Ken Blackwell

James Carville, Bill Clinton's political strategist supposedly coined the now infamous: “It’s the economy stupid.” This admittedly smart strategy, widely attributed to have won Clinton the Presidency, is now being chanted, mantra-like, by the mainstream media and the Washington political elite as they fundamentally misunderstand the brewing anger and frustration amongst everyday Americans.

They think this is all about dollars and cents. They think that it’s all about a $13-trillion debt and trillion-dollar annual deficits far into the future. In their arrogance, Washington thinks this is all about spending the people’s money.

But, that’s a somewhat superficial reading of the people’s discontent. The grassroots grumbling is not just about money. It’s about freedom. The people are justifiably annoyed that their pockets are being picked; but they know that the loss of their God-given, Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms is as grave a concern.

The past eighteen months have been a brutal assault on liberty. As government grows, personal freedoms shrink. The private industry buy-offs and bailouts, cap-and-trade, the government takeover of health care. The price tags are bad enough; but what’s truly frightening is how they diminish freedom.

Take religious liberty, the first among equals, so to speak. As Thomas Jefferson once put it, “a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.”

When it comes to religious liberty, this Administration has vacillated between indifference and contempt – both of which are equally dangerous to this important and fundamental human right. For instance, only a few weeks after moving into the White House, the Obama Administration filed a rescission proposal to undo a Bush-era regulation protecting the conscience rights of health care workers. And, the sweeping changes to American health care delivery just signed into law similarly include no real conscience protections.

The Obama EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) reversed a previous EEOC ruling, accusing a small Catholic college in North Carolina—Belmont Abbey College—of sex discrimination because it doesn’t cover contraceptives in its faculty health insurance plan. By their reasoning, what religious institution – be it hospitals, colleges, nursing homes – will not be forced to choose between upholding the doctrines of its faith and meeting its secular mission?

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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