- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

There is a reason why so many voters have complained that they don’t recognize their country, their culture or the direction life appears to have taken. The nation’s basic tenets are in decline, and the public knows it.

“Americans’ ratings of U.S. moral values, consistently negative through the years, have slipped to their lowest point in seven years. More than four in five (81 percent) now rate the state of moral values in the U.S. as only fair or poor,” writes Jim Norman, a Gallup analyst.

Only 17 percent would rate the values as “excellent,” the pollster found, and a mere 16 percent say they are improving. Another 77 percent say they are worsening.

“Though majorities of Americans say they are proud of their country and are satisfied with their overall quality of life, they are not as positive about the state of the nation’s moral values. Even liberals, who seemingly should be pleased with the growing number of Americans who agree with their point of view on the morality of prominent social issues, are more likely to say things are getting worse than getting better,” says Mr. Norman.

MEDIA BIAS: PRECISION TARGETING

Partisan bias in the news media is far-flung and spreading. Let us consider a recent appearance by White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who journeyed to scenic Nashua, New Hampshire, for a spring “victory” dinner organized by the state Republican Party. It was a nice, cordial event. Ms. Conway praised grass-roots spirit and effective outreach before a happy crowd of 500.

“Kellyanne also spoke about the pervasive bias of the media, and I can tell you that she is right on the mark with that,” says Jeanie Forrester, the party’s chairman. “The Associated Press printed a story that said there were only 150 people in the room.”

WHITE HOUSE SEEKING INTERNS

Protocol and programs march on in the White House, no matter what the liberal media says. The Fall 2017 White House Internship Program application is now open for interested parties, though time is of the essence. The process closes at precisely 11:59 p.m. EST on June 16.

Here are some of the particulars: The term runs from Sept. 6 to Dec. 8, 2017. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old, and they must commit to the full internship term. They must also be enrolled or have graduated from college, community college or a university in the last two years. Military veterans with a high school diploma and active-duty service in the last two years are also eligible.

Find the details and the application at here

THE SIMPLE APPROACH

Political campaigns are often monster machines with huge price tags. Then again, some just cut to the chase. That’s the thinking with the Libertarian Party, now displaying new gumption following an increased presence during the 2016 election.

“Have you considered running for office? Regardless of where you live, there are likely many local races going on in your area in the next year or two years. All too often local races are not contested or are nonpartisan, and that gives us special opportunities for advancing the Libertarian Party,” advises Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.

“If you are contemplating a 2018 run, now is the time to lay the foundation. Some states even require that candidates who run in 2018 file paperwork in 2017. So, don’t delay,” Mr. Sarwark says in an open letter to the third-party crowd.

He also provides a simple seven-item candidate application form for prospective candidates for any office.

“The more candidates we have on ballots, the more voters will realize that we are a growing party worthy of their consideration. The more candidates we have on ballots, the more the news media will realize we are a party ready to overthrow the two-party duopoly that has dominated American politics for too long,” Mr. Sarwark reasons. “The more candidates we have on ballots, the better we can advance liberty across America.”

RUN, JOE, RUN — OR SOMETHING

Maybe he still looks the part? Talk continues to percolate that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden is not quite done with the White House.

“Joe Biden has been out of office for four months, but the former vice president hasn’t left the public eye. Instead, Biden has kept a robust schedule that fuels speculation about a 2020 presidential run,” notes Lisa Hagen, a reporter for The Hill.

“Some Democrats looking to bounce back from 2016 defeats are still looking to Biden to reorient their messaging in a way that could win back the working class voters who fled the party to vote for President Trump. Biden, who passed on running for president last year after a lengthy period of indecision, has promised to remain involved in rebuilding the party,” she continues.

Perhaps the Democrats are hoping to shed their new angry image and get back to business, something that “smiling Joe” could facilitate. He’s already out and about, appearing at fundraisers, college commencements and party events, including one in New Hampshire. Mr. Biden is bustling.

“When it comes to a White House bid in 2020, though, he has sent mixed signals, noting that he currently has no plans to mount a campaign. And Biden’s age — he’ll be 78 by inauguration day in 2021 — would make him by far the oldest president ever,” Ms. Hagen says. “Still, Biden’s busy recent schedule of events and appearances suggests he hasn’t entirely ruled out another bid.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 90 percent of Americans use the internet; 67 percent of Americans over 65 also use the internet.

• 77 percent of Americans overall have a smartphone; so do 42 percent of those over 65.

• 73 percent overall subscribe to home broadband services; so do 51 percent of those over 65.

• 69 percent overall use social media; so do 34 percent of those over 65.

• 51 percent of Americans overall use an iPad or tablet; so do 32 percent of those over 65.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 3,015 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 29-Nov. 6, 2016, and released Friday. The sample included 740 people over age 65.

• Balderdash and ballyhoo to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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