Contributed by David Eastman
Recenty, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Van Hollen attacked Trump's nominee for the White House Office of Budget and Management, Russ Vought. I met Russ when he, Sen. Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) and I went through the Claremont Institute's Lincoln Fellowship together, back in 2011. His wife is from the Mat-Su. She worked for Vice President Mike Pence when he served in Congress, and had the audacity as a woman to defend him - and in the Washington Post no less.
In short, Russ is exactly the kind of person you would expect to see appointed by a Republican president to a White House staff position, and therefore the kind of person that progressive politicians love to hate. So what do they do when faced with a man with impeccable conservative credentials? They attack him for being a Christian.
Now wait, you say, "We live in America. We have the U.S. Constitution, which forbids public officials from attacking a presidential appointee for their religious beliefs." Yes, of course we do. And for 229 years, at least this portion of that Constitution, was largely respected.
But we live in different times today. In 2017, no portion of that Constitution is sacrosanct from attack by progressive politicians, not even the portion that guarantees Americans the right to hold whatever religious belief they choose. As Albert Einstein predicted long ago:
"The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure."
And if progressive Democrats and their friends could prevent Trump from nominating 41% of Americans to office simply because of their Christian beliefs, that would certainly be a political victory that would move forward their progressive agenda. In Sanders' America, there is no need for religious freedom. Progressives in government will let you know what you are permitted to believe, by attacking those who hold any religious beliefs that don't support their agenda.
If criticizing Christian or Jewish beliefs supports the progressive agenda, loyal progressives will be there to defend the right to criticize. If criticizing Islamic dogmas hurts the progressive agenda, loyal progressives will condemn the "haters" for their "hate speech". Just remember, hate speech is whatever opposes their agenda. And whatever supports their agenda is wildflowers and rainbows - I mean, "worthy of tolerance".
Let's not kid ourselves about what the world just saw in the Vought confirmation hearing. A man was told that he has a disease, that he is "Islamophobic" and unworthy of holding public office; that Senator Sanders would vote to reject his appointment to the White House, because he actually believes what Jesus said, and supported the right of the Christian college that he graduated from to continue to teach that Christianity is true. It's the "Christianity is true" part that has the progressives in a tizzy. It's not PC to believe in truth. It's not PC to believe what's in the Bible. And even if it was, it's certainly not PC to admit to it in public. Silence is what is demanded. And if you aren't silent, you will be attacked, just like Russ Vought.
Which leads me to conclude that Albert Einstein is right, and that we each have an important part to play in doing our share to defend the constitutional rights of Americans. Letting politicians and judges do it for us was never an option. Letting progressives do it for us is simply suicidal.
Rep. David Eastman is a conservative legislator in Alaska, representing the rural Mat-Su Valley (House District 10). He ran on a platform of fighting for genuine conservative reform, fiscally and socially, and remains committed to delivering on that promise.