About Dr. Larry

Larry Fedewa, Ph.D. is a conservative commentator on social and political issues. Former international technology executive, business owner and college president, he lives on an Arabian horse farm near Washington, D.C.

Dr. Larry is the author of more than 150 Washington Times online columns and a frequent guest on radio and television . He is known as an early interpreter of the Donald Trump phenomenon as well as fiscal, racial, and religious trends of the day. He speaks for average people who do not have the time or resources to delve deeply into topics such as the political turmoil Americans are facing, our failing schools, and contemporary social trends. He has become a trusted voice for many fans seeking common sense analysis of the events, people and trends of our times. His website is a running analysis of American life in the 21st century.

President pulls right, Pope Francis pulls left

FILE – In this May 24, 2017, file photo. U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican. Some evangelical supporters of Trump are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis over a recent critical article

Is Pope Francis I attacking American Christians? Steve Bannon targeted with ‘apocalyptic geopolitics’

By Lawrence Fedewa – – Friday, August 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A controversial article in La Civiltà Cattolica, a Vatican-approved publication, by editor-in-chief Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentine Presbyterian pastor who leads his country’s edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has attacked the American Christians who supported Donald Trump for the American presidency.

Singled out for special opposition are the so-called “conservative” Catholics and the evangelical Christians and their alleged representative in the White House, Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is accused of advocating an “apocalyptic geopolitics.”

Taken by itself, the article is long, confusing, wildly inaccurate in its interpretation of American Christianity, and an unremarkable critique by uninformed foreigners of a “straw man,” that is, an opponent created by the authors for the purpose of attacking it (not unlike the “fake news” of America’s media stories).

What gives the article importance is the presumed association with Pope Francis I. Although the Pope has not commented publicly on the article, the publication is published by the Jesuits, the Pope’s religious order, sponsored by the Vatican, and the authors are well-known associates of the Pope. At several points in the text, Pope Francis’ positions are cited as differing from those of the supposed opposition. This context strongly suggests that this article speaks for the Pope. If so, it speaks poorly for the Pope.

In summary, the essence of the piece seems to be that conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have formed a political alliance in the United States to create a theocracy, based on an Old Testament-oriented, fundamentalist ideology, which seeks to establish the literal interpretation of the Bible as the basis of American law. Adherents to this view are called “value voters.” As their means of promoting this view, they are full of “gloom and doom” scenarios about threats to the “American way of life.” The need for drastic changes is therefore urgent. It is not surprising that the authors liken this movement to the jihad of radical Islam. To top off their point of view, they describe the vehicle for this domination of American life as the Trump administration.

They contrast this terrifying threat of apocalypse with traditional Catholic (and biblical) belief that the Kingdom of God is not of this world. Here they are a little ambiguous (to say the least) because the Bible clearly sequences the Last Judgement as part of the apocalypse. Nevertheless, the authors accuse their opponents of seeking a “heaven on earth” which can only be achieved by winning the “war of religions.” The true Christian message is to treat everyone with love as preached by Pope Francis, “Love not war!” How all this ties together is not clear.

What to make of all this? My first suggestion is simply to dismiss the whole essay as irrelevant, unless the Pope comes out and owns it. (One would hope that he has better sense.) Obviously, the American press has hyped what is really an obscure article in a foreign language journal for one reason: to proclaim that the Pope has discredited the American president. This would not be the first time Francis has indicated disagreement with Mr. Trump. As a strong advocate of climate change, for example, Francis does not agree with the president’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord. It seems also evident that the Pope started with the view of Mr. Trump’s populism shared by many European intellectuals, that his positions were immoral, laughable and dangerous to world trade if not world peace. Whether he has nuanced his views since meeting the man in person is unknown.

In the broader view, Pope Francis I is known to be shaking up the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. Some would say he is letting in a breath of fresh air. He is reforming the Roman Curia – which operates like the cabinet of an American president, i.e. makes and enforces all the international positions of the church. He is also appointing younger and reportedly more “liberal” bishops worldwide, as well as completing the clean-up of the notorious Vatican Bank, and, perhaps most significantly, setting a personal and public example of openness and personal kindness. Much like President Trump, Pope Francis is faced with a government which is outdated and led by subordinates who cling to their power with ruthlessness and extraordinary tenacity. Though not nearly as large as the American bureaucracy, the Vatican bureaucracy has held its nearly supreme authority for centuries, rather than a generation.

In these matters, most American Catholics find much to approve of. Some disapprove of some of Francis’ initiatives and/or positions. For example, I have defended democratic capitalism against the socialist model favored by the papacy since Leo XIIII’s Rerum Novarum (Of New Issues) in 1891, which signaled the movement of the papacy away from the monarchical model of government.

Some American Catholics disapprove of everything Francis does – these are the ones Spadaro and Figueroa are really trying to discredit. But they are a tiny minority. Most of us think the Catholic Church can stand a little fresh air!

Copyright 2017 The Washington Times

The Death of Democracy and “We the People”

By Colonel George Seiler, USAF (ret.), Ph.D., (Thursday, August 10, 2017)

We have elections to let the people, the US citizens, voice their opinion in the form of a vote.  For many years I have professed that we overthrow the current government with ballots, and not bullets.  The US was one of the few countries where the loser did not have to get out of town.  The loser could even still display the bumper sticker of his losing candidate, and not worry about his windows getting shattered, or his car burned and vandalized.  It was OK to express your opinion, and after the election, the two parties blended together to make America flourish, make a better life for the kids and grandkids, expand the family living quarters, save up for a new car, or college. Become a journeyman at a trade, like electrician, HVAC, auto maintenance, new buildings, new roads and bridges. Politics was at least 2 years away, and the Presidential election was 4 years away.

In the interim, people respected the office of the President.  It was taught in our schools to do so.  We rallied for or against policy, legislation bills, changes in treaties, new treaties, American involvement on the world front to keep us safe.

But in 2016/2017 something appalling happened.  Continue reading “The Death of Democracy and “We the People””

Stop dilly-dallying and pass Trump’s agenda

President Donald Trump stops to greet Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, left, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. at a luncheon with GOP leadership, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in the State Dinning Room of the White House in Washington.

By Lawrence Fedewa – – Friday, July 21, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

America has watched with growing disgust the behavior of our politicians in the debate about Obamacare. The press accounts of the continuing turmoil assert that the reasons for the discord are almost entirely political – in the worst sense of that word. According to them, the primary reason for the deadlock is each member’s own analysis of how a vote will affect his or her re-election.

If true, this charge makes a mockery of democracy and the “right to free and fair elections,” as well as the entire system which it supports. It leads to the conclusion that the entire Congress is motivated by a selfish thirst for power so the desire to win re-election outweighs any consideration of the good of the country, that is, the people whom they are sworn to serve.

Continue reading “Stop dilly-dallying and pass Trump’s agenda”

DC event honors veterans and those who serve in Congress

 

Saturday, July 15, 2017DC 

 

OPINION

by Lawrence Fedewa | Jul 15, 2017, 12:01 AM

[Veterans are men and women who have had to live out the consequences of political decisions, often with dire results.] (Josh Bachman/The Las Cruces Sun-News via AP)

 

The Sixth Annual Bipartisan Tribute to Veterans and Those Who Serve in Congress was held in Washington on June 27, honoring veterans of military services and especially those who have continued their service to the nation in Congress.

The program began with a presentation of the flag by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard, the National Anthem sung by Anthony Kearns, an invocation by the Chaplain of the House of Representatives Rev. Patrick Conroy, and a Pledge of Allegiance led by Pfc. Fame Academia and Will Hubbard. Hubbard is vice president of the Student Veterans Association, serving more than 1.1 million student veterans – the largest student organization in the country.

Other dignitaries in attendance included Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, New Zealand Ambassador Tim Groser, Irish Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Lonergan, and many others. Shulkin’s presence underscored his commitment to work with Congress on reforming the Veterans’ administration, and the president’s pledge to make it a priority.

A long list of Congressional veterans in attendance were represented by Reps. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., and Steve Russell, R-Okla., at the podium. Coffman is the only member of Congress who served in both the Marine Corps and the Army. Russell was an Army Ranger and was part of the team that captured Saddam Hussein (Russell’s book, We Got Him, describes that episode in vivid detail).

Their remarks reflected a characteristic notable in all the speeches, what might be called a new seriousness about governing. These veterans, no matter their party allegiance, are a no-nonsense group, who have learned the importance of national policies and priorities in combat, risking their own lives and watching their comrades fall in battle.

To them, legislation is not a matter to be delayed, with decisions to be “kicked down the road” for fear of not being re-elected. These are men and women who have had to live out the consequences of political decisions, often with dire results.

The evening then honored Academia, retired Marine Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, and DeYoung’s war-dog, Cena.

Master of Ceremonies Jennifer Griffin, Fox News’ National Security Correspondent, told Academia’s extraordinary story. At 89 years old, he is a walking oral history of the World War II Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Continue reading “DC event honors veterans and those who serve in Congress”

The Lion Is Gone

In memoriam: James Goeser (1940-2017)

May he rest in peace

Like a lion, he searched the plains

and found a way to stake his claims.

With vision, purpose, strength and grit,

he stayed the course and never quit.

He made the village on the plain

a place to live and work and gain

a life with kids, and love and games.

 

Now the Lion sleeps, his work is done.

His quiet strength has won

his place at the Savior’s feast.

But here the village weeps.

The dawn breaks and the sky is black,

the Lion is gone and never coming back.

 

-LJF (July 5, 2017)

 

Will there ever again be peace in this valley?

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – Wednesday, June 26, 2017

This country is in the most disruptive turmoil since the end of the Vietnam War. The most visible antagonists seem to be the President on one side and the media on the other. By “media”, I mean everyone from news organizations to comedians, to movies, to the theater. Everyone who has access to any form of media seems to have a grudge against the President. On the other hand, his so-called “counter-punching” especially through his tweets, adds fuel to the fire with nearly every tweet. (Fighting for the national soul by “tweeting” should at the least tweak our sense of humor.)

So, why not? At least more than the usual suspects are passionately involved in political dialog. A whole new population is suddenly watching every step the media will let them see.  A side effect of this newfound political passion, however, is the abandonment not only of objectivity, but even of common sense. At the extremes, we have attempted assassinations, riots and domestic terrorism.  Less dangerous perhaps, but nearly as disturbing is the utter contempt many on both sides hold for the other. This is not the America we want to live in.

What has happened to us? How did we come to this sorry state?  What we have at this moment in American history is a clash of cultures, a true culture war. It did not happen overnight. This “war” has been brewing for a long time. What is different about today is its eruption into the open, into everyday life and discourse.

Continue reading “Will there ever again be peace in this valley?”

Is war with China inevitable?

In this April 6, 2017 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, smiles at U.S. President Donald Trump as they pose together with their wives for photographers before dinner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Monday, May 29, 2017

Half of China’s public believes that military conflict between China and the United States will occur within the next 10 years. This is one finding of the 2017 U.S. China Public Perceptions Opinion Survey, (the “Survey”) published by the Committee of 100 (C100) during its annual conference, held last week in Washington D.C.

The C100 is a national organization of prominent Chinese Americans, founded in 1990 by superstars I. M. Pei (architect) and Yo Yo Ma (musician) “to promote the participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life and encourage constructive relationships between the people of the United States of America and Greater China”.

The Survey is a veritable treasure chest of information about American and Chinese public perceptions on a host of major issues – and the C100 brought it to the attention of Members of Congress and high-level staff at the State Department and the White House last week. The findings are based on face-to-face interviews with 3,696 Chinese respondents and telephone interviews with 1,018 Americans, using the most advanced methods of survey science and techniques. This report reflects also my face-to-face interview with Mr. Charlie Woo, who led the Survey effort. Mr. Woo’s day job is co-founder and CEO of Megatoys, Inc. in addition to his prominence in many civic and community causes in his hometown of Los Angeles and nationally. Continue reading “Is war with China inevitable?”

What is “Democratic Socialism”?

Illustration on the roots of Bernie Sanders’ “Democratic Socialism” by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

What was bernie Sanders talking about?

By Lawrence Fedewa – – Friday, May 19, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

When Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont, entered the Democratic primaries last year, a lot of people wondered. “What is democratic socialism?”

The classic definition of socialism is “a system of government in which the means of production and distribution of goods are owned, controlled or regulated by the government.” Socialism is distinguished from capitalism where the means of production and distribution are owned by private (non-governmental) parties, either individuals or organizations (such as companies).

The most radical form of socialism is communism, where all property is owned and distributed by the government. Less radical forms of socialism are seen in the governments of Western Europe, where private property is recognized but government has the responsibility of acquiring (through taxes) enough wealth to provide for physical well-being of all its citizens, however that may be interpreted at any given time.

Continue reading “What is “Democratic Socialism”?”