the word blog spelled out in letters, a hand on a computer keyword

In our blog, read about the political and cultural issues affecting Tennesseans written from a conservative perspective. Commentaries are typically written by David Fowler, an attorney who served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President.

Tanco v. Haslam Final Order and silhouette of a man with a question mark
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Meet My Tennessee Political Hero

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Political heroes are hard to come by these days. But there is a current officeholder in our state who tops my short list. In a lineup of random politicians, you might never suspect he’d be a political hero. Let me introduce you to him and tell you what…
Silhouettes of judges and ballot box and photo of Attorney General Slatery
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The Most Important Legislation You Haven’t Heard About

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Tennesseans understandably tend to put their political focus on hot topics such as abortion legislation. But little attention has been given to what I think is one of the most important pieces of legislation going through the General Assembly, a proposed…
silhouette of a baby and a heartbeat
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Is the Fetal Heartbeat Bill Viable?

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The bill making it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion (except under limited circumstances) once a fetal heartbeat is detected is “Exhibit A” among the perils of lawmaking and constituent advocacy. I spent six years of my life as a state senator…
Silhouette of three male politicians against a Tennessee flag background.
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Taking Three Tennessee Politicians to Task

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As I read news reports this week about past conduct in which Gov. Bill Lee and Rep. David Byrd had engaged, my mind recalled something I witnessed a couple of weeks ago for only the second time in my life. That combination changed what I was going to…
Husband and wife holding baby shoes
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Will Legislators Take a Consistent Approach to Abortion and Marriage?

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Three bills filed in the General Assembly—two on abortion and one on marriage—point out how hard it is to find a consistent principle by which to govern. Here’s what I think needs to be done. Two Approaches to Reversing Roe v. Wade The two abortion…
Official photo of Trump, Trump at the State of the Union address, and Bernie Sanders at a DC rally
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‘Born Free,’ ‘Truly Free,’ and Other State of the Union Myths

President Trump went off his printed State of the Union speech Tuesday night and said, to Republican applause, “America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free.”…
Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers remarks at the start of the Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26, 2014.
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Has Evangelicalism Unwittingly Aided Cuomo and NY’s Abortion Law?

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Many in Tennessee and across the nation are appalled at the callousness toward human life underlying the abortion-to-the-moment-of-delivery law passed by New York’s legislature and praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But does today’s version of evangelicalism…
Illustration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., map of the border wall at Mexico, the medical symbol, and photo of Bill Lee
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Gov. Lee Passes First Hard Policy Test

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On Monday, Governor Bill Lee attended an event honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I know how hard it was for Gov. Lee to do what he did when the keynote speaker gave his address. In my eyes, he passed his first hard policy test as governor.…
screenshot of the Freedom From Religion Letter to Governor-elect Bill Lee, along with images of a church and the Capitol building
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Inauguration Worship Service Drives Some Folks Up the Wall

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The Saturday morning worship service hosted by Governor-elect Bill Lee’s inauguration committee is driving The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) up the proverbial wall, the so-called “wall of separation between church and state.” The Foundation…
Statue of King David, photo of Bill Lee, and the Tennessee flag star symbol
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What Do I Expect from Bill Lee?

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With Bill Lee going from governor-elect to governor next week, many have been speculating about what to expect from him during his administration. Here’s what I think about that question. My expectations for Lee’s administration began to crystalize…

Past Blogposts

Picture of five core competencies of SEL and TN flag on a chalkboard

Is This the Beginning of the End for Public Schools?

Have public schools run their course? Just asking that question will irritate a lot of people, Christians included. But I think we have to ask the question, given an announcement last week by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce relative to what it wants from public education. Those who don’t ask and answer the question may […]

Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the TN Capitol, and the American flag

Is the Christmas Story Bad News for Today’s Politicians?

For the last two weeks, I’ve taken a break from politics to share some of my thoughts about the true meaning of Christmas. But when the Christmas story and politics come together, it seems like bad news for most of today’s politicians, Republican and Democrat alike. If too many politicians read it, there may be […]

Sword of the Spirit and Bible against Christmas lights

The Weapon-Wielding Baby Jesus Asleep in the Hay

Last week’s commentary about the Merry Christmas “culture war” was a break from politics per se, and the response to it ran the gamut. Some thought I was wrong, while others agreed; some flat missed the point, and others thought it sounded “kind of scary.” So, continuing my “seasonal break,” I can’t wait to see […]

illustrative manger scene and Christmas tree ornament that says "Away in a Manger"

Why I May Never Say ‘Merry Christmas’ Again

With today’s encapsulation of stories about schools banning certain Christmas songs and Christmas-related words and images, I couldn’t help but think about the protests in recent years over the shift from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays.” I get that for many these things are a lament about the increasing secularization of our culture and that […]

man in handcuffs with Lady Liberty in background

Criminal Justice Reform on Tennessee’s Agenda

Governor-elect Bill Lee and various state legislative leaders have voiced an interest in working on criminal justice reform during the next legislative session. This is not a topic that I would normally wade into, but it points to what I perceive to be a systemic issue in “reform” efforts in modern politics. Understanding How the […]

Photo ofBill Lee and a man writing notes

An Open Letter to Governor-Elect Bill Lee About His Advisors

Bill, congratulations on your election as our state’s next governor. I followed with great interest both the primary and the general election in which you ran. Our political stories are remarkably similar in some respects, and I hope you will find this particular thought most helpful going forward. Our political experiences are similar in a […]

handshake

Working Across What Aisle?

Now that the election is over, the question in the minds of many is whether those elected are willing to “work across the aisle” with each other. Will Trump and Pelosi work across the aisle to govern? At his very first press conference, Governor-elect Bill Lee was asked if he would have any Democrats in […]

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Governor Wolf gives remarks regarding Pittsburgh shooting and participates in vigil

Getting the Right Policy Prescription for Gun Attacks

I’ve never written on gun violence since it’s really outside the immediate purview of the issues dealt with by the organization I lead. But given the latest attack on a group of people and the growing frequency of such attacks, I think it’s time to say something. We need to get straight a bit of […]

Can One Issue Really Define the U.S. Senate Election?

I don’t think about how I vote the same way I did before I got into politics 24 years ago, because now I know too much how the legislative process works once a candidate is elected. That knowledge is important to me. For all the policy differences between Congressman Blackburn and Phil Bredesen, it seems […]

a photo of Phil Bredesen from 2007, Phil Bredesen sticker, Democrat donkey

Don’t Cast a Naive Vote for U.S. Senate

One thing I know from 12 years in the Tennessee Senate and another 12 years trying to work with the General Assembly is party politics and how it affects what legislators do. So, with early voting starting this week and a hotly contested U.S. Senate race on the ballot, here’s what I have to say […]