Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, August 26, 2016, (http://www.okwu.edu)
The school year has started and the “snowflake” rebellion of 2015 is anything but dead. Micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and demands for “safe spaces” continue to dominate the campus news from coast to coast. As the university president who wrote the viral “This is Not a Day Care” op-ed, I have been called by the media in recent days with essentially this question: “Dr. Piper, okay – your ‘Not a Day Care’ piece identified the problem, but what’s the solution?”
Here’s my answer:
In 1948, Richard Weaver told us “ideas have consequences.” A few short years earlier, Hitler said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.” Huxley and Orwell warned of dystopias where education would be used as a means to total power and total control. Yes, ideas clearly do have consequences. Good ideas lead to good culture and good government, and bad ideas lead to bad culture and bad government. As your grandmother said: Garbage in, garbage out. She was right – ideas matter.
In Missouri on the first Tuesday in April (April 4, 2017), elections are held for local school boards and municipal government. Because this involves thousands of candidates, it is beyond FRONT LINE’s scope to survey all of them and then report their policy preferences. Therefore, it falls upon you, the citizen, to find out who they are, and then contact them about why they are running and what they believe are the important issues to address. To help your conversations with them, here are just a few suggestions. Obviously, there will be more local issues to discuss. Check your local community newspaper to get up to speed.
Castles and Culture
For six years, Americans were glued to their televisions watching Downton Abbey, the award winning series created by Julian Fellows. The story spans 12 years, (1912-1925) of “gripping drama centered on a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. … Americans fell in love with Downton Abbey’s Granthams and their family of servants and have followed them through sweeping change, scandals, love, ambition, heartbreak, and hope ever since. … Downton Abbey delivers wit, wisdom, passion, and a phenomenon that is, at its heart, utterly human.”1 A global audience of over 120 million people has viewed it, and it is one of the top-ever programs aired on PBS .2
“Stories sympathetic to virtue, preservation of property, and admiration of nobility and of wealth can be told beautifully and to wide audiences,” said Jerry Bowyer in the February 14, 2013, issue of Forbes Magazine. Likewise, in Vanity Fair David Kamp wrote, “In its clear delineation between the goodies and baddies, in its regulated dosages of highs and lows, the show is welcome counter-programing to the slow burning despair and moral ambiguity of most quality drama on television right now.” 3
The spring issue of FRONT LINE (presidential primary was March 15) documented Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s positions on issues. Since then, additional information has become available concerning their backgrounds or stands on issues, which we have updated. Libertarian Gary Johnson is now included in this summary, since he will be on all 50 state ballots.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive review, but it is a brief highlight of what distinguishes each candidate. There are clear differences between the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties as well as the candidates themselves. (See Page E-5 for the comparisons of the Republican and Democrat Platforms.) Whether it’s the how the candidates view the role of judges in making law, the raising of taxes, or national defense, the differences will make a significant impact on the nation depending on who is ultimately elected.
With the sudden passing of Justice Scalia, the stalled confirmation of controversial appointment Merrick Garland, the awareness of judicial appointments and their significance is at an all time high. (The Judicial Branch) may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments. (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78) Western Civilization generally, and America specifically, owes a tremendous debt to the Holy Bible for giving, among other things, form and substance to government, language, culture, and law.
Many questions must be answered first if Americans are serious about staying safe today. Staying safe means undertaking pre-emptive actions to keep our civil society from turning into anarchy and thus losing life, home, income, and constitutional freedoms. Two in particular are paramount.
Missouri’s general primary is schedule for August 2, 2016. There is a full slate of candidates and issues for the upcoming election in November. There are multiple statewide contests in Missouri that FRONT LINE will focus on in this issue with more detail in the fall when the final ballots are set. In an attempt to give a sense of candidates and positions, we have chosen to highlight what the candidates have put forward primarily from their websites. Time and space limit the amount of information that can be spent on each candidate; for those candidates we have provided their websites for further information. The information is meant to be educational and helpful, but not necessarily comprehensive of the candidates’ views and positions.
STAYING SAFE IN AN UNSAFE WORLD
America the Beautiful! A special place in the development of today’s world – beauty, opportunity, and freedom with a history of optimism unlike any other.
Consider the chance to shoot the white water rapids on one of America’s incredible crystal clear, pristine rivers. Knowing there are risks involved, you hire a seasoned guide who will maneuver you securely through the boulders and waterfalls to the calm pool below. Not every American will choose to experience the excitement of this kind of adventure. But if you do, your journey is thrilling because of the near misses of jagged rocks and boulders, the crashing of waves over your head, the heart-in-your-mouth moments, and the rush of adrenaline when your guide yells pull hard-right on the oar. You have chosen these moments because you are motivated to do and succeed.
The 2016 presidential election cycle is in full swing with the field narrowing as we move deep into primary season. Our Voter’s Guide is part of the Spring 2016 Front Line. It is broken down by topic and is free to download, just click here.
July 1, 1776
“It was hot and humid outside, and stifling in the chamber,” wrote historian William Hogeland in his book, Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776. “At four in the afternoon, heat gave way to a two-hour thunderstorm. The rain would play a strange part in the memories of the men in the room and in the recounting of later