The World and Everything in It: May 23, 2024 | WORLD
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The World and Everything in It: May 23, 2024


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: May 23, 2024

Large corporations and agenda-driven quotas, views on tariffs for Chinese imports, and providing a future for people with disabilities. Plus, Cal Thomas on returning to civility and humility and the Thursday morning news

The JP Morgan Chase & Co. signage atop the CapitaSpring building in Singapore Getty Images/Photo by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

PREROLL: The World and Everything in It is made possible by listeners like us. I'm Sam Hoffman and I'm an eye doctor and worship leader in Wyoming. My wife and I started reading World Magazine more than 20 years ago when I was in school at Berkeley. We hope you enjoy today's program.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! Many companies disregard the free speech and religious rights of their customers. But the Viewpoint Diversity Score is beginning to hold them accountable.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: We’ll talk to the lawyer behind that accountability scoring. Also, new tariffs on Chinese goods. What’s it mean? Plus, a mother and son who travel around the country in an ice cream truck!

AUDIO: We have a son with a disability. I want them to see that it did not hold our family back. It didn’t hold Hunter back.

And WORLD commentator Cal Thomas on the need to elevate public discourse.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, May 23rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Good morning!

REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Iowa tornado » The small Iowa town of Greenfield continues to pick up the pieces after powerful storms spawned several tornadoes.

Authorities blame the storms for multiple deaths and many more injuries throughout the state. But they said last night that it was still unclear exactly how many people died in those storms as search and rescue crews are still out looking for survivors.

One woman told reporters:

RESIDENT: Being from a small town, you know everybody. But I know as you see, everybody's out helping everybody and it's like, you don't know what to do. You don't know what to do, but I know that we'll rebuild and everybody will help each other because that's what our town does.

Thousands of residents in the state are still without power.

ICC possible sanctions » Republicans on Capitol Hill find themselves in rare agreement with the Biden administration on at least one pressing matter.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul posed this question to Secretary of State Tony Blinken Wednesday:

MCCAUL: Will you commit to working with this committee to find a bipartisan bill that would place meaningful sanctions on the International Criminal Court?

That question stems from an announcement this week by the top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Kareem Khan, that he’ll seek war crimes arrest warrants against Israeli leaders over the war in Gaza.

BLINKEN: Mr. Chairman, first, let me say again that that decision was totally wrong headed and any equivalence that it implied between Hamas and Israel and its leaders was shameful. And we commit to engaging on a bipartisan basis and finding an appropriate response.

And he said the administration is committed to working with McCaul’s committee and others on a response.

President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have called the move by the ICC prosecutor shameful.

And House Speaker Mike Johnson said Wednesday:

JOHNSON: America should punish the ICC and put Kareem Khan back in his place. 

He added that House members are working on legislation to do exactly that.

Several Western countries say they’ll recognize a Palestinian state » Meantime, Israel is facing a major diplomatic challenge as several allies say they will recognize a Palestinian state, something the Israeli government strongly opposes.

The declaration by Norway, Ireland, and Spain is a largely symbolic move, but a significant one.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan:

SULLIVAN:  We certainly have seen a growing chorus of voices, including voices that had previously been in support of Israel, drift in another direction. That is of concern to us because we do not believe that that contributes to Israel's long term security or vitality.

Israel immediately denounced Wednesday's decision and recalled its ambassadors to the three countries. Palestinians welcomed the announcements as an affirmation of their decades-long quest for statehood in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel gained control of the territories in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Biden administration does support a so-called two state solution. But it says that must happen as part of a negotiation with Israel at the table.

Russia space launch » Russia has launched a satellite into space that U.S. leaders say is also a weapon. WORLD’s Mark Mellinger has more.

MARK MELLINGER: U.S. Space Command calls Russia’s COSMOS 2576 a new weapon that can inspect and attack other satellites and is in the same orbit as a U.S. government satellite.

For months, the U.S. has warned Russia is developing a space-based nuclear weapon that can destroy entire networks of satellites, potentially crippling U.S. communications and leaving the country in chaos during a conflict.

Russia’s space weapons plans were reportedly what House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner was referring to in February when he warned of a serious national security threat… and asked the president to declassify all information relating to the danger.

For WORLD, I’m Mark Mellinger.

Biden loan cancellation » The Biden Administration has canceled another $8 billion dollars of student loan debt affecting more than 160,000 borrowers.

That’s drawing heavy criticism from Republicans. Florida Congressman Byron Donalds:

DONALDS: The Supreme Court has told Joe Biden “no.” The Congress has not voted on anything like this for student loans, but he does it anyway. That is a violation of separation of powers. It’s an impeachable offense.

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s plan to cancel more than $400 billion dollars in student debt all at once.

Since then, the White House has spread out a one-piece-at-a-time approach… canceling smaller amounts through existing loan forgiveness programs limited to certain types of borrowers.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:

JEAN-PIERRE: The student loan system needs to be fixed. The president is trying to do that and fix it in a way where people are not feeling that crushing financial burden.

All told, The White House now says it has erased around $160 billion dollars in debt that was owed to the federal government.

UK election date » In London standing in front of his 10 Downing Street office, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak surprised many with this announcement Wednesday:

SUNAK: Earlier today, I spoke with His Majesty the King to request the dissolution of Parliament. The King has granted this request and we will have a general election on the 4th of July.

He had long said he would call an election in the second half of the year. But with polls favoring the opposition Labour party many thought he would hold off in hopes of turning those numbers around.

But the prime minister voiced optimism in light of strong economic numbers.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: viewpoint diversity in the marketplace. Plus, something that’s ahead but not immediately straight ahead.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s Thursday the 23rd of May, 2024. This is WORLD Radio, and we thank you for listening! Good morning, I’m Myrna Brown.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

First up on The World and Everything in It: Viewpoint discrimination by corporations.

Threats to fundamental freedoms can come from outside government; they also come from the financial and tech sectors. For example, JPMorgan Chase canceled without explanation the account of the National Committee for Religious Freedom. That’s headed up by former U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback. Chase has also denied payment processing services to conservative groups.

BROWN: One tool that’s helped counter this pernicious discrimination is the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index. On Tuesday, Alliance Defending Freedom released its third annual report that measures corporate respect for free speech and religious freedom. Eighty-five publicly traded corporations are assessed across dozens of criteria.

And it’s becoming effective to counter pressure from other groups that push ESG- environmental, social, and governance concerns…and CRT—critical race theory.

REICHARD: So what success has the Viewpoint Diversity Score had? Joining us to talk about it is Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate Engagement

JEREMY TEDESCO: Good morning.

REICHARD: Well, I see a lot of familiar company names on the latest Viewpoint Diversity Score Index: Airbnb, Amazon, eBay, Bank of America, DocuSign, Etsy - I mean, I don’t think I could go a single day without using at least a few of these corporations. Describe some of the criteria used to assess them for viewpoint discrimination.

TEDESCO: Yeah, well, the companies we choose our companies in tech and finance, because we're concerned that when these big private corporations that have so much control over essentially gatekeeper business services, they can have as much of a chilling effect on free speech and religious freedom, as if the government is censoring speech or discriminating. And so we want to make sure that these big companies respect our cherished liberties, especially the liberties of free speech and religious freedom.

REICHARD: One of the offending corporations over the past two years of scoring is JP Morgan Chase. What was it doing in particular that raised red flags?

TEDESCO: Well, there's a lot that's problematic at JPMorganChase, they have, I think, a 9% this year, out of 100 on our index, so they have a long way to go. But one of the things that we were really concerned about with Chase—and this is really a global problem is the banking and the financial services sector. JPMorganChase was one of the worst actors in the space. They had terrible policies on the books, and they had actually enforced those policies in ways that we seemed very clearly to be discriminating against religious institutions and conservative ideas. And so they really became a major target of this problem, and also a target for what we hoped would be changes to their policies. And that's actually what they delivered this year. 

REICHARD: And what did Chase do? 

TEDESCO: Yeah, well, one of the things that we focused on with them was their social risk policy, this was part of their payment processor. We pay essentially said that they would deny services based on their assessment of your social risk, and include terms like hate and intolerance, incredibly vague ideas and terms that historically we know can easily be used to discriminate against people because of their views. Chase had actually used those policies to discriminate against Arkansas Family Council, a pro-family and pro-life and pro-religious liberty group down in the state of Arkansas, because they were “high risk” is what Chase had told them. And so we saw this rise in the banking from Chase, and we saw the policies that were really the root cause of these cancellations, or at least contributed to them. So we wanted Chase to change those policies, eliminate that policy and affirmatively adopt protections for religious and political views in their customer-facing terms of service.

REICHARD: And one person familiar to this podcast actually did something about it. Tell us about that.

TEDESCO: Yeah, David Bahnsen, who I know your listeners know well. He's been a great partner with us on the Viewpoint Diversity Score Index. Last year, actually, he filed a shareholder resolution that appeared on the proxy statement at an annual shareholder meeting for Chase back in May of last year. It was about de-banking. And it focused in part on this social risk policy, and was simply asking Chase to do an assessment of the risk that their policies and practices could lead to politicize the banking. Chase received letters from 15 state attorneys general, about 14 State Treasurers, raising concerns about the same problem. And of course, we were in in talks with them too, about our concerns related to these issues. Chase experienced quite a bit of public heat over there, the banking practices around that meeting last year, and they didn't do anything last year to change their behavior. They simply, you know, said, Look, we don't engage in that kind of discrimination. But when we analyzed spending freedom, went to score them this year on our index in about November of last year, we noted that they had eliminated their social risk policy that had been on the books for as many years as we had been studying them. So that was a significant change. The only intervening factor between them having it and not having it was David Bahnsen's shareholder resolution, and our engagement and some of the state attorneys general and state treasurers raising concerns about de-banking at Chase.

REICHARD: Finally, I want to ask you about the difference between the Viewpoint Diversity Score and the Corporate Equality Index put out by the leftist organization Human Rights Campaign. How would you describe that difference?

TEDESCO: Well, it's really about them being deeply partisan and political. Their index forces companies further and further to to the extremes of the LGBT agenda each year. They move the goalposts every year and demand even more from the companies to get out 100%. The Human Rights Campaign index this year to get 100% on the Equality Index, companies have to cover puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery for youth, so for minors. And what the the stats tell us when registered voters are asked about that particular piece of the LGBT agenda, they are diametrically opposed to it. Whether you're looking at Republicans, Democrats or Independents, you're you're at 60 or 70% disagreement with providing, for instance, puberty blockers to youth, yet the HRC doesn't care about that. They don't care about the companies. What they want the companies to do is use their brands and their resources to drive a very political agenda that the majority of Americans—vast majority Americans—disagree with. So they're really essentially asking these companies to become the next Bud Light or Target or Disney in the culture wars, when what should be happening is what we're asking them to do: just stay out of those things and provide your services on a viewpoint neutral basis.

REICHARD: Jeremy Tedesco is Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate Engagement at Alliance Defending Freedom. Jeremy, thank you so much!

TEDESCO: Thanks for having me on.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: trade with China.

On Sunday, Chinese officials said they’ll investigate whether U.S. companies are selling some plastic products at below-market value.

That’s in response to the Biden administration announcing last week that it’s raising tariffs on some Chinese imports.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: President Biden says he wants to protect national security concerns and American workers, but are tariffs an effective tool for dealing with China?

WORLD Radio’s Mary Muncy has the story.

MARY MUNCY: Back in 2020, reporters asked then-presidential candidate Joe Biden about the tariffs President Donald Trump levied on Chinese goods.

NPR, JOURNALIST: Would you keep the tariffs?

BIDEN: No. Hey look, who said Trump’s idea is a good one?

Biden told NPR that while he believes China should be held accountable for things like espionage and human rights violations, tariffs are not the way to do it. Instead, he later told The New York Times that he would investigate China’s abusive trade practices before implementing new policies.

Then, four years later…

C-SPAN, JOE BIDEN: Today I’m announcing new tariffs on key sectors of the economy that are going to ensure that our workers are not held back by unfair trade practices.

That includes bumping up tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles from 25 percent to 100 percent. Chinese EV manufacturer BYD just released a vehicle that would have cost about $12,000 without tariffs, but the import tax makes it unlikely the car will reach American markets.

Another tariff adds a 25 percent tax for importing Chinese steel and aluminum products. Biden also put tariffs on batteries, the minerals to make those batteries, and things like semiconductors, all technology he says is vital to American industry and national security. Here he is at the White House last week.

BIDEN: You heard me say it before. Wall Street’s important, a lot of good folks there, but they didn’t build America. The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.

Biden says the new tariffs will help workers, but some analysts see consequences coming for consumers.

RYAN YOUNG: Consumers aren't going to get any benefit from that. In fact, it lets domestic producers keep their prices even higher.

Ryan Young is a senior economist with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He says that instead of pushing prices down, raising the bar for outsiders incentivizes companies at home to follow suit.

YOUNG: When you raise a tariff, the domestic producer can raise their prices up to the amount of that tariff and still not be undercut on price.

So what’s behind American tariffs on Chinese goods?

It goes back to when China first joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. The country massively increased its exports, and some say the flood of goods swept away millions of jobs in other countries, including the U.S.

Twelve years later, economists gave those consequences a name, “China shock.”

But Young says those first bad years of China Shock are not the end of the story.

YOUNG: Despite the China Shock, not only are net jobs way up since 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization, but manufacturing output is at near record levels.

Despite the turnaround, in 2018 Donald Trump put tariffs on a range of Chinese consumer goods to try to ease that. Trump said he wanted to fix a trade deficit with countries around the world, but especially China.

PBS NEWSHOUR, DONALD TRUMP: The word is reciprocal. That’s the word I want everyone to remember. We want reciprocal, mirror. If they charge us, we charge them the same thing.

Young says China is using unfair trade practices and benefitting from forced labor, but tariffs aren’t the way to fix it.

YOUNG: If we want to address, say human rights concerns, instead of a blanket tariff against the entire Chinese economy, let’s take a more surgical approach. Don’t just tariff entire industries and entire product lines, it’s not going to do what you want it to do.

But others say China’s behavior is bad enough to warrant these tariffs even if they harm consumers in the short term.

Elaine Dezenski is the Director of the Center on Economic and Financial Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

ELAINE DEZENSKI: It's less that they would steal, you know, existing manufacturing jobs, and it's maybe more about preventing industries from gaining a foothold in the clean energy sector.

Dezenski says that concern will grow if the U.S. wants to move away from fossil fuels.

DEZENSKI: It's about building resilience into our system, not necessarily cutting off, you know, the players.

So, are tariffs the right way to accomplish energy independence?

Critics like Young say tariffs usually don’t accomplish the goals they set out to and just raise prices for consumers.

But Foundation for Defense of Democracies economist Josh Birenbaum says these tariffs might be different, because the Biden administration’s main focus is on two industries supporting critical infrastructure: clean energy and healthcare.

JOSH BIRENBAUM: The situations where tariffs are most appropriate is when you are trying to protect industry that's still in its infancy.

Birenbaum says over the past year, China has used other nations’ dependence on it for critical minerals like graphite, gallium, and germanium to get concessions. And he says the U.S. doesn’t want to get caught in that position.

BIRENBAUM: There is no question that tariffs make goods more expensive for consumers in the short term. In the long term, however, you allow for greater numbers of competitors, which should drive costs down. The last thing we need is for China to have a monopoly over the space that allows them to raise costs later in a way that we can't address.

Reporting for WORLD I’m Mary Muncy.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And now something that might make you hungry.

Two years ago, UNESCO granted cultural heritage status to the humble French baguette.

And now? You can mail a letter from France that smells just like a French bakery!

France launched new stamps in honor of the iconic crusty bread. The image on the stamp is of a baguette with a red, white, and blue ribbon tied around it.

But the best part is you can scratch the stamp and get a whiff of mouth-watering fresh bread!

See, the ink has microcapsules in it that releases the scent. And all this just in time for the summer Olympics in Paris!

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s really a no-grainer!

REICHARD: Waah Waah Waah. It’s The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, May 23rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

This week on Concurrently: The News Coach Podcast, hosts Kelsey Reed and Jonathan Boes talk about discipleship in an election year with author Kaitlyn Schiess. Here’s a preview:

JONATHAN BOES: Have you noticed any of these false gospels growing more pernicious? Or do any of them call for particular caution in this realm of educating kids and teens?

KAITLYN SHIESS: Yeah, I mean, the other one that actually is kind of implicit in the book, but I don't name is a specific gospel, but I've become increasingly convinced is really important, is what I've started calling the gospel of individual expression. And there are versions of this on the right and the left. And sometimes when I'm speaking at churches, I'll start describing it in very vague terms, and I'll watch people nod along and think, Oh, you think I'm talking about those other people, and really, I'm talking about you. But it's this idea that what's most important in life is expressing myself unburdened from the demands of other people, whether that's moral traditions that have been handed down, let's unburden ourselves from that, or it's just the needs of my neighbors. I shouldn't have to care about anyone else but me, I want to get rid of that. But it's especially pernicious, I think, in politics, because we have accepted this idea that our engagement in politics is a form of individual expression. When I vote, I tend to think this is a statement of my identity and my community – of who I am and who I belong to. If that's what politics is, there's no room for compromise. There's no room for listening to people who disagree with me. There's no room for any of that, because it's just completely unvarnished expression of myself. The story underneath it, that I'm an isolated individual that shouldn't have to deal with the demands of anyone not a Christian story.

BROWN: You can hear the entire episode of Concurrently today wherever you get your podcasts. And find out more at

REICHARD: Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Life inside an ice cream truck!

The summer countdown has begun, and pure joy on four wheels could soon be rolling through your neighborhood.

BROWN: I caught up with two ice cream experts serving summer treats and what they call a little something extra

AUDIO: [Ice Cream truck music]

MYRNA BROWN: The ice cream truck is a gray twelve-seat converted cargo van. It rolls into the driveway next to Forest Hill Elementary. Michelle Norwood, petite and blonde, parks in front of the school flag. Michelle’s son Hunter hops out of the front passenger seat. Together, the Alabama natives head towards the school’s gymnasium.

NORWOOD: Good morning, good morning

A captive audience of curious fourth and fifth graders are sitting on the floor.

NORWOOD: I have three beautiful children. Our middle son is Hunter, the one who’s yawning because he didn’t want to wake up this morning. Hunter, you want to tell them how old you are? Twenty three. He’s 23 years old.

For the next twenty minutes, with chins cupped in hands, the students hang on every detail of Hunter’s story—his Down Syndrome diagnosis, how he learned to read and what the doctors predicted he might not ever learn to do. It’s a story Michelle says she never tires of telling.

NORWOOD: Of course, medical professionals have an obligation to give you the basics of what to expect, but I didn’t feel like they had the right to just put Hunter in a box and say he will never exceed this.

The Norwoods decided to prove the skeptics wrong. Their mission started in 2007, when Michelle enrolled in graduate school. She ended up with two degrees, in education and leadership. She eventually started working as a special education teacher at Hunter’s high school.

NORWOOD: And a lot of my special education students actually began working in the school snack store. They were not only gaining employment skills but they were getting social skills.

That’s when she says an old childhood dream collided with a new vision.

NORWOOD: As a child I had always dreamed that there would be an ice cream truck coming through our neighborhood but there never was. I was in a small town. And it wasn’t long after I started thinking and praying about what God would do as Hunter got older, I started being awakened night after night. Always 2 a.m. and it was always just a little more each time on how to begin an ice cream truck business.

In 2018 the Norwood family founded A Little Something Extra Ice Cream. Hunter is the CEO of the company. But don’t call him chief executive officer….

NORWOOD: He is a completely extraordinary officer and he owns that title. He loves it.

But he doesn’t work alone. Over the last six years, Michelle and Hunter have assembled a team of more than 70 other young men and women with special needs. Michelle trains them to become ice cream experts.

AUDIO: I will be. I will be….the very best… the very best… ice cream expert…

That’s Michelle in a room full of ice cream experts in training, repeating their oath of service. They learn everything from financial literacy to product knowledge and customer service.

NORWOOD: Because if you’re the parent of a child with special needs, somewhere in the back of your mind you’re always thinking about that time when maybe you’re not going to be around and who’s going to step in and do that job and be there for your child. And so this is securing the future for Hunter and so many other families as well.

While Hunter is the face of the business, he’ll likely never be able to run it. But Michelle says they’ve accepted that and other hard realities head on.

NORWOOD: When Hunter graduated high school his big dream was to go to college. And of course, I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen with him. But because of the ice cream truck, we’ve been able to take it into colleges. Alabama, Auburn, Jacksonville State, Liberty University. It’s been a different pathway, but Hunter got to go to college. God made a way.

The ice cream truck has traveled all over the country—as far north as Virginia, as far south as Alabama. Michelle says life on the road can be both taxing and at times dangerous.

NORWOOD: We did a wedding in November where they wanted us to pull the truck. It had been raining and so the truck got stuck and we couldn't pull out. So they told me to loop around but what they didn’t tell me was that there was a ledge there and the back wheel went off the side and it almost flipped.

Michelle and Hunter were rescued, unharmed.

AUDIO: [Wrecker pulling the truck]

She recorded this video of the wrecker pulling the ice cream truck to safety.

AUDIO: Dear Lord, please God, please don’t let it flip. Jesus, please help us.

You can hear her praying in the background. Michelle says she wants her faith to be as bold as the Bible verse, written on the ice cream truck.

NORWOOD: That scripture, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good,” ultimately I want people to look at our lives and see we have a son with a disability. I want them to see that it did not hold our family back. It didn’t hold Hunter back.

AUDIO: [Hunter reading]

Back at the school, Hunter is reading the book his mom wrote for and about him. Each student will get a copy of Stars In My Eyes. But Michelle has one more surprise.

AUDIO: You’re going to have to choose a flavor of ice cream! (loud screams and shouts of joy)

AUDIO: [Ice Cream Truck music]

A long line of students forms as Hunter starts taking ice-cream orders.

KIDS: Can I get the Cookies and Cream Sandwich, Ice Cream Sandwich, Can I get the Nerds, Fudge Bar, Big Dipper, A Cookies and Cream Sandwich

Michelle beams in delight as she opens the boxes and hands the summer treats to her completely extraordinary officer.

NORWOOD: And if one mom can choose life because she sees that the Norwood family thrived because of the life of Hunter Norwood, then it is worth it.

KIDS AND HUNTER: Thank you, Thank you!

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Myrna Brown in Mobile, Alabama.

REICHARD: Myrna produced a companion piece on WORLD Watch, our video news program for students- where you can see Michelle, Hunter and their ice cream truck. You’ll finda link to the story in today’s transcript. And it just so happens that you can get WORLD Watch for free for the entire month!

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday May 23rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Up next: WORLD commentator Cal Thomas on the need to elevate our political discourse.

CAL THOMAS: Only 16 percent of the public approve of the job Congress is doing, according to a Gallup poll. Last Friday in Washington, D.C., we saw why.

During a House Oversight Committee hearing, several House members resorted to schoolyard taunts and raucous name-calling. Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene started it by telling Democratic Representative Jasmine Crockett, “… your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly joined the fight: “How dare you attack the physical appearance of another person!” she shouted.

“Are your feelings hurt?” Greene asked facetiously.

“Oh, baby girl, don’t even play,” Ocasio-Cortez shot back.

Committee Chairman James Comer appeared flummoxed, as though he had no idea how to gain control of the situation.

Order was eventually restored. House Speaker Mike Johnson later issued a statement about the incident, saying that “it was not a good look for Congress.” That’s an understatement.

Senator John Fetterman had the best response. He posted on social media: “In the past, I’ve described the U.S. House as The Jerry Springer Show. Today, I’m apologizing to The Jerry Springer Show.”

Personal, even physical attacks, are not new in Congress. In the 19th century, Representative Preston Brooks was a slaveholder, and he used his cane to beat unconscious the abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner. Sumner had recently delivered a fervent anti-slavery speech.

As the History Channel notes, members during this time “commonly carried pistols and bowie knives” on the floor. “There were more than 70 violent incidents between congressmen,” according to Joanne B. Freeman, a Yale history professor.

Fortunately, last Friday’s name-calling didn’t end in a physical confrontation.

Perhaps if those members had attended an event the day before in Statuary Hall, they might have acquired some humility. On Thursday, a statue honoring the late Evangelist Billy Graham was unveiled. Several politicians spoke at the event, mentioning Graham’s humility and faithfulness to the gospel. They also noted his friendship with presidents and politicians of both parties. Graham boldly displayed leadership at the dawn of the Civil Rights era. He refused to speak anywhere stadiums were not integrated, and he rejected an invitation to visit South Africa under apartheid.

Graham’s event was in stark contrast to what followed on Friday. Many are crying out for civility and humility in our leaders, but they aren’t getting it. Even Donald Trump and Joe Biden engage in name-calling and putdowns of each other.

Where are the great orators? Leaders like Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others encouraged us to embrace the “better angels of our nature.” We need more people like that today.

You’ve probably seen video clips of Greene’s and Crockett’s conflict. If you missed the Graham statue dedication, you can still watch it at Note the difference between those two events and pray for–and demand–better behavior from your representatives.

I’m Cal Thomas.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Tomorrow: John Stonestreet joins us for Culture Friday. And, two films for families. We’ll review Angel Studio’s movie Sight, and The Garfield Movie. That and more tomorrow.

I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio. WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” —Ephesians 4:29

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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