- The Washington Times
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Not much will stop the Faith & Freedom Coalition, the conservative grassroots nonprofit that will deliver its pro-faith, pro-family message, pandemic or not. The group’s annual “Road to Majority” policy conference begins Wednesday in Atlanta — and it is both “in-person” and virtual, organizers tells Inside the Beltway.

“Given the crucial role this year’s elections will play in shaping the next decade, the organization is committed to providing activists with a safe and healthy environment to learn, network and mobilize,” they noted in their mission statement for the three-day event — which has increased significance amid the upcoming election, social unrest and COVID-19, among other factors.


“The stakes have never been higher, and the need to keep strong conservative leaders in office has never been greater,” says Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the organization, which boasts 2 million members.

“This year, as every year, Road to Majority will amplify the voices of family-values voters and enable them to have a real impact in their communities. We look forward to welcoming activists from across the country and are confident that, together, we can restore liberty, prosperity and confidence in our great nation,” Mr. Reed vows.

The roster of significant speakers includes Vice President Mike Pence.

“The Trump administration has continued to keep its promise to the American people, and we look forward to hearing from Vice President Pence personally on Wednesday about how this administration will continue to protect the Constitution and America’s freedom,” says Timothy Head, executive director of the host organization.

Also on the podium: Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas; Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Rep. Barry Loudermilk and Gov. Brian Kemp — all of Georgia; former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; Fox News host Jeanine Pirro; author Dinesh D’Souza; and Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist.

Find the details, and register to view the livestream of events at FForganization.com.

NO. 1 AT AMAZON

A cultural moment of note: “Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents” by Rod Dreher is No. 1 in overall book sales at Amazon, and in several categories.

“Refugees from tyranny agree. Authoritarian threat in America now is from the left,” the author wrote in an op-ed for The New York Post to introduce his book, which was published Tuesday and elaborates on the idea that the nation is now threatened by “soft totalitarianism” and “utopian progressives” out to remake culture and politics.

“Identity politics are beginning to encroach on every aspect of life. Civil liberties are increasingly seen as a threat to ‘safety.’ Progressives marginalize conservative, traditional Christians, and other dissenters. Technology and consumerism hasten the possibility of a corporate surveillance state. And the pandemic, having put millions out of work, leaves our country especially vulnerable to demagogic manipulation,” says Mr. Dreher, a senior editor at The American Conservative.

The book was published by Sentinel, the conservative imprint of Penguin Books.

‘LOCAL IS BEST’

A new Gallup poll confirms what many people already know: Local governments garner the highest ratings of all when it comes to public trust. Three-fourths of the American public, in fact, now trust their local governments the most to deal with the problems and challenges of modern life.

“Local is best when it comes to governing,” advises the pollster, which notes that town and city governments have bested all three branches of U.S. government and state authorities when it comes to public trust.

And yes, there are partisan differences here, particularly when it comes to the executive branch. See the numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

‘TOOTHLESS’ COVERAGE

The news media has grown particularly protective of Joseph R. Biden as the presidential campaign races toward a finish in November.

A unique new study released Tuesday by the Media Research Center finds that broadcast coverage of Mr. Biden has been very kind when compared to coverage of both President Trump and even Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in 2016.

In a review of evening news stories of the current candidates on NBC, CBS and ABC from Aug. 1 through Sept. 15, Mr. Trump received 379 minutes of airtime, and the content and tone of the reports were 93% negative.

Mr. Biden, on the other hand, was featured in 148 minutes of airtime during the study period — and the majority of the stories were positive.

The study made a unique observation. Mr. Biden’s coverage also was favorable compared to that of Mrs. Clinton in 2016. She received 262 minutes of coverage that year and the “overall spin” was 84% negative, the study said.

“Compared to Clinton four years ago, Biden’s press has been completely toothless: just 15 negative statements vs. 19 positive statements, for an overall score of 54% positive,” wrote Rich Noyes, research director for the conservative press watchdog. “Even though their election preference was pretty clear four years ago, the networks still managed to air six times more negative statements about Clinton in 2016 than they have about Biden during the same period in 2020.

“Compared to Trump this year, the disparity is enormous: the 389 negative statements about the president are 25 times more than the 15 we recorded about Biden,” he said.

POLL DU JOUR

71% of U.S. adults trust local government “a great deal or a fair amount” to handle problems and challenges; 69% of Republicans, 67% of independents and 79% of Democrats agree.

67% overall trust the judicial branch of government; 82% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 58% of Democrats agree.

60% overall trust their state government; 56% of Republicans, 56% of independents and 69% of Democrats agree.

43% overall trust the executive branch of government; 91% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.

40% overall trust the mass media; 10% of Republicans, 36% of independents and 73% of Democrats agree.

33% overall trust the legislative branch; 33% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 38% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,019 adults conducted from Aug. 31 TO Sept. 13 and released Tuesday.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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