The World and Everything in It — January 2, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The state of Oklahoma is infamous for its high rates of incarceration. But that’s changing.

ECHOLS: I will tell you, at the end of the day, Oklahoma’s no longer No. 1 in the nation in incarceration. No longer.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also big rig drivers are in short supply. We’ll find out why that is. 

Plus, encouragement to read our Bibles more in the year ahead.

LARSON: I exercise whether I feel like it or not. I read because I know I need this. It’s God’s truth for our lives and it’s meant to be food and nourishment as well as direction…so it’s huge.

And Cal Thomas sees a lot of 1980 in the year 2020 so far.

REICHARD: It’s Thursday, January 2nd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Tensions escalate with Iran following embassy attack » Tensions with Iran are once again on the rise after dozens of Iran-supported militiamen attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq this week.

The Trump administration says it has no doubt Iran was behind it. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo… 

POMPEO: We will continue to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable wherever we find their malign activity, and we’ll make sure we have the resources to do so. 

And President Trump tweeted—quote—“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.”

About 750 U.S. troops are deploying to the Middle East. Defense Secretary Mark Esper called that a “precautionary action.”

Several thousand more are standing by for possible deployment in the next several days.

Fourteen thousand U.S. troops have already deployed to the Gulf region since May amid concerns about Iranian aggression. 

Trump says some vaping flavors may be pulled from market » President Trump says the federal government will soon announce a new strategy to tackle underage vaping. He said his administration is determined to protect families while also protecting the vaping industry. He suggested that part of that plan is to temporarily pull “certain flavors” of e-cigarettes off the market. 

TRUMP: Flavors will come off. They’re going to be checked. We want to make it—people have died from this. They’ve died from vaping. We think we understand why. But we’re doing a very exhaustive examination, and hopefully everything will be back on the market very, very shortly. 

The president said vaping is not all bad, noting that it’s helped many people to quit smoking.

Beginning in May, all e-cigarettes will need to undergo FDA review. Only those that can demonstrate a public health benefit will be allowed to stay on the market.

Australian military carries out relief missions amid wildfires » Australia deployed Navy ships and aircraft Wednesday to help communities ravaged by catastrophic wildfires. They’re bringing food, water, and fuel to areas like the coastal town Mallacoota, Victoria where flames have cut off roadways. 

Some 4,000 people there fled to the shore this week as flames swept across the area. Tourist Sherelle Williamson said the sky changed color almost in an instant. 

WILLIAMSON: It’s hard to explain in words just the darkness that came over so quick. Within 20 minutes it was a bit like this, and then it was pitch black and hazy. You couldn’t see in front of you.  The kids were petrified, even as older teenagers. Yeah, it was pretty terrifying.

Mallacoota resident Jann Gilbert said she found only charred remains where her home once stood. 

GILBERT: All of my possessions have been totally incinerated. Everything—There is simply nothing left except ash. 

The wildfires have killed at least 17 people nationwide while consuming nearly a thousand homes. 

Netanyahu seeks immunity from corruption charges ahead election » Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he would seek immunity from corruption charges. That will likely delay any trial until after March elections. At that point he may have a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution.

Israel’s attorney general indicted Netanyahu in November on multiple corruption charges. At a press conference Wednesday, the prime minister again called the charges partisan and false. He said the law is designed to—his words—“protect elected officials from tailored lawsuits.” 

NETANYAHU: [in Hebrew]

He added that immunity is always temporary and—quoting here—“It is my intention to stand before the court to shatter all the fabricated accusations against me.” 

Netanyahu failed to form a governing majority after back-to-back elections last year. The March election gives him a third shot at remaining in office.

Jack Sheldon dies » Actor, singer, and acclaimed jazz musician Jack Sheldon has died. His trumpet once graced the Grammy Award-winning song “The Shadow of Your Smile.” 

MUSIC: [The Shadow of Your Smile]

He played alongside jazz and pop greats like Benny Goodman and Frank Sinatra.

Many TV viewers will remember him as the sidekick to talk show host Merv Griffin. Others will remember his distinctive voice, which helped to teach a generation of Americans how the federal government works. 

MUSIC: I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill, and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill. 

That from the animated series Schoolhouse Rock. As an actor, he reveled in playing the wise guy on stage and on screen, with TV credits including the 1960s sitcom “Run Buddy Run.” He also appeared in episodes of  “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” 

Sheldon died of natural causes. He was 88 years old. 

David Stern dies » Former NBA commissioner David Stern has also died. He was the league’s longest-serving commissioner, holding the job for 30 years. 

By the time he left his position in 2014, a league that had struggled for a foothold had grown into a more than $5 billion a year industry and made NBA basketball perhaps the world’s most popular sport after soccer.

Stern was 77 years old. He suffered a brain hemorrhage last month.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next: cutting incarceration rates in Oklahoma. 

And truck drivers are in short supply—we’ll tell you why.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Thursday, the 2nd of January, 2020. I have to stop and think about that! Thank you for listening to today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: prison reform in Oklahoma.

The state of Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the world. To give you a sense of proportion, the United States prison population is 698 of every 100,000 residents. For Oklahoma, though, it’s 1,079 out of 100,000, and that means the state incarceration rate is more than 55 percent higher than the national average.

But in 2016, Oklahomans voted to reclassify certain crimes. They changed several non-violent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. That means the punishment for those crimes decreased significantly.

WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports now on what happened next.

AUDIO: Alan McCall. Yes sir. Robert Gilliland. Yes. Adam Luck. Yes. Kelly Doyle. Yes. Larry Morris. Yes.

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: This is a meeting of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. On November 1st, it voted to release hundreds of inmates from Oklahoma prisons.

AUDIO: To grant accelerated single stage commutation recommendation to inmates in the possession docket who have received a favorable recommendation by staff, moved by Alan McCall and seconded by Adam Luck has been carried by a vote of five to zero. [APPLAUSE]

Three days later, 462 inmates walked out of prisons across the state. It was the largest one-day release in U.S. history. And according to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt—that’s just the beginning. 

STITT: This group of non violent offenders is just a part of this story. By the end of this year we’re estimating we’ll have 2,000 empty beds.

Drug possession used to be a felony in Oklahoma. Conviction carried a sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. Now, simple drug possession is a misdemeanor, with a one year maximum sentence. Voters made that change in 2016. But in 2019, Stitt signed a bill applying the new sentences retroactively to anyone currently serving time for those crimes. State Representative Jon Echols says that’s having a huge effect on Oklahoma’s prison population.

ECHOLS: I will tell you, at the end of the day, Oklahoma’s no longer No. 1 in the nation in incarceration. No longer. [APPLAUSE]

Kris Steele was one of the main advocates for the reform. He’s a former state representative and now runs an education and employment ministry for ex-offenders. He says Oklahoma has needed a change like this for decades.

STEELE: We, um, ultimately have created…a correctional system that for the most part is based on retribution and punishment. 

Steele says incarceration isn’t effective—or necessary—for non-violent offenders. He believes it exacerbates the problem by breaking up families and adding to the instability in a person’s life. So Steele advocates a different mindset.

STEELE: Addressing the core issues behind the behavior is what allows us to all ultimately give people an opportunity to reach their full potential in life, become contributing members of society.

But there’s still a big question mark in Oklahoma. Hundreds of inmates are walking free. Where do they go from here? Robin Khoury has been wondering about that a lot lately.

ROBIN KHOURY: You can commute all these sentences, but you can’t undo all of the damage to the fabric of those families.

Khoury runs a school for children whose parents are in prison. The mom of one of her students is getting released at the end of January.

KHOURY: I was wondering, gosh, I wonder if she has a place to stay. I wonder if she’s going to be, um, having this structure that she needs when she gets out. Like they need transportation, they need IDs, they need a place to stay, they need jobs.

Christie Luther runs a cosmetology school inside an Oklahoma prison. She says even the most basic decisions can be daunting for someone who’s just been released.

LUTHER: You leave prison after let’s say five years for example. And you go to Walmart or Target and you stand in the cereal aisle. That can be overwhelming.

Luther says former inmates need a support system and a re-entry plan.

LUTHER: Tell me, where are you going to live? Tell me, do you have clothing? Where are you going to work?…Where are you going? Is it a safe place? Meaning, are there no drugs?…If they don’t have those answers, by the time they leave, uh, their rate of success is really, really, really low.

The state tried to prepare inmates for re-entry by running transition fairs inside the prisons. The goal was to connect inmates with outside agencies that would provide transitional housing, education, transportation, and job training once they got out. A lot of groups have stepped up to help ex-offenders reboot their lives. But Luther says resources are still stretched thin.

LUTHER: We have very few, you know, available…transitional houses or space available in those transitional houses for those, for the people coming out.

Luther hopes to open one transitional house to help lighten the load. But she says it will take a group effort if Oklahoma wants to reap long-term benefits. Even with those challenges, Luther supports the reform efforts. In fact, she hopes this marks a turning point for the state.

LUTHER: I do see laws changing. I do see people standing up in the midst of, uh, the opposition to say…no, we’re tired of this in Oklahoma and we’re going to do something about it…And so I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: big-rig drivers.

LYRIC: Breaker 1-9, this here’s the Rubber Duck, you got a copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon? Yeah, it’s a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen. Yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy, mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy!

We got a mighty convoy, rockin’ through the night, yeah, we got a mighty convoy, ’cross the USA, convoy, convoy, convoy …

The United States has a shortage of big-rig truckers. Almost everything you buy for your home, for your office, and for the people on your Christmas list this year most likely came to you on a truck. 

That’s the way 78 percent of freight in this country moves. So the saying goes, “if you bought it, a truck brought it.”

NICK EICHER: But the American Trucking Association reports that by the end of 2018, the industry’s convoy was a bit short—short by about 60,000 drivers. And the group projects in another decade it’ll be twice the problem. 

To find out why truck driving may be less attractive these days, WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg headed out on the road.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG REPORTER: Interstate 80 is one of the nation’s main trucking arteries. It stretches from San Francisco all the way to New Jersey. 

Tonight, a thick fog has rolled over this stretch through western Wyoming. 

AUDIO: [Sound of trucks idling]

With visibility low, many truck drivers are pulling over here at a large truck stop just off the interstate. Mike Johnson is one of them. He’s been on the highway for three decades. 

JOHNSON: It’s one of those things, it’s in my blood. 

Johnson says he’s loved his life on the road because it’s let him see the country, and meet people from every walk of life. But it’s not an easy job. 

JOHNSON: It takes a skill to drive one. If they get a truck fully loaded at 80,000 pounds, you have to know what that truck’s gonna do. You know, you just can’t go barreling down the highway like Joe blow and his car, you know? 

Today, more than half of all truck drivers are over 55, like Johnson. As that generation retires over the next decade, companies will need to replace them. 

Rod Buffington says that won’t be easy. 

BUFFINGTON: I’ve been doing this 28 years. I kind of worked my way up. Now I’m home every week. I get pretty good paycheck.

Buffington is hauling potatoes from Idaho to Minnesota. He says trucking is a tough lifestyle—one that most young people don’t want to take on.

BUFFINGTON: Nobody wants to go away from home. For some companies, two, three weeks. 

What can companies do to make that time on the road more appealing? 

BUFFINGTON: Raise the wages. 

Kevin Thakur is hauling yogurt from California to Pennsylvania. He’s on the road two-thirds of the year. Thakur says life is good when he gets to sleep here at a truck stop with showers and a restaurant, but places like this fill up fast. 

THAKUR: I mean I can stop right now but somebody coming at midnight, he won’t find a place. He’d be stopping at some exit. Which you don’t know. What if  somebody knocks at the door at nighttime with the gun. What do you gonna do? So safety, security.

Thakur says drivers need more safe places to park and sleep.

John Kingston is an analyst at FreightWaves, a publisher of freight news and data. He says driver shortages are nothing new.

KINGSTON: Trying to find drivers has always kind of been a struggle for this industry. This is not new. 

Kingston says in today’s tight labor economy, more companies are trying to offer better wages, bonuses, and benefits. 

Matt Schrap teaches at California State University’s Center for International Trade and Transportation. He argues there isn’t a shortage of drivers, just a shortage of qualified drivers. If companies do a better job of offering trainings, they can create new labor. 

SCHRAP: Today’s technology is so sophisticated when new trucks that, you know, it’s not your old granddad’s truck. I think that really it’s just a function of getting people behind the wheel, letting them experience the, the industry and then ideally become better at it.

But the real question is, when will the driver shortage start interfering with the time it takes your online order to get to your front door? Freight Waves John Kingston says before that happens the market will follow driver Rod Buffington’s advice. 

KINGSTON: My view is that we start to get to that point, the rates will soar and it’ll bring in a lot of drivers off the sidelines.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg reporting from Little America, Wyoming.

NICK EICHER: Online shopping makes life a bit easier, but with ease comes opportunity, particularly for thieves. 

And over the holidays, police responded to numerous reports of packages stolen off porches.

But now, doorbell cameras are nabbing a lot of the culprits in the act. Debbie Goines of Oklahoma expected a package her sister mailed from California, but it disappeared just before Christmas. 

So Goines check the camera footage and soon identified Whodunit! 

It was her next door neighbor, Max. 

Big, four-footed, furry Max sniffed out the box filled with beef jerky and other irresistibles. 

ABC News was on the scene…

GOINES: All we found was the box and a busted bottle of olive oil. I just assume that Max ate what he wanted and then buried the rest ‘cause it was full of stuff. And I guess he just smelled the jerky and thought ‘this’s been delivered to the wrong house!”

So Max righted that wrong. Now, in all graciousness, Goines and her human neighbor worked it all out. But Max received the Max, that is confinement to his minimum-security pen for a while.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Thursday, January 2nd. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we are so glad you are! Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. So, Nick, did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How’re they going?

EICHER: I make ’em mid-January, actually. Around the holidays, you’re not in your routines. I’m a creature of habit and resolutions need to come in the context of a regular schedule, otherwise—for me, anyway—they’re unrealistic.

So I’m still working on it—exercise, health, reading, spiritual disciplines, family life, those are big categories for resolution fodder…

REICHARD: That’s a long list! Ambitious! I do a short list every year, yes. Go somewhere new. Remain calm no matter what’s going on, whether a crisis or not. You know, practice not living as though my hair is on fire. And this year in particular, gain spiritual weight. I can say that 48 hours in, all’s good! I’m not yet defeated!

EICHER: I like that, it’s memorable. Everybody, including this body, wants to lose weight. But gaining spiritual weight, we could all use that, too, for sure.

And for Christians, that means reading the Bible. It’s a must do. So a common resolution is to read the Bible daily or all the way through by a defined time. 

WORLD reporter Jenny Rough shares a personal story of her attempts to read the Bible. She talked with a pastor and a professor who gave helpful tips on making your way through the greatest book in the world:

JENNY ROUGH. REPORTER: The first time I tried to read the Bible, I was 12. 

JON SHERBERG: Genesis 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And earth was formless…

I didn’t make it far. So I started again. 

JON SHERBERG: Genesis 1. In the beginning God created…

And again.

JON SHERBERG: Genesis 1.

As a small girl in Sunday school, I’d listened in awe to stories about a God who owned the cattle on a thousand hills, named each star in the universe, and numbered the very hairs on my head. I longed for intimacy with Him. 

SMITH: Well, it seems obvious to those who are believers that it’s important to read the Bible because that’s the only real concrete communication we have with our creator. 

Professor LaGard Smith writes about faith. He says even for those who are unsure of their spiritual beliefs, the Bible is a good place to start. 

SMITH: Well, how many options do you have in order to find out what your purpose in life is? I mean, everyone wants to know: Why do I exist? Where did I come from? Where am I going after I die…

Begin at the beginning. Genesis details creation, the fall, and God’s plan to redeem the world. 

SMITH: Without Genesis nothing is cohesive in the rest of Scripture because that’s where all the story begins. And the ending doesn’t make any sense without understanding the beginning. 

In high school, I got a Bible with a reading track plan. Each chapter, I marked off a little square in pencil. Instead of focusing on the message, I got caught up in accomplishing the daily task. Check. Check. Check. 

Knute Larson is a former minister who now coaches pastors. He says duty has a place.

LARSON: I exercise whether I feel like it or not. I read because I know I need this. It’s God’s truth for our lives and it’s meant to be food and nourishment as well as direction…so it’s huge. 

So I persisted. 

This time I made it to Leviticus. My efforts waned as I slogged through laws about grain tithes and split hoof animals. I switched to the New Testament.

Larson recommends John, but all the gospels are valuable to learn about the life of Christ. 

LARSON: See Christ, and to see how He wants us to live and to enjoy His truth and His direction for life. There’s nobody who has such wisdom.

True, but that didn’t prevent me from petering out again. 

I wondered about starting in a different place. Proverbs has 31 chapters, one for each day of the month. Or perhaps I could drop into an obscure book, like Nahum? Smith says skipping around can be confusing. That’s one reason he decided to compile The Daily Bible.  

The Daily Bible puts the scriptural text in chronological order with narration to set the scene before each passage. For example, Paul’s letters are placed throughout the book of Acts when he actually wrote them. 

Smith says when it comes to the Bible, context is critical. . 

SMITH: I’m a teacher, and I can’t help but think, you’ve got to lay the foundation for things. Because even when it, the gospels tell us that Jesus is the long-expected Messiah, if we haven’t read the Old Testament we don’t understand what the long-expected Messiah was all about. 

Should we read big chunks or chew off tiny bits at a time?

SMITH: My father had an expression, he said, you know, the Bible is like an ocean. There are shallows that anybody can walk in and then there are depths that can’t even be fathomed. So I think there is a time to walk along the beach and see the ocean and, you know, walk in the shallows. But there’s another time to get out and go deep. 

Smith says regardless of your approach, just plow through.

SMITH: Get through the Bible one time at least, from cover-to-cover. I mean, that’s huge for most people. 

Ezekiel intimidated me. To avoid getting bogged down in difficult parts, read for an overview of the central message.

SMITH: Any adult person, I think, can work their way through the Bible. Even the harder parts, the more mysterious parts. 

There is nothing wrong with devotionals or commentaries to help. But, well, here’s Larson again:

LARSON: I always urge people at least read the Bible. Don’t just read a devotional book and skip the reading [laughs]. 

By 30, my busy professional life as a lawyer left little time to read. A move East made me homesick. I tried to flee back West. Then I had a miscarriage and learned I couldn’t have children. One day I saw my Bible on a bookshelf gathering dust. I flipped it open to Luke:

AUDIO BIBLE: There was in the days of Herod a certain priest named Zacharias and his wife was Elisabeth. They had no child because that Elisabeth was barren.

I read Jonah too. God had commanded him to go East, but he bolted West. 

AUDIO BIBLE:  Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah … saying: “Arise, go to Nineveh” … but Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish. 

Sounded familiar. Smith says that’ll happen—the Bible’s stories match our own and guide us through life’s struggles.

SMITH: It can kind of take you by the hand and say, I know where you are. Let me show you other people who have been there and how they interacted with God.

This time, the words of the Bible took root. Suddenly, I couldn’t stop reading it. Desire replaced duty. 

LARSON: When you understand why God said this, and how it’s meant to point to His Son who is so full of grace and truth, then you read to see His Son and to learn how Christ, the Son, the Savior wants us to live. 

The Bible is a love story from God. We read it to benefit from His love and know what He says. At times, Bible reading can still feel like rote practice. Simply admit it, Larson says, and come back to the Word again. God is always inviting us.

AUDIO BIBLE: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Jenny Rough, reporting from Alexandria, Virginia.

NICK EICHER: Coming up next, an excerpt from Listening In. This week, a conversation with author David Eaton. He speaks to thousands of students face-to-face every year about popular culture and Christian worldview.

MARY REICHARD: In this excerpt of his conversation with Warren Smith, Eaton helps parents start informed conversations with their children about important topics.

WARREN SMITH, REPORTER: When you go into a Christian high school or secular high school, what are you telling them? You’re not telling them: “Cellphones bad. Pornography bad. Don’t do it, just say no!”

DAVID EATON: We want them to say that. So it’s kinda like Inception. We’re trying to plant these great ideas in their mind. We don’t want to just start off by saying: “bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, shame, shame, shame, terrible, terrible, terrible.” Instead we want to say: “Hey, let’s start off and say, how is this very good?”

I mean, Warren, it’s easy for people to say that technology is neutral. And actually Axis said that in our early days. There were some great quotes that we read off about how technology is not good or bad, it’s just powerful. And it’s kind of like this idea of a neutral force. 

SMITH: It’s just a tool. You can use it for good or you can use it for evil. 

EATON: Right. You know, and it’s, it’s cool. People say: “Oh, you have a brick. You can throw it through a window or you can build a hospital with it.” But we want to say: “There is an innate goodness to the brick. There is an innate goodness to the pencil. There’s an innate goodness to a tree or to a smartphone” because we believe that God made the world very good. So good that he actually on the seventh day, he rested in the world that he created. He said it was very good. And then he rests in it, which is a temple text. So God lives on the planet that he created. He lives in the world that he created. And then, um, and then you have the curse that comes after that. 

And so instead of saying it’s not good or bad, we say it is very good and then it is very cursed. So this idea of loss. So I think if you have kids or grandkids who are on their glowing pocket rectangles all the time, these incredible phones start off with a sense of wonder. Don’t be the bad guy who’s always complaining or whining about it. Start off by saying what’s good and affirmative. And then, once you’ve established this way of thinking of it in a, in a beautiful, good way, then say, what have we lost? What are we missing out on this?

REICHARD: That’s David Eaton talking to Warren Smith. To hear their complete conversation, look for Listening In wherever you get your podcasts.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Thursday, January 2nd. Already! Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. The calendar has turned from December to January, but commentator Cal Thomas is wondering: What year is it?

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Well, it’s now 2020, but it’s beginning to feel a little more like 1980 to me. 

What I’m referring to is the route of Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in Britain’s recent election. One UK newspaper described it as a “blowout.” Conservatives won a whopping 80-seat majority in Parliament—including one seat they hadn’t won since its creation 40 years ago. 

As usual, pundits were wrong leading up to the election. They predicted a very tight race.

Many viewed the election as a referendum on Brexit, which voters approved more than three years ago, but some politicians had then blocked. 

Johnson campaigned on giving the voters what they voted for—otherwise known as democracy. Now Britain’s divorce from the European Union could be finalized as early as this month.

The deniers were out in full force after the election. Jeremy Corbyn announced his resignation as Labour Party leader, but claimed the disastrous results were not his fault. He ludicrously asserted his hard-left agenda was “extremely popular.”

If that is popularity, it is difficult to imagine what unpopularity would look like.

Among Corbyn’s other faults were his virulent anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements. Some, perhaps even in his own party, will view his departure as good riddance to bad rubbish.

It’s reasonable to think the UK election could be a predictor of next year’s U.S. presidential contest. Remember Brexit preceded Donald Trump’s election in 2016. And in 1980, one year after Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, Ronald Reagan won the White House. 

Believe it or not, former CNN host Piers Morgan may have connected the dots better than anyone. His Daily Mail column headline read: “Boris Johnson’s triumph proves democracy-denying radical socialists backed by self-righteous celebrities on Twitter are electoral poison—and if Democrats fall for the same delusion, Trump will decimate them in 2020.”

Again those aren’t my words—we’re talking about Piers Morganhere.  

He wrote—quote—“[A] massive reason why Johnson won so big… was that (Corbyn) … is a hard-core socialist so far left he makes [Congresswoman] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez look like a capitalist … As I’ve been warning for months, there’s [no] chance of a socialist candidate beating Trump next November, especially not with the U.S. economy doing so well. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both share Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist agenda and both appear to be as popular as him on Twitter.” End quote. 

It would be difficult to overstate how correct Morgan is on this. While most stateside pundits focus on Trump’s relatively low approval ratings, they forget that he was elected with those low approval ratings. 

Now Democrats have overreached on impeachment, and the economy is booming. If they add to that a far-left presidential candidate, it’s easy to imagine an electoral landslide similar to Reagan’s in 1980.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: A good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun and prevented what might have been a massacre during a worship service.

We’ll talk about that on Culture Friday. 

And, Megan Basham reviews The Aeronauts.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

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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