virtually no effect on those people who reported a close personal relationship with a Mormon. This news, though, is presumably small consolation for Romney's supporters. There is little they can do between now and 2012 to encourage closer friendships between Mormons and their non-Mormon neighbors.

Our results do, however, indicate that there is something Romney's supporters can do to assuage concerns about his Mormonism. People who objectively know a lot about Mormons — that is, those who scored 100% on a short quiz on facts about Mormonism — were much less likely to be bothered by the claim that Mormons are not Christians. In contrast, respondents who claimed they knew a lot about Mormons, but who actually did not, were bothered most of all by claims about Mormonism.

Information helps

In other words, our study suggests that Romney's supporters would do well to encourage those who are troubled by his faith to become better informed about Mormonism.

Such a discussion would likely help Romney: Information helps and ignorance hurts his chances. More important, it would help broaden religious tolerance in America.

Romney was not the first and will not be the last candidate to suffer from a lack of knowledge about his faith. Even in 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama suffered a double dose concerning his pastor in Chicago and the false claim that he was a Muslim — delivered as though the mere possibility should disqualify him for the office.

We take no position on whether Romney is right for the Republican Party or for the White House. Similarly, we take no position for or against other Mormon politicians, such as Nevada's Harry Reid, the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate. Or, for that matter, on the fitness of any politician — Mormon, Muslim, or Methodist.

We do take the position that the whole country will be better off if there is no "stained glass ceiling" in politics for members of any religion or no religion at all. A good way to break such a barrier is for all of us to really know the Latter-day Saints — as well as all the other kinds of "saints" among us.

David E. Campbell, John C. Green and J. Quin Monson teach political science at the University of Notre Dame, University of Akron and Brigham Young University, respectively. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily represent those of their institutions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Romney's follow up Speech to "Faith in America"

His first speech was historic.

But he gave another great one too, that can be found here.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Huckabee, you've found your calling!




by David Alvord

I have watched Huckabee's self-titled show on Fox News several times. I have to say, it is actually very heart-warming! I can't believe I am finding myself liking the man who was the hardest on my candidate, Mitt Romney. Just a few months ago, I hated this guy!

I think Huckabee has found his calling. He is a very likeable and heart-warming speaker. He has tremendous skill with timing and eye-contact. He seems so down to earth and presents conservative views with grace and a sense of peace. Contrast that to Glenn Beck's approach, "the sky is falling". I also like Glenn, but after watching him I feel scared. After watching Huck, I feel warm and fuzzy. And then he gets up and plays the bass-guitar for the grand finale! Tonight's show had a song "If ten percent is good enough for Jesus, why isn't it enough for Uncle Sam?". That's good stuff.

During the Republican primaries, Huckabee was the perfect anti-Romney. And Romney was the perfect anti-Huckabee. Where Romney lacked in personality, the Huckster was dripping with it. Where Huckabee lacked in intelligence, Romney answered with his dual-Harvard degree brains. Romney's religion was in the minority, while Huckabee's was in the majority. Huckabee had style while Romney had substance.

I give it as my opinion that those two, Romney and Huckabee, cancelled each other out and left McCain with the victory. Of course, there was Fred Thompson and Guiliani. But those guys didn't show up until after the first states had been decided. The momentum had been established. Huck stayed in the race just long enough to make sure McCain won. He was the Romney antidote and the best friend to the McCain campaign.

Then along came Obama who, as a candidate, had more style than McCain, Huckabee, and Romney combined. The cult of personality had arrived. McCain knew he needed style and so he threw a hail-mary and put in the unvetted and inexperienced Palin. The election became style vs. style...and Obama had boat-loads more of it. America confused the presidential race for "American Idol" and gave it to the ticket they liked the most and who "had the best story", instead of voting for the ticket that was most qualified. McCain had a hard time getting conservative passion...because he had been a "maverick". Well, conservatives held their noses (me included) and voted for McCain, but some stayed home. And a few wrote in Ralph Paul...I mean Ron Nader...and viola, we have President Obama.

I really think that Huck has found his calling. He is the perfect conservative/christain talk-show host. But he dosn't have the brains to pull-off being president with the current problems we face.

I give it as my opinion that if the economy isn't better in the next two years, America will choose substance over style. So PLEASE PLEASE, Huck, STAY ON FOXNEWS! I'll keep watching...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama's finally done something I can agree with...


by David Alvord

PETA? How about PETABOA? That stands for "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals By Other Animals". The way I see it, most animal cruelty is delivered by other animals. A few years ago, (this is a true story...just ask Laura) I saw this bird in my backyard and it was being attacked by our cat. Our cat was messing with it for about an hour. The bird's wing was injured and the cat was just poking it and taunting it. All of these other birds started to swoop down and try to distract our cat, but Lucy didn't care. She went on messing with the poor bird. It was one of the saddest things I had ever watched. Eventually, upon my wife's insistence, I decided to deliver the bird out of danger and so I took a tennis racket and lifted the bird and flung it over the fence (out of the range of our cat). I'm sure that the poor bird died over there...eaten by another cat or something.

That night, as we ate our KFC, I thought to myself about how much nicer we humans are, without even trying, to the creatures that we eat. Our cat would have tortured that little bird for several hours had I not intervened.

So the other day, Obama swats this fly and actually hits it! I was proud to be an American! I can honestly say that this was one of the first things Obama has done as president that I agreed with.

And so PETA actually condemns his actions! Are you serious? Other animals are so much more cruel to other animals than we humans are. Go see the movie documentary Planet Earth, or Earth...and you will see all of these lions attacking a huge elephant. Can you imagine some lunatick human doing something like that? I mean jumping on the back of an elephant and just gnawing on it's back for an hour? The guy who tried that would be considered totally insane and cruel. But when it's a lion doing it, we just watch and do nothing about it! There's some kind of weird double-standard. How many flies are being eaten by frogs and bats as we speak? How many trillions of plankton are being slowly digested in the stomach of the humpback whales as we speak? Did you know that the female black Widow spider eats her male partner ALIVE after her eggs are fertilized? How do you think that makes the males feel?

So, PETA, if you are in the business of decreasing animal suffering, you had better start with the animal kingdom itself...otherwise you are straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel (not to be taken literally, that would be cruel...see THE NEW TESTAMENT).



Friday, April 24, 2009

Obama: A Timid Advocate of Freedom (NRO article)

A Timid Advocate of Freedom
President Obama has failed his early foreign-policy tests.

by Mitt Romney

At last week’s Summit of the Americas, President Obama acquiesced to a 50-minute attack on America as terroristic, expansionist, and interventionist from Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. His response to Ortega’s denunciation of our effort to free Cuba from Castro’s dictatorship was that he shouldn’t be blamed “for things that happened when I was three months old.” Blamed? Hundreds of men, including Americans, bravely fought and died for Cuba’s freedom, heeding the call from newly elected president John F. Kennedy. But last week, even as American soldiers sacrificed blood in Afghanistan and Iraq to defend liberty, President Obama shrank from defending liberty here in the Americas.

In his first press interview as president, he confessed to Arabic television that America had “dictated” to other nations. No, Mr. President, America has fought to free other nations from dictators. And in Strasbourg, the president further claimed that America has “showed arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” London’s Daily Telegraph observed that President Obama “went further than any United States president in history in criticizing his own country’s action while standing on foreign soil.” Of course, it was not just the Daily Telegraph that was listening: People around the world who yearn for freedom, who count on America’s resolve and support, heard him as well. He was heard in China, in Tibet, in Sudan, in Burma, and, yes, in Cuba.

The words spoken by the leader of the free world can expand the frontiers of freedom or shrink them. When Ronald Reagan called on Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” a surge of confidence rose that would ultimately breach the bounds of the evil empire. It was the same confidence that had been ignited decades earlier when John F. Kennedy declared to a people surrounded by Communism that they were not alone. “We are all Berliners,” he said, because “freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s confident commitment, spoken as he led us into the war that would free millions in Europe, inspired not only Americans but freedom fighters around the globe: “The American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” Such words of solidarity, of confidence, and of unwavering conviction that America is indeed “the last best hope on earth” are what freedom’s friends would have expected to hear from our president when our nation was slandered. Instead he offered silence, smiles, and a handshake.

Even more troubling than what he has or has not said is what he has not done. Kim Jong Il launched a long-range missile on the very day President Obama addressed the world about the peril of nuclear proliferation. As one of the world’s most oppressive and tyrannical regimes is on the brink of securing the “game changing” capability to reach American shores with a nuclear weapon, the president shrinks from action: no seizure of North Korean funds, no severance of banking access, no blockade.

Not to be outdone by Kim Jong Il, President Ahmadinejad announced that his nation has successfully mastered every step necessary to enrich uranium, violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it has signed. So, like North Korea, Iran will have changed the world’s equation for peace and security: It will be capable of devastating Europe and America, and of annihilating Israel. And as with North Korea, the Obama administration chooses inaction — no new severe sanctions, no hint of military options. Ahmadinejad can act with confidence that the forceful options once on our proverbial table have been shelved.

Vice President Biden was right that the new president would be tested early in his administration. What the world learned was not good news for freedom and democracy. The leader of the free world has been a timid advocate of freedom at best. And bold action to blunt the advances of tyrants has been wholly lacking. We are still very early in the Obama years — the president will have ample opportunity to defend America and freedom, and to deter nuclear brinkmanship. I am hoping for change.

— Mitt Romney, formerly the governor of Massachusetts, was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

This article appeared in the National Review Online on April 21, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bailouts Too Much Like Abortion: Do What You Want, Don't Worry About the Consequences

This morning I read a headline on CNN.com that made me shudder: "US Plan to Buy Toxic Assets Near"

Follow me here. If an asset is toxic for a bank, it means that the bank made a decision to make a bad loan, and is now suffering the consequences of that decision by losing money.

But now the federal government comes in and says, "Oh no! You're having to deal with the consequences of your bad decision. It must be so hard for you, and it's hard on the rest of us too. So listen to us. We have a plan. We're going to pretend that you never made a bad decision. We're going to take away all the consequences so you don't have to feel any more pain. What we're going to do is force someone else to take on your pain, an innocent person who had nothing to do with your bad decisions. Now the innocents will have to deal with the consequences of your decision. You, on the other hand, are totally off the hook. Now just go back to being who you were before, and, by the way, don't worry. If you ever make a bad decision again, we'll be here for you.

Now the absurdity of the above situation ought to be obvious. It's exactly the same message we send when we legalize the killing of unborn children. We're essentially teaching people that the consequences of their actions don't matter, that they can do whatever the heck they want and not accept the consequences of their actions (90% of abortions are performed as a form of birth control; look it up).

Just as innocent children are the victims of abortion, the innocent American taxpayer is the victim of these absurd government bailouts. If the US government were a parent, they might be voted "worst parent ever." After all, what good parent would allow their children to escape the consequences of their bad decisions? It's just plain dumb. When you remove the negative consequences of a bad decision, the person is much more likely to keep making the same bad decisions over and over again.

This much ought to be obvious. But apparently the Obama administration doesn't get it, and the Bush administration didn't get it either. Since when has the free market functioned properly with heavy government intervention? The answer is...never. The only role the government ought to play in a free market is to ensure ethical behavior and create policies that keep government as far away as possible from business, so that the market can operate with as few restrictions as possible. It's that kind of thinking that allowed America to become the world's most powerful country in a ridiculously short amount of time, and it's that kind of thinking that will help get us out of the financial swamp that is now drowning us.

But the Obama administration seems hellbent on making sure we stay in this swamp. With each government bailout, with each company that is "rescued", the taxpayers of America are becoming the shareholders in some of the worst investments in history. I'll ask you, would you, voluntarily, buy stock in AIG right now? General Motors? Citigroup? But wait, YOU ARE buying stock in these companies. The Obama administration is FORCING you. You don't have a choice. You ARE a shareholder in these companies, and there's nothing you can do about it.

These bailouts, which the government is calling "public-private partnerships," are not partnerships at all. Last I knew, a good partnership was something into which both parties voluntarily entered for mutual benefit. Yet I see no benefit at all to the taxpayer in this "partnership", and make no mistake: nothing about this is voluntary. All we get is a bigger tax bill and horrible investment losses. On the other hand, the companies that caused these problems are making off like bandits. The government is telling them that it's okay for them to unload their toxic assets on the citizens, and is basically forcing us to take the blame for the banks' bad decisions. Now call me crazy, but that's no partnership.

But wait, aren't I missing the point here? Once our government forces us taxpayers to buy stock in these poorly-run companies, the companies will surely be in better health, right, and the country back on better financial footing? Not so fast. Who is to say these companies won't continue making the same bad decisions? You've heard the saying, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior." Well believe it. When individuals or organizations don't face consequences for their bad decisions, the likelihood of them repeating the same mistakes is very high.

So here the government is, anointing themselves saviors of the economy, the knights in shining armor, when in fact all they have done is encourage the offending companies to keep up with business as usual. Just like the irresponsible individuals who continue to have unprotected sex, knowing they can easily get a government-approved abortion the next day, these poorly-managed companies will keep on making poor management decisions, knowing full well that big brother government stands ready and willing to bail them out, again.

God help us.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mitt Romney Wins CPAC Straw Poll as Top Choice for 2012 GOP Presidential Nomination

CNN.com is running on its homepage that CPAC has selected Mitt Romney as its top choice for the 2012 Republication Presidential Nomination. This is the third straight year CPAC has selected Romney as its choice for the nomination. CPAC is often seen as a good barometer of conservative intellectual opinion. To read the full article click on the following link: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/28/cpac/index.html

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Handling of Stimulus, Obama Fails His First Big Test

During the election, Barack Obama promised not only to make a great effort to solicit opposing opinions, but he promised that he would not push any non-emergency legislation through Congress without first giving the general public a full five days to review it and provide feedback. In ramming this one-party stimulus bill through Congress in about two days (a bill that happens to be the biggest spending bill in US history), he broke both promises in a major way.

If this bill were something minor it wouldn't be a concern. But we're talking about a bill that will saddle American taxpayers with debt for generations to come. Most Americans, and even the politicians who voted for the bill, did not even have time to read it. To me that's just inexusable. This is to mention nothing about the fact that Obama did not help establish clear criterion for what could qualify an expenditure as one that would truly stimulate the economy (remember how the first version of the bill requested millions for Head Start and other liberal wish list items that had nothing to do with stimulating the economy?).

Bottom line: Obama did not show good leadership in the way he managed this bill, and he broke important promises he made during the election. I like Obama. I want him to succeed. But in his first big test he failed miserably.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time to Close Ranks, Unite Behind Obama

Today we will all witness a historic day in America: the swearing in of Barack Obama, America's first black president. But today is historic for more reasons than that. For the first time in decades a new president will take the oath of office at a time when we are not only at war, but also in dire financial straits.

I have been a frequent critic of the liberal agenda, the Democratic party, and occasionally Barack Obama himself. However, as Obama assumes the presidency today, I call on Americans everywhere to close ranks and unite behind him. Now more than ever is a time to put aside partisan bickering and ideological differences. Our country faces tremendous challenges in restoring our weak economy, cutting the deficit, securing Iraq, and healing our wounded relationships with other countries.

Barack Obama cannot do this alone. He will need the help of all Americans: Republicans and Democrats, liberal and conservative, white and black, men and women. America, this is a time for us to stand together and focus our energies on solving the problems common to us all.

Although I strongly supported the GOP candidates in the primaries and the general election, I have always been impressed with much of what Barack Obama has to offer. As he is mostly untested at this point in his career, it is difficult to know what we can expect from him. However, I want him to succeed, and I want him to succeed fantastically. As Obama himself said after clinching the election, he is now everyone's president. So let us now throw our support to President Obama. Pray for him. Support him in our words. Support him in our deeds. Because he's going to need our help.

Barack Obama does indeed have a special aura about him. He seems to have the potential of a great, perhaps magnificent, leader. He is highly intelligent, sensitive to viewpoints that differ from his own, well-spoken, even-tempered, pragmatic, a solid family man, a person of strong character, and a hard worker. I pray to God that these traits which many of us perceive in him are in fact representative of who he really is, and that they will play a major part in how he governs these great United States of America. Obama is not now a great leader. He has not proven anything yet. But I, and I think most people, truly want him to become a great leader. God knows we need one right now.

Americans close ranks. Unite behind President Obama. Unite together to help him solve the serious problems we face. And if we disagree with him at times, let it be as part of the loyal opposition. We can disagree with some of his positions while still supporting and respecting him in his role as the president of our great country. In these perilous times, the need to support our leaders is greater than ever. It is patriotic to express divergent opinions, and we should continue to do so, but we must go forward with an eye focused on supporting those who are trying their hardest to do what they believe is in the best interests of the American people. Even if our support is qualified, it will go a long way toward uniting this country and giving President Obama the moral authority he needs to lead us out of these difficult times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mitt Romney's Stimulus Plan: It's Brilliant

If Mitt Romney had been elected President, what would he have done to get our economy back on the right track?

Now we know.

To read Romney's brilliant stimulus plan click here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mitt's the standard-bearer, not Palin

by David Alvord

Now that the election is over, it is time to weigh-in on Governor Palin. There is no question that the media was not kind to her during the election. Part of it was due to the fact that she had not been vetted. Sarah had not run in the primary election and had little National exposure or experience.

I must admit that I had genuine enthusiasm for having her on the Republican ticket last year. She brought a lot of excitement to the ticket. Yet, now that I have had time to think about it, it was the fact that Palin could win that had me most excited, not what she would do with that winning. All we knew was that she was good-looking, wholesome, a family woman, and who was a rising star. And she still is all of those things, and I'm glad to have her on our side. I feel that McCain did not capitalize on having her be the spokesperson for energy independence. This was one area in which she was a bit muzzled and probably due to the fact that McCain wasn't totally committed to the cause.

On the downside, she did not bring very many new ideas to the party. She was not a champion of a cause that aroused much passion. She was a wonderful messenger, who never really got the message. We can blame McCain for much of that, but she had little to stand on her own.

But, when all things are considered, I still believe Gov. Palin would have been better than either Biden or Obama as President or VP. That said, she is not the best Republican we've got to choose from. That distinction is reserved for our man Mitt. Romney has been vetted. Romney has run a National Campaign. He went from having little name recognition to almost taking the nomination his first try (Something even Reagan could not do). And now that the election is over, many Republicans are lamenting giving the nomination to McCain instead of Romney.

And so, going forward it should be clear that for the Republicans, and for conservatives, Romney is the Standard-bearer, not Palin.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Compassionate Conservatism

by David Alvord

In a few days we will say Goodbye to President Bush. His presidency will probably be remembered for the Iraq war. Obama's decision to extend the service of Robert Gates is encouraging to me and is a signal that America won't be rushing out of Iraq anytime soon. This must be very frustrating to the anti-war left.

When all things are considered, President Bush delivered on what he campaigned for. He promised to be a "compassionate conservative". When we conservatives first heard the word "compassionate", we worried that Bush was referring to a compassionate government. We worried because, as conservatives, the only compassion we want from the government is to be left alone. Had Bush not heard Reagan say "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"? Probably not.

I hope I speak for most conservatives when I say that we are for human compassion. We simply believe that families, churches, and communities are better at taking care of the poor than the government is. We believe that if the money is left in our hands, we will be more responsible with that money than the government will be. When a family gives financial support to one of it's own, there is accountability involved. The family knows if any individual is abusing the money and will make adjustments accordingly. The family will also encourage eventual self-reliance. Does anyone really think that a social worker knows as much (or cares as much) as the family does?

There may be some reading this who worry that there are some individuals who may not belong to a family who can offer any assistance. This is where churches, charities, and communities can step in. Ironically, one of the reasons families may not be able to take care of their own is due to the high tax rate we currently have. I believe that if you let Americans keep more of their own money, families will be empowered to take care of their own. And, the American people will be much more judicious with that allocation than any government agency can be.

When families have the money, it encourages a society to higher moral standards. For example, imagine a young college student who is considering experimenting with drugs and who is also considering getting body piercing, and tattoos. If Mom and Dad are paying for college, or helping etc, there will be the immediate thought that they may cut him off from that funding if he/she does not live up to the standards of the family. But if Uncle Sam/Uncle Obama is paying for school there will no immediate consequences. In fact, that college student will hit "decline"on his cell phone when Mom calls. After all, who needs Mom and Dad when the government is paying for things? What about the consequences of drugs and tattoos? Governments can run ads on TV warning of the consequences of drug abuse to a young person's body...but we are talking about people who feel pretty immortal. And the consideration of being able to earn a living? Won't those tattoos and piercings put a young person at a disadvantage? No worries...the government will be there for the young person if they hit "rock bottom". They won't have to go to Mom and Dad and hear their lectures, take out their tongue rings and get a job. No.... Pell grants, food stamps, public housing will all be there for them if they really screw up. The result? A decline in the character and morals of the society.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son. In the Parable, a son departs from moral living and spends his birthright on riotous living. When he comes to himself, he returns to his father who compassionately receives him. One of the essential elements of the parable is that the Son hit bottom. There was no government program to bail him out. He basically had no choice but to return and repent. The prodigal had to return to moral living in his father's house. The son is better off in his father's house than if he had continued in riotous living while being supported by some unfeeling sponsor. The father had the means to kill the fatted calf and put a ring on his son's finger because he was not overtaxed. The whole story doesn't work out if we get the wealth redistribution Obama is talking about.

I heard Obama say that if one of his daughters makes a mistake (gets pregnant), he doesn't want her to be "punished" with a child...therefore abortion should be an option. First of all, children aren't a punishment. And at the heart of all of this, is the notion that there should be no punishment for wrongdoing. When you try to take away the consequences of bad behavior, you are, in turn, likely to increase the opportunity for people to behave badly.

Conservatism offers a better way. Let the people keep their money. Empower families to take care of their own. Churches and communities can assist those who are disabled, the Elderly, or those who have made poor choices. There will be accountability when help is given.

Conservatism allows us to be compassionate. Our man Mitt understands this principle. It is my prayer that Obama will see it too.