Jeffrey Lord

The Declaration of Independence

In 1958, historian Cornel Lengyel published his history of the Declaration of Independence. The book, Four Days in July, recounted the drama and divisions of the delegates to the Continental Congress who were gathered in the summer of 1776 at the State House in Philadelphia to debate the question of whether the thirteen colonies should declare their independence from Great Britain.

Lengyel writes this of the dramatic moment after the debates had been concluded and a written declaration, drafted by a committee composed of delegates John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston, was approved.

“One after another the delegates stood and declared themselves…Some of the voices rang out firmly, others were faint and could hardly be heard. In the end, every man had declared himself.

And after the tally, Mr. Hancock announced the result.

‘The declaration by the representatives of the United States of America has been adopted unanimously.’

A moment of silence followed. Nothing could be heard but the steady buzzing of the flies.

Some of the men glanced at each other speculatively. To ears accustomed to hearing ‘His Majesty’s Royal Colonies,’ the very term ‘United States of America’ had a strange and unfamiliar sound.

They had taken the last step; crossed the threshold. They were out in a glimmering zone which could either be twilight or dawn, where the old landmarks were dissolving and the signs of the future were hard to read.

Within reach of pursuing armies, within the tall dark shadow of the scaffold itself, they had cast their votes; and their voices had been unanimous.

They were ready now to sign the Declaration.”

They did. And here it is, as it appeared in its original form and is preserved today in the National Archives replete with spellings of the day. Happy Fourth of July.
__________________________________________
In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the

People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Georgia
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

North Carolina
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Massachusetts
John Hancock
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Maryland
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Pennsylvania
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Delaware
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

New York
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris

New Jersey
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Matthew Thornton

Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Connecticut
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan: Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

On January 22, 1983, President Ronald Reagan released an essay on abortion that he had written. With the repeal of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022, it is worth going back to recall that Reagan essay on abortion and Roe v. Wade, then ten years old. Here it is in full, unedited:


“The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators – not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation’s wars.

Make no mistake, abortion on demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe vs. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.

As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe vs. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe vs. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation. Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, it concerns every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: “. . . any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Ronald Reagan: Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation 1
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life- the unborn-without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” in Bloomington because the child had Down’s Syndrome.

Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe vs. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that “the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.”

Over the first two years of my Administration I have closely followed and assisted efforts in Congress to reverse the tide of abortion efforts of Congressmen, Senators and citizens responding to an urgent moral crisis. Regrettably, I have also seen the massive efforts of those who, under the banner of “freedom of choice,” have so far blocked every effort to reverse nationwide abortion-on-demand.

Despite the formidable obstacles before us, we must not lose heart. This is not the first time our country has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of certain human lives. The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a day, or a year, or even a decade. At first, only a minority of Americans recognized and deplored the moral crisis brought about by denying the full humanity of our black brothers and sisters; but that minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed.

They did it by appealing to the hearts and minds of their countrymen, to the truth of human dignity under God. From their example, we know that respect for the sacred value of human life is too deeply engrained in the hearts of our people to remain forever suppressed. But the great majority of the American people have not yet made their voices heard, and we cannot expect them to-any more than the public voice arose against slavery-until the issue is clearly framed and presented.

What, then, is the real issue? I have often said that when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives – the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child.

Why else do we call a pregnant woman a mother? I have also said that anyone who doesn’t feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.

The case against abortion does not rest here, however, for medical practice confirms at every step the correctness of these moral sensibilities. Modern medicine treats the unborn child as a patient. Medical pioneers have made great breakthroughs in treating the unborn-for genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, irregular heart rhythms, and other medical conditions. Who can forget George Will’s moving account of the little boy who underwent brain surgery six times during the nine weeks before he was born?

Who is the patient if not that tiny unborn human being who can feel pain when he or she is approached by doctors who come to kill rather than to cure?

The real question today is not when human life begins, but, what is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law – the same right we have.

What more dramatic confirmation could we have of the real issue than the Baby Doe case in Bloomington, Indiana? The death of that tiny infant tore at the hearts of all Americans because the child was undeniably a live human being-one lying helpless before the eyes of the doctors and the eyes of the nation. The real issue for the courts was not whether Baby Doe was a human being. The real issue was whether to protect the life of a human being who had Down’s Syndrome, who would probably be mentally handicapped, but who needed a routine surgical procedure to unblock his esophagus and allow him to eat. A doctor testified to the presiding judge that, even with his physical problem corrected, Baby Doe would have a “non-existent” possibility for “a minimally adequate quality of life” – in other words, that retardation was the equivalent of a crime deserving the death penalty. The judge let Baby Doe starve and die, and the Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned his decision.

Federal law does not allow federally-assisted hospitals to decide that Down’s Syndrome infants are not worth treating, much less to decide to starve them to death. Accordingly, I have directed the Departments of Justice and HHS to apply civil rights regulations to protect handicapped newborns. All hospitals receiving federal funds must post notices which will clearly state that failure to feed handicapped babies is prohibited by federal law. The basic issue is whether to value and protect the lives of the handicapped, whether to recognize the sanctity of human life. This is the same basic issue that underlies the question of abortion.

The 1981 Senate hearings on the beginning of human life brought out the basic issue more clearly than ever before. The many medical and scientific witnesses who testified disagreed on many things, but not on the scientific evidence that the unborn child is alive, is a distinct individual or is a member of the human species. They did disagree over the value question, whether to give value to a human life at its early and most vulnerable stages of existence.

Regrettably, we live at a time when some persons do not value all human life. They want to pick and choose which individuals have value. Some have said that only those individuals with “consciousness of self” are human beings. One such writer has followed this deadly logic and concluded that “shocking as it may seem, a newly born infant is not a human being.”

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has suggested that if a handicapped child “were not declared fully human until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice.” In other words, “quality control” to see if newly born human beings are up to snuff.

Obviously, some influential people want to deny that every human life has intrinsic, sacred worth. They insist that a member of the human race must have certain qualities before they accord him or her status as a “human being.”

Events have borne out the editorial in a California medical journal which explained three years before Roe v. Wade that the social acceptance of abortion is a “defiance of the long-held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition, or status.”

Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the “quality of life” ethic.

I have no trouble identifying the answer our nation has always given to this basic question, and the answer that I hope and pray it will give in the future. American was founded by men and women who shared a vision of the value of each and every individual. They stated this vision clearly from the very start in the Declaration of Independence, using words that every schoolboy and schoolgirl can recite:

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

We fought a terrible war to guarantee that one category of mankind- black people in America-could not be denied the inalienable rights with which their Creator endowed them. The great champion of the sanctity of all human life in that day, Abraham Lincoln, gave us his assessment of the Declaration‘s purpose. Speaking of the framers of that noble document, he said:

‘This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all his creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on. . . They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages.’

He warned also of the danger we would face if we closed our eyes to the value of life in any category of human beings:

‘I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? ‘

When Congressman John A. Bingham of Ohio drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee the rights of life, liberty, and property to all human beings, he explained that all are “entitled to the protection of American law, because its divine spirit of equality declares that all men are created equal.” He said the right guaranteed by the amendment would therefore apply to “any human being.” Justice William Brennan, writing in another case decided only the year before Roe v. Wade, referred to our society as one that “strongly affirms the sanctity of life.”

Another William Brennan – not the Justice – has reminded us of the terrible consequences that can follow when a nation rejects the sanctity of life ethic:

‘The cultural environment for a human holocaust is present whenever any society can be misled into defining individuals as less than human and therefore devoid of value and respect.’

As a nation today, we have not rejected the sanctity of human life. The American people have not had an opportunity to express their view on the sanctity of human life in the unborn. I am convinced that Americans do not want to play God with the value of human life. It is not for us to decide who is worthy to live and who is not. Even the Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade did not explicitly reject the traditional American idea of intrinsic worth and value in all human life; it simply dodged this issue.

The Congress has before it several measures that would enable our people to reaffirm the sanctity of human life, even the smallest and the youngest and the most defenseless. The Human Life Bill expressly recognizes the unborn as human beings and accordingly protects them as persons under our Constitution. This bill, first introduced by Senator Jesse Helms, provided the vehicle for the Senate hearings in 1981 which contributed so much to our understanding of the real issue of abortion.

The Respect Human Life Act, just introduced in the 98th Congress, states in its first section that the policy of the United States is “to protect innocent life, both before and after birth.” This bill, sponsored by Congressman Henry Hyde and Senator Roger Jepsen, prohibits the federal government from performing abortions or assisting those who do so, except to save the life of the mother. It also addresses the pressing issue of infanticide which, as we have seen, flows inevitably from permissive abortion as another step in the denial of the inviolability of innocent human life.

I have endorsed each of these measures, as well as the more difficult route of constitutional amendment, and I will give these initiatives my full support. Each of them, in different ways, attempts to reverse the tragic policy of abortion-on-demand imposed by the Supreme Court ten years ago. Each of them is a decisive way to affirm the sanctity of human life.

We must all educate ourselves to the reality of the horrors taking place. Doctors today know that unborn children can feel a touch within the womb and that they respond to pain. But how many Americans are aware that abortion techniques are allowed today, in all 50 states, that burn the skin of a baby with a salt solution, in an agonizing death that can last for hours?

Another example: two years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a Sunday special supplement on “The Dreaded Complication.” The “dreaded complication” referred to in the article-the complication feared by doctors who perform abortions-is the survival of the child despite all the painful attacks during the abortion procedure. Some unborn children do survive the late-term abortions the Supreme Court has made legal. Is there any question that these victims of abortion deserve our attention and protection? Is there any question that those who don’t survive were living human beings before they were killed?

Late-term abortions, especially when the baby survives, but is then killed by starvation, neglect, or suffocation, show once again the link between abortion and infanticide. The time to stop both is now. As my Administration acts to stop infanticide, we will be fully aware of the real issue that underlies the death of babies before and soon after birth.

Our society has, fortunately, become sensitive to the rights and special needs of the handicapped, but I am shocked that physical or mental handicaps of newborns are still used to justify their extinction. This Administration has a Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, who has done perhaps more than any other American for handicapped children, by pioneering surgical techniques to help them, by speaking out on the value of their lives, and by working with them in the context of loving families. You will not find his former patients advocating the so-called “quality-of-life” ethic.

I know that when the true issue of infanticide is placed before the American people, with all the facts openly aired, we will have no trouble deciding that a mentally or physically handicapped baby has the same intrinsic worth and right to life as the rest of us. As the New Jersey Supreme Court said two decades ago, in a decision upholding the sanctity of human life, “a child need not be perfect to have a worthwhile life.”

Whether we are talking about pain suffered by unborn children, or about late-term abortions, or about infanticide, we inevitably focus on the humanity of the unborn child. Each of these issues is a potential rallying point for the sanctity of life ethic. Once we as a nation rally around any one of these issues to affirm the sanctity of life, we will see the importance of affirming this principle across the board.

Malcolm Muggeridge, the English writer, goes right to the heart of the matter: “Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other.” The sanctity of innocent human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity.

It is possible that the Supreme Court itself may overturn its abortion rulings. We need only recall that in Brown v. Board of Education the court reversed its own earlier “separate-but-equal” decision. I believe if the Supreme Court took another look at Roe v. Wade, and considered the real issue between the sanctity of life ethic and the quality of life ethic, it would change its mind once again.

As we continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade, we must also continue to lay the groundwork for a society in which abortion is not the accepted answer to unwanted pregnancy. Pro-life people have already taken heroic steps, often at great personal sacrifice, to provide for unwed mothers. I recently spoke about a young pregnant woman named Victoria, who said, “In this society we save whales, we save timber wolves and bald eagles and Coke bottles. Yet, everyone wanted me to throw away my baby.” She has been helped by Save-a-Life, a group in Dallas, which provides a way for unwed mothers to preserve the human life within them when they might otherwise be tempted to resort to abortion. I think also of House of His Creation in Catesville, Pennsylvania, where a loving couple has taken in almost 200 young women in the past ten years. They have seen, as a fact of life, that the girls are not better off having abortions than saving their babies. I am also reminded of the remarkable Rossow family of Ellington, Connecticut, who have opened their hearts and their home to nine handicapped adopted and foster children.

The Adolescent Family Life Program, adopted by Congress at the request of Senator Jeremiah Denton, has opened new opportunities for unwed mothers to give their children life. We should not rest until our entire society echoes the tone of John Powell in the dedication of his book, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust, a dedication to every woman carrying an unwanted child: “Please believe that you are not alone. There are many of us that truly love you, who want to stand at your side, and help in any way we can.” And we can echo the always-practical woman of faith, Mother Teresa, when she says, “If you don’t want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me.” We have so many families in America seeking to adopt children that the slogan “every child a wanted child” is now the emptiest of all reasons to tolerate abortion.

I have often said we need to join in prayer to bring protection to the unborn. Prayer and action are needed to uphold the sanctity of human life. I believe it will not be possible to accomplish our work, the work of saving lives, “without being a soul of prayer.” The famous British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, prayed with his small group of influential friends, the “Clapham Sect,” for decades to see an end to slavery in the British empire. Wilberforce led that struggle in Parliament, unflaggingly, because he believed in the sanctity of human life. He saw the fulfillment of his impossible dream when Parliament outlawed slavery just before his death.
Let his faith and perseverance be our guide. We will never recognize the true value of our own lives until we affirm the value in the life of others, a value of which Malcolm Muggeridge says: “. . . however low it flickers or fiercely burns, it is still a Divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives ever so humane and enlightened.”

Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves.

Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.”

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
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The Importance of Sean Hannity

So here is just one of the headlines on Fox News and talk radio host Sean Hannity from last week, this one from The New York Post:

Sean Hannity just broke this record held by Larry King

The story began:

Sean Hannity has claimed the title of longest-running primetime cable news host in television history, surpassing the late Larry King.

The Fox News host, who has been at the channel since its founding in 1996, has been a key cog in the network’s primetime programming for 25 years, six months, and 15 days, breaking the record held by King.”

Congratulations to Sean, for sure.

But in this corner I would suggest there is infinitely more to the importance of this story, so let’s go there.

The time: July, 1964.

Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater is about to be nominated for president at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco. This is big news. Why?

Well beside the fact that this was a man about to be nominated for president, this was big news because Goldwater is the GOP’s “Mr. Conservative.” After decades of the Eastern GOP Establishment nominating what are called today “RINOs” – “Republicans in Name Only” – there has finally been a conservative revolution inside the GOP in 1964, with Goldwater the very embodiment of that revolution, leading the way.

The media of the day, owned and operated lock, stock and barrel by liberals, is apoplectic at Goldwater’s rise. How does this affect their coverage of Goldwater? This way.

As Goldwater prepared to head to San Francisco to clinch the nomination over GOP Establishment favorite Governor William Scranton, a Pennsylvania moderate, CBS reporter Daniel Schorr beamed in to the massive CBS audience of anchor Walter Cronkite from, of all places, Munich, Germany. Schorr reported this:

“It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria, center of Germany’s own right wing.”

Schorr went on:

“Goldwater has accepted an invitation to visit, immediately after the convention, Lieutenant General William Quinn, commander of the Seventh Army, at Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s onetime stamping ground but now an American Army recreational area.

In addition, I learned today, Goldwater has given his tentative agreement to speak next weekend at the annual roundtable of the Evangelical Academy at Tutzing, on Bavaria’s Lake Starnberg, where Chancellor Adenauer spoke last year.

It is now clear that Senator Goldwater’s interview with (the German magazine) Der Spiegel, with its hard line appealing to right-wing elements in Germany, was only the start of a move to link up with his opposite numbers in Germany….

Thus, there are signs that the American and German right wings are joining up, and the election campaign is taking on a news dimension.”

And oh yes. The New York Times also ran with a version of this story.

The story was false – from start to finish. In fact, once nominated, Goldwater went home to Arizona to rest up for the coming campaign.  He had never spoken to Der Spiegel. But the message of all of this directly from CBS and The Times -the heart of the media of the day –  was crystal clear:

The conservative Goldwater, about to be the GOP presidential nominee, was set to travel to Adolph Hitler’s old retreat, and he would speak at the “Evangelical Academy” – the latter presented as a breeding ground of neo-Nazism.

It was, in other words, a lie. A lie that deliberately painted Goldwater – an Army Air Force pilot in World War II who rose to become a Major General – as a Nazi sympathizer.

Now, move ahead 23 years.

It is another July day, July 1st of 1987. There is a new vacancy on the Supreme Court. President Reagan walks into the White House press briefing room and announces that he is nominating D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Bork to fill the vacant seat. Bork was one of the most distinguished legal minds in the country. He had been, successively, an associate at a blue-chip law firm and a law professor at Yale Law School. (Where Bork’s students included both Bill and Hillary Clinton and a small platoon of future liberal legal stars including New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, future Clarence Thomas antagonist Anita Hill and future California governor Jerry Brown.) He was a distinguished author on anti-trust law, and before his nomination to the DC Circuit had served as the Solicitor General of the United States. Robert Bork was not simply seriously well qualified for the Supreme Court he was a legal star.

And then.

At the time I was serving in the Reagan White House political office, where we were instantly tasked to help get  the Judge confirmed. With his incredible record this seemed at first to be a routine task. Supreme Court nominations at that point had been, as it were, yawners. With a couple exceptions in the Nixon era, they had usually been quiet hearings where lawyers discussed the arcana of American law and legal decisions that were guaranteed to put most observers to sleep.

This changed, suddenly and dramatically, when Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy stood up on the Senate floor to savage what he called “Robert Bork’s America”. Which was supposed to be an America  transformed by Bork. Bork was an “ideological extremist” who was both racist and sexist, favored driving women to back alley abortions and more. In other words, Bork was a serious, imminent threat to America.

The Reagan White House was stunned. Here was one of, if not THE, most respected legal minds in the country. We had thick briefing books of his legal decisions and writings, with not a word that indicated he was even close to the description Kennedy had of Bork. And Kennedy’s speech was only the beginning.

Bork, in his memoirs, wrote this of the media’s coverage of his nomination.

“The media varied, of course, but the reporting in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the three network news programs was almost unrelievedly hostile, as, of course, were the advertisements. The campaign was having its effect. The Center for Media and Public Affairs coded 232 TV news and Washington Post stories and found that of 381 judgments by sources 63 percent were negative and 37 percent positive, and that proportion was almost identical at each of the networks and the Post. Sources discussing my ideas ran four to one negative at the Post and six to one at the networks, with CBS well out in front, at eight to one. Throughout July, August, and September, TV news carried twenty-nine critical statements not one favorable statement.

It was not that so few defenders, or none, were available. Newspapers and television decide whom to ask and whose opinions to carry. According to a journalist, when a reporter wants to express his opinion in a news story, he goes to a source who agrees with him for a statement. In that way, a pretense of objectivity is maintained. The Center also analyzed the tag lines of the television network news stories, because bias is usually manifested there. It reported that my nomination held the record for bias among all issues whose reporting the Center had monitored: 100 percent negative on all three networks. I later heard that polls were much more favorable to me among people who had watched the entire hearings than among those who saw only the nightly news.”

So what do the Goldwater and Bork tales have to do with Sean Hannity, you ask? This.

Both Goldwater and Bork and their supporters in the day were effectively alone when it came to being targeted by the liberal media. The sole conservative outlet in the media in 1964 was William F. Buckley and his National Review magazine. By 1987 that had expanded to include R. Emmett Tyrrell’s The American Spectator magazine.

Had Sean Hannity been on Fox and talk radio in both cases – not to mention had Fox News itself and talk radio existed, along with now, Newsmax, One America News and yes, an Internet that is littered with conservative web sites – the Goldwater and Bork stories may well have ended differently This isn’t to say Goldwater would have been elected – but the election and the presence of an active, highly visible conservative media would surely have made the election closer. And, I suspect, had Hannity been on television and radio 4 hours a week in 1987 Robert Bork may indeed have been confirmed to the Supreme Court. As the Kavanaugh nomination illustrated exactly.

All of which underlines just why the anniversary of Sean’s record-setting years as a Fox host has been vital to America over the decades he has been on air.

Routinely he goes where the liberal media refuses to go. In the beginning, he would take on his late, great co-host, the decidedly liberal Alan Colmes, in debates. When on his own, whether he’s investigating the deep state shenanigans of the Trump haters in the federal government with serious journalists like John Solomon and Sara Carter, or exploring the “terror tunnels” dug underground by Hamas on the Gaza Strip or standing up for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, America and the world are in a different, far better place because Hannity is fearless about taking on the liberal media narratives of the day.

As the saying goes, one way to judge if Hannity is “over the target” are the volumes of attacks directed his way by left-wing media types. Whether online, on CNN or MSNBC, or simply in book form the attacks on Sean rain down on him personally and professionally. There have been repeated efforts to silence him, to bully his sponsors on Fox and his radio show.

And, thankfully, they have all failed. His audience has stuck with him, through thick and thin.

All of which is to say, that is exactly why Sean has been able to celebrate his new record as the “longest-running primetime cable news host in television history.”

So here’s to Sean Hannity. Another 100 years and he can begin to think of semi-retiring.

Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Stephen Colbert and the Revolt Inside CBS Against a Trump Hire

Over there at NewsBusters, my NB colleague Tim Graham has a column that is, in fact, a look at the serious problems Americans have with the liberal media.

In this case the story revolves around the CBS decision to hire former Trump White House chief of staff and former GOP Congressman Mick Mulvaney as an analyst – obviously an analyst who would bring the conservative and pro-Trump point of view into CBS discussions on the political scene.

Cue the outrage.

Tim points to this headline in The Washington Post by the paper’s Jeremy Barr. The headline:

Turmoil at CBS News over Trump aide Mick Mulvaney’s punditry gig
A network executive said they want to hire more Republicans to gain ‘access’ ahead of a ‘likely’ Democratic midterm wipeout

Barr reports this:

“CBS News’s decision to hire former Trump administration official Mick Mulvaney as a paid on-air contributor is drawing backlash within the company because of his history of bashing the press and promoting the former president’s fact-free claims.

…The reaction from CBS News employees to Mulvaney’s hiring was as chilly as the reaction on social media, where many journalists and political commentators suggested that the network was jeopardizing its long history of journalistic excellence.”

And that was just behind the scenes. On air, CBS late night host Stephen Colbert used his own show to attack the hiring of Mulvaney. Said the supposed “comedian”:

“You know I’m a company man — I love CBS, our parent company Paramount, and its parent company, probably a defense contractor who makes b-ner pills, there’s no way of knowing.

Recently, my network got a lot of criticism, much of it from itself, because CBS News has hired the ex-president’s former chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to ‘provide political analysis across the network’s broadcasts and platforms.’”

And with that Colbert looked in the camera and said:

“What the f–k?”

In typical fashion, the far left ex-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who does not work at CBS, tweeted this to Colbert:

“Give them (CBS) a choice — keep him or [Mulvaney].”

Full stop here.

Make no mistake. What we are really seeing in this dust-up is confirmation that the liberal media is hell and gone from the objective reporting of news. All those at CBS protesting Mulvaney’s hire are not journalists, they are in reality hard left-wing activists.

This would be amusing if, in fact, it didn’t matter. But it does matter.

This fact of life of left-wing media bias is exactly why conservative media came into being. God bless him, the first to appear on the national scene and begin to turn the tide on this problem was our friend the late Rush Limbaugh. It was Rush who began to popularize talk radio. The person who recognized just how potent what Rush was doing was, was the late Roger Ailes, a friend of Rush. In essence, it was Roger Ailes, working with Rupert Murdoch, who built Fox News and made of television what Rush had done with radio.

A veritable galaxy of conservative media stars exploded on the American political scene, over the following decades, with those in the liberal media getting increasingly angry that what was once their left-wing media monopoly had vanished altogether. Pick a name on the scene in conservative media today – Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Jesse Watters and more, not to mention talk radio hosts holding forth in one American radio market after another across the land – and add the growing popularity of not just Fox but Newsmax and One America News – and the CBS staffer outrage is instantly explainable.

These people don’t see the hiring of ex-Trump chief of staffer Mick Mulvaney as bringing a “fair and balanced” style to their network. No, they see this as a political version of the old film classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – in which aliens take over human bodies so the infected human becomes a “drone-like shadow of their former selves” (as the film’s description on Amazon reads.

In short? Mick Mulvaney may look like everybody else at CBS – the requisite head, two arms and two legs – but in fact he is nothing like anybody else at CBS. He is some sort of alien political infection who, in their view, should never be allowed in the front door. Heaven only knows how many CBS viewers could be infected by this alien.

As the saying goes, “ya can’t make it up.” And for once, Stephen Colbert isn’t laughing.

Which all by itself tells you everything you need to know about CBS.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Will Putin Attack America – as Hitler Wanted To Do?

Would Vladimir Putin attack the United States – as Adolph Hitler wanted to do?

If the world has learned nothing in the last few days it is that yes, Putin really is the ruthless dictator many thought him to be. But there has also been an unspoken assumption that his ambitions lie in Europe, and that he would not attack the United States and open a full-scale global war.

The time is more than here to question that unspoken assumption. And do it by recalling the actual history of another infamous dictator and his ambitions to attack America.

That would be, of course, Adolph Hitler. And that actual history is this.

America’s largest city – New York – was almost 4,000 miles from Germany. Thus it was that Hitler set about a plan to build a long-range bomber. It was to be called the Amerika Bomber, and the idea was that once operational it could fly from Germany to New York and back without refueling. It would bomb New York City in much the way the German Luftwaffe – the Nazi air force – had relentlessly bombed London and more in the infamous Battle of Britain. Hitler was also at work building up the German Navy, which he used effectively with submarines sinking American merchant ships in the opening rounds of what became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

But there were Americans who were, in fact, concerned that Hitler-with an assist from Japan – would attack the US mainland directly.

In fact, the popular Life magazine, a staple of the American media of the day, did an extensive analysis of just how a combined German-Japanese attack on America could work.

Published in March of 1942, a series of 6 detailed maps of the United States imagined just how this attack could work. The All That’s Interesting website of today has published the 6 Life maps – itself doubtless causing an unsettling stir in the day among Americans who tended to view themselves as locked safely in a “Fortress America”, protected by the reach of the Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast and the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast.

The six plans outlined by Life were these:

Plan 1: The Germans would invade the American East Coast, the Japanese would invade the West Coast. The Germans would attack with “hit and run raids by subs, bombers and warships.” On the East Coast, German troops would be landed to attack urban centers ranging from New York and on down through cities that appear to be Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta and Miami, with more troops sent to New Orleans. On the West Coast the Japanese would begin by attacking the “U.S. base at Dutch Harbor (off the coast of Alaska) then moving along the Canadian coast and on down to the American cities of Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Plan 2: There would be a frontal attack on California via a renewed attack on Pearl Harbor. There would be three “feints” to fool the Americans, with supposed attacks targeting Seattle, Los Angeles and the Panama Canal but the real attack coming in San Francisco.

Plan 3: The Japanese would invade America through the Panama Canal, then move north through Mexico to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Plan 4: The Axis powers – the combined forces of Japan, Germany, Italy and Vichy France –  would take over the Atlantic, then move into the Gulf of Mexico, capture New Orleans and invade the US by moving up the Mississippi River.

Plan 5: Has the Germans and their allies surging through the Atlantic and attacking Norfolk, Virginia, – where there was a U.S. Navy base-  moving on from the captured base  to invade the rest of the country.

Plan 6: The Germans would take over Greenland, then invade Canada and move down the St. Lawrence River through New York’s Hudson Valley.

Then there was this story at CNN. The headline:

Hitler-owned book hints at plans for North American Holocaust

The CNN story says, in part, this:

“(CNN) – A rare book owned by Adolph Hitler, which is believed to detail the blueprint for a North American Holocaust, has been acquired by Canada’s national archive.

…The 137-page report – titled “Statistics, Media and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada” – was compiled in 1944 by German linguist and researcher Heinz Kloss. He was responsible for conducting key research for the Nazi regime on issues such as nationality, with a particular focus on the United States.

Kloss – who visited the United States in 1936-7 and maintained a network of Nazi sympathizers – used 1930s population data to produce a personalized census of the Jewish population in North America, along with information about Jewish organizations and newspapers.

…Rebecca Margolis of the University of Ottawa noted in a statement that the report offers a “documented confirmation of the fears felt so acutely” by Canadian Jews during World War II – that the Nazis intended to invade North America.”

There’s more, but the point is clear. What was thought unthinkable by many Americans of the day was in fact not at all unthinkable, and indeed Hitler and his Axis allies were in fact trying to figure out how exactly to accomplish an invasion of the United States.

Now?

Now it is critical for Americans – particularly those surrounding President Joe Biden – to understand that it is, in fact, entirely possible that somewhere in Vladimir Putin’s power-crazed mind, a mind disturbingly similar to Hitler’s, the thought is there that he could indeed launch a nuclear attack on the United States – and win.

Not good. Not good at all.

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