In an election year, we all grow used to politicians twisting one another's words for maximum advantage. That's always happened, and it always will. It's our job as citizens to cut through the political spin, figure out the truth and vote our conscience. The difference in this political cycle, more than any other before it, is it's not just the politicians who are constantly spinning the truth. Formerly responsible institutions have rejected the goal of objectivity in exchange for political expediency. You cannot find the truth in this election cycle unless you actively seek it out. The only way to do that is to look beyond your political bubble.

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s2smodern

Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

Despite the occasional looting, chaos, property damage, trespassing, rioting, graffiti, assaults, arson and general mayhem, the media consistently assure us that antifa "protesters" are "largely peaceful." And since the majority of buildings in Portland, Seattle and Denver haven't been looted yet, who am I to argue?

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s2smodern

Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

On March 25, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made one of deadliest mistakes of the coronavirus crisis, signing an executive order forcing nursing homes in his state to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus. Around 4,800 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 in those nursing homes from March to May -- approximately 25% of all fatalities in the state.

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s2smodern

Is America good? That's the real question we have been debating these past few weeks. The answer, of course, is obvious to all but a few true radicals. Yes, America is good. That doesn't mean America is perfect, and it doesn't mean we should not strive to make America better, but the criticisms we make should have some grounding in facts, in history and in comparison with the rest of the world.

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s2smodern

Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

This week, the Supreme Court struck down a Montana constitutional provision barring religious schools from benefiting from the state's tax dollars. There are similar now-unconstitutional laws on the books across the nation -- many of them borne of anti-Catholic bigotry -- that subvert religious liberty and further empower government, rather than parents, to make educational choices for their kids. In most cases, those laws are now dead.

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s2smodern

There is a fanatical and increasingly violent form of fascism growing on the streets of our country. Civil debate and free speech are out. Power on the streets is in. If that scares you, the fact that our country's political, corporate and media leaders seem to be OK with this mob violence should scare you even more.

The spark that ignited our current unrest was the brutal murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, all caught on video. President Donald Trump, for all his skills, is unable to effectively lead at a time like this, especially on a sensitive issue like race. His talks have veered from awkward to unhelpful.

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s2smodern

Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.

We're in the dawn of a high-tech, bloodless Cultural Revolution, one that relies on intimidation, public shaming and economic ruin to dictate what words and ideas are permissible in the public square.

"Words are violence" has always been an illiberal notion meant to stifle speech and open discourse. Popularized by a generation of coddled and brittle college students, it now guides policy on editorial pages at newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times and most major news outlets.

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s2smodern

We just had riots from coast to coast. Downtown Seattle is currently a lawless zone under the control of anarchists. It may be time to start asking what's going on in our country. People are not happy. The national unrest started with the brutal killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, but it is not solely about police brutality or race. People on the left and on the right are unhappy about a host of issues. Maybe now that it has become this bad, we can stop pretending otherwise.

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s2smodern

Our country is hurting. Culturally, as a society and how we relate to each other, we are in the midst of a steep drop, almost a free fall. Race is just one aspect; we are talking past one another, and we are less of a community than I ever recall. If you love this country, the question is how did this happen, and how can we turn it around.

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s2smodern

We have now had time to digest the news of senior Obama political appointees -- including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden -- spying on President Donald Trump's 2017 incoming national security advisor, Michael Flynn. It has been weeks since the news broke, but we have few answers as to what actually happened -- and very few questions have even been asked.

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s2smodern

The big coronavirus debate is between blaming President Donald Trump and blaming China for the pandemic. The usual suspects are lined up on each side. To anybody who pauses to think for a second, it's clear the two options are not mutually exclusive. But that's still how the debate is playing out in the press.

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s2smodern

Michael Flynn did not seem to be the best choice President-elect Donald Trump could have made for his first national security advisor. My own publication, The Daily Caller, broke the story of Flynn writing an op-ed praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just before Trump's election. The op-ed was a clear break from Flynn's past comments criticizing Turkey for their policies toward the ISIS terrorist group. The most troubling part was Flynn's failure to disclose the fact that his private-sector intelligence consulting firm had just signed a lucrative contract with a company closely aligned with Erdogan before the op-ed was published. The whole thing looked a lot like a paid foreign influence campaign.

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s2smodern

As our fellow Americans lose jobs and lives due to this pandemic, it's helpful to pause and think about whether any positives can come out of this tragedy. With challenges this big, there are always important lessons.

First, we are learning a lot about our top leaders. We live in a politically fractured time. By the time we have a vaccine or herd immunity and can put this pandemic fully in our rearview mirror -- which may be quite a while away, unfortunately -- we will be better able to assess how each national, state and local leader steps up -- or shrinks -- when it counts.

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s2smodern

We live in a time when many people are so partisan that their views are easy to predict based solely on their political persuasion. If you're a hardcore Republican, you're pretty sure hydroxychloroquine is a solid treatment for COVID-19, and if you're a big-time Democrat, you know hydroxychloroquine is ineffective and even dangerous. Our system is so partisan that nothing is beyond politics -- even our choice of medicines.

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s2smodern

John Jacob Astor, the richest man on board the Titanic, famously gave up a seat in the final lifeboat when he saw two young children still on the ship's deck. "Women and children first" was the order from the ship's captain, and the final numbers show just how much the men on board -- even the rich and powerful -- adhered to that call. Women on the Titanic had a 75% survival rate, compared with just 17% for men. Besides some crazed radical feminists, most of us view the chivalry displayed on that sinking ship with a sense of awe and admiration. Hard to imagine many California tech billionaires behaving today the way Astor did the night he died.

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s2smodern

For the business community and those at the very top of America's economic ladder, China has been a godsend. They've made and saved billions and billions of dollars by outsourcing American manufacturing to China and offering goods and services to China's booming consumer market. For many top American companies, growth in China has been seen as essential for success. This is why so many American companies and upper-income American citizens are so thoroughly uninterested in hearing about Chinese atrocities. Remember last year when an NBA general manager made the mistake of tweeting something sympathetic to the freedom (and pro-American) protestors in Hong Kong? He was absolutely crushed by his league and the players, who all knew that China was where their future riches were to be made.

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s2smodern