"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson

The Era of Intended Adverse Consequences

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 12
Publish Date: 
Thu, 07/17/2014


“Too often…we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought,” President Kennedy famously asserted before Yale’s class of 1962.


Denouncing political debates that “bear little or no relation to the actual problems the United States faces,” Kennedy urged policymakers to Think Again before engaging in “false dialogues” that “distract our attention and divide our efforts.” 


“The very future of freedom depends,” he believed, “upon the sensible and clearheaded management of the domestic affairs of the United States” and a “vigorous economy” -- quaint concerns 52-years hence.


Because today’s political discourse is so dishonest and domestic affairs so muddled, we’re living in an era of manufactured social strife. Creating policy impasses, politicians pick unnecessary fights over our constitutional system’s commitment to individual liberty and the rule of law, transforming dissenters into black-hearted villains with sinister agendas.


Faux-hysteria and fear mongering – especially in an election year -- are potent tools for squeezing money and outrage from voting blocs whose “rights,” they’re told, are under assault. 


Witness the feverish backlash to the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision. The ruling grants the company a religious exemption from the Health & Human Services regulation -- imposed during the 2012 election year without congressional input -- forcing employers to provide 20 types of contraception, including four abortion-inducing methods.


Facing crippling IRS-enforced penalties, the company’s devoutly Christian owners refused to provide the four abortifacients -- all cheap and ubiquitous -- though their gold-plated health plan covers the other 16 contraceptives cost-free.


Now closely held for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby (where five or fewer shareholders own at least half the corporation) needn’t defy their owners’ religious conscious, shocking national leaders including Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. Based only on their reactions, Americans could fairly assume the court had banned contraception and imposed an employer-led theocracy.


Forgetting an all-male majority decided Roe v. Wade, Pelosi opinioned, “We should be afraid of this Court, that five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not” – rated “false” by Politifact.


Clinton suggested that in denying women “access to contraception,” the decision makes the U.S. akin to extremist and theocratic nations where women are “deprived of their rights….” and “control over their bodies.”


In fact, because the government has alternative ways to assure cost-free contraception, the court crafted a narrow holding that respects religious liberty without interfering with employees’ rights. Women enjoy the same access to contraception they’ve always had, and all forms are legal. 


Speaking to his MSNBC choir, constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe explained the case hinged on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Co-sponsored by Pelosi, passed nearly unanimously and signed by President Clinton, the law says, “corporations, along with people and… unions, should be able to argue that something needlessly burdens their religion,” clarified Tribe, concluding, “That’s not [a] radical decision.” 


Tribe won’t be quoted this election year. Absent an improving American standard of living, politicians need the faux “war on women” narrative to woo female voters, as they do the Latino vote-winning claim that proponents of immigration law enforcement are racist xenophobes.


Like the Hobby Lobby case, the escalating humanitarian crisis on the southern border was avoidable if the government merely followed the law. After all, what distinguishes America is our healthy respect for the law. Instead, pro-amnesty appeals and the Obama Administration’s de facto “open border” policies created powerful magnets for migrating multitudes.  


Though the administration insists the border is secure and unlawful crossers will be deported, the migratory surge proves otherwise. So does a leaked Border Patrol memo saying only 3 percent of detainees are repatriated. The illegals and their countrymen know from experience that indefinite U.S. residency is virtually guaranteed, incentivizing them to make the life-endangering trek.


The influx of under-age migration, up 5-fold since 2012, began shortly after Obama’s election-year order effectively legalizing 550,000 alien youths. They’re coming predominately from countries not contiguous to the U.S. because of a 2008 anti-trafficking law granting repatriation leniency to non-Mexicans, which must be corrected.


If our leaders were as clear-headed as Kennedy, they’d realize that a national consensus on immigration won’t happen without crisis-ending steps including: building fences in insecure border sectors, like California’s; eliminating deportation leniency; conditioning foreign aid on exodus-ending measures; and enforcing U.S. immigration laws.


Since none of these fixes are in Obama’s $3.7 billion funding request to provide migrants housing, food, transportation and lawyers, the explosive issue remains.


Sadly, the wave of humanity stretching across America is stressing services -- from trash collection to education to healthcare -- imposing ever-growing economic and social costs that weaken the society to which huddled masses are drawn.


Think Again – Kennedy was right. We need more leaders mindful of the national interest who are willing to “separate false problems from real ones.”

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Good one Melanie! I am sooo

Good one Melanie!

I am sooo fed up with the “war on women”. The Hobby Lobby ruling has nothing to do with women’s rights. The fact that they are allowing coverage for 16 out of 20 meds seems to be ignored by the press. They just want to make the company look like an evil corporation that doesn’t care about their female employees. What a crock.

I was so pleased that the Senate couldn't get their act together to "fix" the Supreme Court ruling that I sent Senator Udall a rather negative email blasting him for co-sponsoring the bill.

If the government followed

If the government followed the law, bureaucrats would be forced to handle things like road maintenance and dog catching. The millions upon millions of useless unemployable idiots that infest the administrative state would be unemployed. Thus, the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would have nothing to crow about on the pile of refuse they caused.

Really appreciate you

Really appreciate you bringing Hillary Clinton's statements on the ruling to light, as I think needs to happen regularly on the issues by all of us as we move toward the next presidency...when it is assumed by many that she will move right in to the Whitehouse, grrrr.

Her own words and actions are so easily used against her, that I for one am going to keep a closer eye on things she says and bring these up to my friends and family to help them see the light!

Thanks for another great column.

Quoting JFK to promote your

Quoting JFK to promote your extreme views gives you a degree in false equivalence. Probably a Phd.

You got a lot in a nutshell

You got a lot in a nutshell Melanie and it helps to get liberals attn by introducing JFK's comments. In todays's world, the JFK of his era would almost be Barry Goldwater

Melanie, The

The leftist-conservative argument goes on and on. As you point out, truth is not required and it seems truth is unimportant to those on the left and their cheerleaders "who buy their ink by the barrel". Winning an argument against the lies of the opposition has proven as successful as climbing K2 but, in the end truth prevails. Thank God for special commissions seeking the facts.

As always, thoughtful and on

As always, thoughtful and on point.

Hits the nail on the head. I

Hits the nail on the head.

I love the way you quote Kennedy, a hero of the left, against today’s left.

Well done, Melanie !

Amazing article. I wish that

Amazing article. I wish that these liberals would spend as much time defending all of our rights and making this a better nation as they do pimping for abortion.

That argument is barely

That argument is barely logical. The majority of illegal drugs in the US comes from Mexico, then Columbia, Venezuela and Panama to lesser extents. these children are not from those countries. Most of them are from Costa Rica, Ecuador, other Latin countries. To entertain such an idea, the best solution then would be to legalize drugs here in the US, because it would cut our dependency for foreign drugs dramatically.

The real reason these children are coming here is because their countries are in disrepair. Ironically, what is drawing them here (Obama's push for an expanded welfare state) is precisely what has destroyed their home countries.

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