- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Libertarian Party is out to win over some new fans, fueled by Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that Muslims be temporarily banned from immigrating to the U.S.

“Republicans like to talk a good game about our Constitution, but clearly, many are making an exception when it comes to religious liberty,” Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark said in an open letter to Muslims who identify as Republicans. “If you have not previously considered the Libertarian Party, I encourage you to do so now. We are an extremely diverse group of people who are passionate about liberty — about all rights, of all people, all the time.”

Mr. Sarwark said libertarians will stand by Muslims, concluding, “Friend, if you find that the Republican Party continues to disparage you, please consider a home in the Libertarian Party where we respect all rights, of all people, all the time.”

The chairman might want to draft a letter to Muslim Democrats as well, however. According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, Muslim support for the GOP eroded after the 9/11 attacks; 78 percent of Muslims backed Republicans in the 2000 election. A decade later, 70 percent of Muslims identified as Democrats, the pollster found.

While Muslim voters may be a small portion of the American population, they are concentrated in some of the states that could play a decisive role in 2016, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Those states can be decided by razor-thin margins. “At that point, every constituency matters,” noted reporter Clark Mindock in a recent International Business Times analysis.

BERNIEISM

The word usage mavens at Merriam-Webster named their word of the year Tuesday: “ism.” Yes, as in “ism,” the suffix. A group of seven words that end in “ism” were the most looked-up terms during the whole year, the organization found. One in particular sparked the most hubbub:

“Curiosity about this year’s top word, socialism, has been especially intense this year,” reported Mirriam-Webster editor Peter Sokolowski in a note explaining the selection, noting that the term’s popularity has increased by 169 percent in the last year. “Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders calls himself a ‘democratic socialist,’ and the word spiked in the summer when large crowds showed up at multi-city rallies organized through social media, and again after the first Democratic debate in October.”

And the rest of the most popular “ism” words? They were fascism, followed by racism, feminism, communism, capitalism and terrorism.

A CHRISTMAS VICTORY

Let us consider the New York City school superintendent who ordered that Christmas festivities be restored Tuesday at a Brooklyn elementary school after the principal declared the small campus to be a Santa-free zone. The Pledge of Allegiance and Thanksgiving were also nixed. No more.

The nation would likely agree with it all: A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 76 percent of Americans believe Christmas should be celebrated in public schools. Among adults with school-age children at home, 82 percent favor celebrating Christmas in the classroom.

Another 61 percent overall believe there should be more religion in those schools. Another 54 percent say there’s not enough religion in the public schools; 70 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of the parents and 44 percent of Democrats agree. The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted Dec. 10-13. Rasmussen Reports notes that the findings are virtually unchanged from similar surveys in recent years.

PERTINENT LEGISLATION

“Seasonal religious expression must continue to be protected for all Americans. The efforts to remove religious aspects of Christmas from the public square are not only misguided, they are unconstitutional. Christmas is a wonderful time of year when a majority of Americans take time to remember the humble birth of Jesus Christ on a holy night more than 2,000 years ago. The message of Christmas is one of love, hope and peace,” declares Rep. Doug Lamborn, who has introduced House Resolution 564 — designed to protect the symbols and traditions of the day, and fight repeated efforts to ban references to Christmas in the public square.

“It is a message that our country and this world needs more than ever in the midst of ever-increasing conflict and chaos,” said the Colorado Republican. “Regrettably, there has been a troubling effort by some in America to ban any and all Christmas celebrations and traditions from the public arena. These attacks on Christmas clearly violate the rights of religious expression our Founding Fathers deliberately provided for us in the Constitution.”

Mr. Langborn’s resolution already enjoys the support of 36 other GOPers at the moment.

FOXIFIED

They continue to do things right. Fox News is the top-rated cable news channel for the 14th year in a row, according to Nielsen Media Research. But wait, there’s more. Fox News is now ranked second in prime-time viewing across all 120 cable networks, bested only by ESPN. “The O’Reilly Factor,” one of the network’s biggest draws, has been rated No. 1 in its time slot for 14 consecutive years, Nielsen notes, while “Special Report” with Bret Baier has claimed the same honor for the last 16 years.

POLL DU JOUR

66 percent of Americans predict the U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria will succeed; 65 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

64 percent of Americans support the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and Syria; 69 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall say government anti-terrorism efforts have not gone “far enough”; 71 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall favor the use of ground troops in Iraq and Syria; 66 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats agree.

46 percent overall say using force “creates hatred and more terrorism”; 18 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 8-13.

Sighs of relief, snorts of outrage to [email protected]


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