Posts Tagged ‘Candidates’

You Have to Vote For Me to See My Tax Returns

Monday, January 16th, 2012

No Tax Return? No Vote!

After watching Monday’s FoxNews debate, I have some pointed advice for voters in the upcoming South Carolina Republican primary:  If a candidate will not disclose his tax returns before you vote, consider him ineligible.  You have no need for a candidate whose dirty secrets will be aired only after you’ve voted for him.  Mitt Romney talks about April, but I want to see them now, before any of us have voted(other than Iowa and New Hampshire, whose residents have already voted.)  You have every right to demand this sort of disclosure from the candidates, and if they won’t meet your expectations, you have every right to withhold your vote.  The suggestion of at least one of the candidates who hem-hawed this issue in Monday night’s debate is that you have no need to see them until  after he thinks he’ll already have the nomination.

I want right now to pause and suggest to you that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.  It ranks right up there with Nancy Pelosi’s infamous:

“We have to pass this bill before you can find out what is in it.”

Ladies and gentlemen, if you accept this from Mitt Romney or any of the candidates, you have no right to complain when Nancy Pelosi pushes through a monstrous health-care bill, or any bill, before anybody has had time to read it.  The voters of South Carolina, and every subsequent state, all have a right to demand this of somebody asking for their votes.  If you let Mitt Romney sneak by you with this one, it’s just the beginning, but I don’t care which candidate offers you this lie, because you must reject it, and you must do so by withholding your vote.

I am going to walk even further out on this limb: I will not vote, either in the Primary, or in the General Election in my state for ANY candidate who has not disclosed his tax returns before the date of the primary. I will not buy a pig in a poke, and neither should you. No tax returns?  No vote!

Virgina Attorney General Set to Intervene

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli

Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli,  has decided to get involved in the matter of ballot access for the primary elections in his state.  It’s something of an oddity to see this happen because while one could certainly make the case that the late rule changes in the way petition signatures are validated, it’s likewise true that “rules are rules.”  The funny thing about this is that when it was revealed that only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney would be on the ballot, many in the GOP establishment figured they had it all sewn up.  This way, they’d be able to exclude Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann and Perry, and thereby have a virtual walkover.  Not so fast, as I pointed out:  This opened up the possibility that Ron Paul could win that state’s primary, either purely on the basis of Virgina Republican voters in disgust at the party, or because with nobody opposing Obama in the Democrat race, they’d be free to cross over and vote for Ron Paul just to muck things up a bit for Romney.

That realization finally settled in, and then we saw the preposterous “loyalty oath” business, whereby voters in the GOP primary were to sign an oath promising to vote for the GOP candidate in the general election.  That clearly turned into an embarrassment for the Virginia GOP, and rightfully so, but thereafter they were left with no way to stave off the Ron Paul disaster they now feared they would face.  Now enters the Attorney General, who will propose to the assembly that they enact a change to ballot access, that will effectively allow all of these candidates in.  It would require only that the candidate had met the criteria and was in fact receiving federal campaign matching funds, and that would enable them to be on the ballot.

This hasn’t yet been accomplished, of course, but this is the general direction in which it’s now being steered.  The intent in this case seems to be the attempt to deny Ron Paul a shot at outright victory, and to keep the conservative side of the field otherwise diluted, in order to permit Romney to walk with the lion’s share of delegates.  Some is better than none, which would be the result if Paul won in a two-candidate race. (The primary is “winner take all” unless none obtain a majority, in which case there’s some sort of apportionment.)

This entire spectacle is a stunning revelation about the electoral process in Virginia, but it also demonstrates how disconnected the GOP is from its base in Virginia. “Loyalty oaths?” That absurd work-around should never have seen the light of day, but in the reflexive attempt to retain control of the results, they tipped their hand and showed the people of Virginia how thoroughly dominated by the party establishment the Virginia Republican Party really is.  This story really does deal a serious black eye to the Virginia GOP, and Cuccinelli’s attempt to salvage it is really too little, too late.  Besides, these are “rule of law” proponents, aren’t they?  Who changes rules in the middle of a contest?  Imagine playing blackjack with these people.  Imagine trying to carry out anything under the rules, knowing they could change at any moment.  This is as much a problem of credibility for the national party as it is for their Virginia operation, and they’ve tried to settle this quickly with minimal bad press.

Too late.

The GOP Establishment Thinks You’re Stupid

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

We May Not Be So Stupid

Every day that passes, we learn more about the people who direct the Republican Party, and every day, we get new reasons not to like them.  If the people of New Hampshire let themselves be pushed into voting for Romney, they no longer need to tout the motto “Live Free or Die,” but should instead adopt the motto: “Principles don’t matter.”  Mitt Romney is using his influence in Nevada to try to push up their primary to push New Hampshire up to December.  To Republicans in New Hampshire, if you allow the Romney campaign to prod you forward, you are going to anger the people of your state.  Go ahead:  Hold your primary during the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year period, and prepare to reap the reward.  Allowing Mitt Romney to try to steal this primary is an unspeakable act, but polluting the holidays with partisan politics is abominable.  The GOP establishment thinks you’re stupid, and they think you will advance your primary into December in order to stay ahead of the others.  The party doesn’t care what will happen to your state, and they think you’re too stupid to notice.

Any state party that yields half of its representation at the national convention in order to permit one candidate to make a bigger splash than the others isn’t serving their electorate.  The Bush operatives still hold sway in Florida, the state that got this all rolling, and now it’s been a domino effect with New Hampshire looking as early as December to maintain its position at the front of the line.  Romney is weak in Iowa, and this is about supplanting the influence of Iowa.  You need to understand that this is an attempt to steal a primary season, to shorten it up, and to prevent any other candidate(s) from gaining traction, but more importantly, to prevent any Tea Party opposition from gaining traction. It also means there will be all those delegates yielded to the national party for the convention, which will effectively lessen the influence of every state.  The people of New Hampshire may be powerless to stop this, and they may not care to because they’ve been told the falsehood that it will improve their influence.  Either way, the country loses.

As this goes on, what you must know is that whatever the 8-pm (EST) blow-hard or his substitute on Fox News may tell you, Mitt Romney has no business being President of the United States.  Fox News has become the establishment Republican propaganda network, and the only thing they’re going to bring to mainstream conservatives is defeat in 2012.  Fox News is compromised in many ways due to the Rupert Murcoch/News Corp/phone-hacking scandal.  You can bet Obama’s DOJ will play that ace-in-the-hole next fall.  In the mean time, Obama and the Democrats are happy to see the Republicans nominate Romney because he is the one candidate in this race they are dead-certain they can defeat.

You’re being told to accept Romney because “he can win.”  I’ve got news for you: If (and that’s a giant “if,”) Mitt Romney can win, then so can anybody else, including “My Pet Goat.”  The simple fact is that Romney can’t currently top 30% in national polls, and there’s a good reason:  He’s a liberal.  He sounds vaguely conservative on a few issues, but in the end, Romney always, always shows his true intentions as a big government, progressive Republican, or as Mark Levin would call such people, “Re-pubic-ans.”

As Tammy Bruce offered today, “I’m wondering now, why the Republicans even should bother to vote in the primaries” as she explains since the Republican establishment is now telling us Romney is the guy.  Meanwhile, Cain is moving up as an answer to the establishment, but so is Gingrich.  Do you think we can beat Obama with these?  The truth is, if we nominate Romney, we deserve to lose.

It’s time to tell the GOP establishment: “No more! Enough!”  Are we willing to do that?  I am.  Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to treat the GOP like a dirty cop.  He should be a good guy, but he isn’t, and in most every respect, he’s as bad as the people from whom he’s been tasked to protect me.  You know what I think of such cops?  To hell with them! I love good cops, who keep the peace, shield the innocent, and do not partake of graft and corruption, and enforce the laws of our country.  When I see a bad cop, however, I don’t care what happens to him because when he battles with thugs, I simply view it as rival gangs at war.  That’s the Republican establishment, and the only way I can reduce their influence is to simply cease aggregating mine with theirs.  I’ll defend myself, thank you very much, because their sort of “protection” isn’t protection at all. It’s more like a protection racket.

I no longer care whether the Republican establishment defeats Obama or not.  If they succeed in getting their guy nominated, he’s not going to offer any relief from the attack our constitution is under, whether from Obama or his shills in the media and Congress.  The simple fact is that Romney and others like him simply won’t do what it takes.  I’ll say it again: Anybody But A RINO.

I’m going to focus on the Senate and the House, and every chance I get to stick it to the Whigs Republicans, I will take it.  The Republican party was founded in the name of a cause in search of liberty.  It will fail if it doesn’t seek to put liberty in the forefront once more, and the GOP establishment is no better than the Democrats in that respect.  None.  You voters in New Hampshire have a chance to send a message by standing this manipulative nonsense down.  Of course, the Romney people are in a hurry to tell you this will increase your influence, but they’re lying  to you.

We can’t win the sort of election we need in 2012 by being against something.  People prefer an affirmative reason to vote.  This is why McCain lost, but until his idiotic “suspended campaign,” Sarah Palin was able to boost him:  She was that affirmative feature of McCain’s campaign.  Whatever surge McCain ever had owed to her presence.  While I don’t know who Romney will pick as his VP, maybe somebody to draw in conservatives like Herman Cain, but whomever it is will not rescue his campaign.  If conservatives hope to actually reform this government, it’s going to require all  hands on deck for a real candidate, but in lieu of that, we’re going to need to learn that we can no longer afford to hold our noses.

If a “President Romney” continues the downhill slide of our country, will the left say it’s because “Romney was too liberal?” No. They will state with straight faces that it had been evidence of the failures of “conservatives” and “capitalism.”  Bank on it.

Note To The GOP Establishment: Forget It

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Enough is Enough

My answer to the establishment of the GOP is “No.”  I will not support a RINO.  You can put one up if you like, offering conservatives and Tea Party patriots the fools’ choice between rampant lefty statism and moderate statism, but I will have no part of it.  Do you hear me, Mitt Romney?  Do you understand me Karl Rove?  There shouldn’t be any way you people are in charge of anything given the mess you made during the Bush administration with your false doctrine of feigning conservatism while ruling as progressives.   If we conservatives get our act together in time, we’ll realize that the first enemy we must defeat is you, and then you’ll be in real trouble.   The problem for conservatives at the moment lies in deciding which of these candidates is not a shill for your purposes, and which among them you cannot easily control.  It’s my intention to see to it that we conservatives and Tea Party patriots have a real choice.  You think we’re going to roll over easily?  Forget it!

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s how we can start:  We, not me, but we can create a list of common traits upon which we can all agree and accept them as our baseline.  We can decide what it is to be a conservative, and upon which principles conservatism rests.  We’re going to need to reduce this  list down to no more than ten fundamental principles, and no more than fifteen issues,  and we’re going to prioritize them on that basis.  We should be careful to exclude things from consideration upon which there is little distinction.  We can then create a score sheet and people can offer evidence as to how a candidate may be scored on a given issue.  Long before we get to that, we need to establish the lists.  Our task will not be to endorse a particular candidate, but show how each of the existing candidates stack up against an ideal hypothetical candidate.

The truth is that this has been done by many people and groups.  The difference is that we are going to do it on a shoe-string, on the honor system, and all from our own thoughts and ideas.  We’re not going to copy anybody, if we do this.  What I want to know from you is if you’re interested.  I want to know if I’m wasting my time, or yours.  I want to know if this is worth doing at all.  What I’d like from you, if you don’t mind, is to give me some indication of your thinking about all of this.  You can leave a comment to this post, or you can signify your interest by liking it, or you can send me an email, subject: Interested!  If you have particular ideas, use the subject line: Ideas!

We are running out of time to influence this outcome.  If we’re going to do this, it will need to be grass-roots and fast.  Let me know what you’re thinking.  Myself, I cannot stand the thought of the establishment ruling the day again.  Maybe this is how we can turn the ship around.  Thank you for your attention and time!

Tuesday’s Debate Demonstrated Our Problem

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

One of These? Please...

After some digging, I finally found the debate on Bloomberg TV.  I didn’t know we got that channel until I went looking.  Suffice it to say that I could have saved myself a good deal of trouble and faked my way through by guessing at the way it would go.   It wasn’t inspiring, and in fact, disappointing, not for the lack of fireworks, although there wasn’t much there either, but simply because there is nobody among the eight candidates who appeared Tuesday night that is worthy of endorsement.  It’s possible that if you took the best traits of each of them, you might cobble together a worthy candidate, but it seemed more like a staged coronation of Romney and a further opportunity to hammer Perry.

My assessment of the candidates, in no particular order:

Rick Perry: Better.  It’s obvious that he was the only candidate Karen Tumulty recognized at the table. While I’m no Perry fan either, this was a bit blatant.  She seemed to be seeking the approval of liberals everywhere as her questions all seemed to have a tone of indignant harumph about them.  Score Perry 20 points just for refraining from telling her to crawl back under her rock.

Michele Bachmann: That’s it? That’s the extent of her arguments?  How many times did she praise Mitt?

Jon Huntsman:  Who cares?  Everybody knows he’s in the room to make Mitt Romney look less liberal by comparison.

Herman Cain:  Blew it big-time on the 9-9-9 plan.  His insistence that the American people would hold Congressional feet to the fire to prevent the 9-9-9 from becoming 19-19-19 is laughable.  He’s either naive or dishonest.  I’m still willing to believe naive.  Also, he mentioned that he would be President so he would veto anything done to abuse his formula.  That’s all well and good while he’s still President, but hopefully, the country would go on a bit longer. What then?  Lastly, never say that “I have some candidates for that job” unless you’re willing to discuss them, because thereafter, it will look as though you’re hiding something, which you are.

Newt Gingrich: Too bad about Newt.  He’s a remarkably smart fellow, but his willingness to join with Nancy Pelosi on theGlobal Warming hoax damned him forever more.  Nobody will really trust Newt. Me included.

Ron Paul:  He made an excellent point about Sarbanes-Oxley, and also about Greenspan vs. Volcker.  Greenspan did help create the bubble. As usual, Paul is good as gold on economics but he’s a disaster on foreign policy.

Rick Santorum: Makes a good point about the importance of family with respect to poverty.  Otherwise, I think he was simply happy to be there.

Mitt Romney:  The good news for Mitt is that he didn’t say too much to get himself in trouble with the press, but every republican should be deeply troubled by what he did say.  Romney is playing a game of class warfare only slightly different from the Democrats, and he’s taking it in a different direction, but it’s the same thing.  He also lied about Romneycare.  In several ways.  Romney is precisely what we do not need: He’s a liberal.

We need to begin to ask the question about what it is to be a Republican.  We need to differentiate between conservatives and progressives.  Tonight’s debate served only to further muddy those waters.  What does the party stand for anyway?  If these people are representative of that, whatever it is, we’re in deep trouble.  Sure, if I could take Paul on economics, Cain on combative business savvy, Bachmann on confronting the welfare state, Gingrich on thoughtfulness, Perry on reducing regulation, and Romney on “looking presidential,” we might have something.  The truth is that we don’t have such an aggregate of good ideas and traits in one person.  If this is the pool from which we hope to draw the person who will defeat Obama, never mind restore our nation, I think it’s time to call Houston, because we have a real problem.

Hope Springs Eternal

Saturday, October 8th, 2011


I’ve spent some time thinking about Governor Palin’s decision against running for the presidency in 2012.  Many people are wrestling with it still, particularly those people who have poured so much of their efforts into making it a reality.  Even now, over on FaceBook, there’s a group devoted to urging her to reconsider. They’re calling their group Sarah Palin’s Earthquake, and they have chosen that name because of a remark Sarah Palin made in a recent interview in which she said it would take an earthquake to cause her to reconsider.  They want to become that earthquake, and in just more than a day, they have added thousands of members.  I suppose one never knows what might happen, and these intrepid Palinistas are intent upon at least letting their reluctant champion know that they still want her to lead them.

The odds against them are long, but they’re accustomed to that condition, as these determined warriors look around, much like me, and see that no rational alternative to Palin now exists in the Republican field.  I could inventory them and their flaws for you, but if you’re reading this post, you already know the score.  The sad truth for most of Palin’s supporters is that there really aren’t any plausible alternatives that will be even roughly shoe-horned into the great void we had hoped she would fill in the GOP field.  Many people are noting that sad state of affairs with a tone of fatalistic sobriety.  For my part, I have chosen to look at all of this somewhat differently.  For three years running, in various forms, we’ve asked her to run, and she has finally demurred.  I remember the occasion of my own letter to her, and what I said in closing:

“We want you to run, yes, for our own selfish purposes, because we selfishly dare to love our country and our lives. That’s why they hate us. It’s why they hate you. Make your choice, make it in full knowledge of the costs to you and yours. Make it for your own purposes. If you choose not to run, we will understand, though we will be sad, and we will go in search of our back-up plan. We will go in search of the ‘next-best.’ You’ve already borne more upon your back than any thousand candidates have had to bear.”

This now seems to have been the manner of the choice she has made.  We are now sad, but thus far, in our search for a “back-up plan,” we have come up empty.  That’s the unmitigated truth of the matter.  Once again, we are left in the apparent position of having to settle for the best of the rest, whomever that may be.  The others are undoubtedly calling upon her to throw her support behind them, and I expect that will the focus of the media going forward.  The expectation is that wherever Palin throws her support, if she does at all, her legions of supporters will join her in that endeavor like robots.  The problem with this predictable narrative from the media and the establishment is that Palin’s supporters have never been automatons, neither for the political establishment, nor even for her. Palin’s supporters simply aren’t built that way, and will in the end make the decisions they each individually feel are best.  It’s the difference between a fanatic and a supporter, and those who have followed Sarah Palin all this time aren’t mere “fans.”  I continued:

“Nobody will blame you. The part of me that loves justice almost hopes you will walk away. The direction of the country isn’t your fault. It’s ours. We let this happen. We let them cheat and lie and steal our values. We watched them do it. We don’t have any right to ask you to do it for our sake. Where were we? Where was our engagement? Most of us went about our way, trying to pretend what was happening hadn’t been real, or worse, participating in the debasement. There’s no reason you should go it alone on our behalf. In truth, I have nothing to offer by way of compensation except to promise I will not abandon you on the field – that you will not lead the charge into battle only to find your legion has deserted you. The rest may retire from the fight. I will be there, until the end or until victory. I ask only that you choose for the sake of all you love. This may be our last chance. Good luck in all things, Governor Palin.”

Well, that first bit might not have turned out to be one-hundred percent of the truth, but it’s certainly bound to be in the ninetieth percentile.  A few are hurt to the extent of blaming her, but it wasn’t Sarah Palin who left us without options.  It isn’t her fault that the country is in decline.  It isn’t her fault that we let the statists cheat us and lie to us and steal from us our values as a culture and as a people.  That the GOP establishment seems to have managed to pull off another end-run around us is not Sarah Palin’s fault, but ours.  We could have done things differently, and the truth is that if we are now without plausible presidential alternatives to Sarah Palin, it is we who have left ourselves in that position.

Back when I was describing the choice, I was describing it as much for me as for her or for others who might see and consider it.  I haven’t ever wanted to deceive myself or others, and while I knew at the time there were a thousand good reasons for Sarah Palin to enter the race, I also knew that they were not necessarily of a value equal to some reasons leveraging against her entry.  I don’t expect anybody to live for my sake, or the sake of my needs, wants, or wishes; neither in my thinking then, nor in my feelings now.

Sarah Palin doesn’t owe us anything:  Not a presidential campaign, not a campaign for other candidates, nor even an explanation that will satisfy one and all.  It’s her choice and her life, and she must consider these things for her sake and the sake of her most precious values.  She has chosen, and whether I agree with her choice, or the voices of millions disagree, it is her choice and her destiny to do as she feels necessary.  I respect that choice, knowing that as it is her right to choose, my wishes to the contrary have no ability to invalidate her choice.  If she does reconsider, I will respect that choice too, and I will continue to support her in that endeavor.  My pledge was sincere.  I meant it, and I still do.  If she chooses against running, instead to rally the troops on behalf of a cause in which we all agree, I will be there.  It’s as simple as that.

From the moment she first walked out onto the national stage, and brought the energy of her message of freedom to the crowd, I have been there.  To whatever degree she continues to do so, I will still be here in firm support, but I will always respect her choice to determine her course for her own sake and the sake of all she loves.  That’s a big part of what has made the freedoms of our country unique, and it is this that I cherish above all:  This is still the land of self-determination, and while government’s shackles tighten around us like a noose, I am happy to see even one among us escape unshackled on her own terms.

As some have noted, particularly Tammy Bruce, we have a choice, and it comes down to this:  We may be staring down the barrel of a loaded gun with the less-than-satisfactory GOP nomination choices for president remaining from among which to choose.  There are still other things we can do, including joining with the Tea Party, those of us who haven’t already, and begin the process of taking over the Senate and strengthening in the House so that no matter which candidate of either party ultimately occupies the White House, we can still control the legislative agenda, and thereby limit the power of a president we may not fully support, or support at all.  That idea isn’t without flaws, and it certainly isn’t a perfect solution to the problems now confronting us, but it surely offers us more hope than to surrender in sadness or to campaign against the seemingly inevitable.  Nothing is written in stone about the outcome of this battle, and this remains the country of self-determination, at least for now.  However we choose to carry out that fight, each and every one of us, let us do it in our own ways as best we can, while we still can.  Hope springs eternal because we still love our country and it’s still worth the fight, whomever we elect, irrespective of who may choose to run for high office.  If we are to save this country, we must begin now.  My hope is that it’s not too late.

Romney Bickers With Perry; Perry Stumbled; Cain, Gingrich Shined

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Bickering Between Perry and Romney

As expected, the spectacle at center stage between Perry and Romney bickering over their respective interpretations of their books became a recurrent theme.  Perry took the first real shots at Romney, looking much too aggressive, and coming across as too eager to hammer his opponent.  Romney battled back, but as a Texan, I became  embarrassed for my Governor.  He looked confused at times, and ill-prepared.  By contrast, the stars of the show were Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, the first revealing his fight with stage four colon and liver cancer, and expressing his strong support for Israel, and his 9-9-9 plan, with Gingrich providing the real wit in the crowd.  Bachmann was flat, while Romney was wooden.

Cain had many great lines, but among his best was this gem:

“Ronald Reagan said we’re a shining city on a hill. We’ve slid down that hill.”
Gary Johnson had one of the funniest lines of the night:
“My next-door neighbors two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”
The rest was  fairly standard. Aside from Cain and Gingrich, the remainder of the field sounded tired.  Romney’s rhetoric was particularly flat, and Perry came out too aggressively, and sounded confused by the end.  He has shown in two successive debates that he has a problem holding himself together for more than an hour.

Perry’s worst moment may have come when he seemed to double down on his compassion argument for the in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.  That was astonishing and drew some extended booing from the crowd.
This field needs something that’s missing.  I have my own ideas. What are yours?

My Birthday Wish

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The Promising Texas Sky

Tomorrow, the cake I won’t have should have had nearly fifty candles, but I’ll be happy if I get my birthday wish despite the absence of the smell of burning too much wax.  I’m not fussy, and each year, when my wife and daughter ask me what I’d like for my birthday, I generally say something like “nothing” or “another year,” because I don’t expect to be celebrated or rewarded for having survived another year.  This year may be a bit different.  I have the privilege of being born the 16th day of September.  For those of you who are unaware, Constitution Day is the 17th of September, but this is one of those rare years when the 17th falls on Saturday, causing us to mark the occasion officially on the Friday before, which is tomorrow, the 16th, and my birthday.

Many have already asked me what my birthday wish would be, if I were to make one, but I always remind people that according to the legend attending the idea of birthday wishes, to state it would be to negate it.  In truth, I’m not a superstitious fellow, so I suppose I can share with you a few thoughts on the matter.

The US Constitution is the most exquisite piece of legal artwork in the history of man.  It’s a document that outlines the foundation of a country the likes of which the world had never seen.  It is a precious thing, full of the best hopes and intentions of men who struggled long over the notion of what sort of relationship government ought have to the people it was constituted to serve.  What the US Constitution really codifies is a set of ideals for the governance of a free people who will find the least possible obstruction from the bonds of an aggressive state.  It is also precious because within its text lies the legal and political methodology that defines how it may be changed.  This is the feature to which early American historians pointed in describing the Constitution as a “living document.”  There are effectively two ways to change it , being the amendment and convention processes.  This sets our republic apart from all the ones that came before it, and most of those that have have been birthed since, because there in its own text lies the only legitimate method by which to change our fundamental laws.

Before our constitution, there were kings and tyrants and despots.  Even the earliest republics suffered from flaws, and the inability to modify them to suit the survival of their nations ultimately spelled their doom.  Ours was the most thoroughly studied and contemplated document of its kind, and it stands still, though frayed around the edges, as evidence of the good people can do when motivated by shared values and ideals, even where there are some differences among them.  It was not perfect, but over time, we have shored up its shortfalls, corrected its wrongs, and improved it in most ways.

One hundred or so years ago, we began the national process of self-destruction.  Increasingly, we ignored our Constitution and began to ruin its purpose and meaning.  It’s a matter of national shame that something so precious could be slowly wrecked and pillaged along with the freedoms it once represented, but such is our predicament now that government often rules without any respect or reference to it.

Of all the things I wish, not for a mere birthday, but for the sake of all I love, is to see the day when the US Constitution is restored to its proper place of supremacy, and that those who render interpretations of it are of a character to understand its original meaning and value.  This will be no small undertaking, and it will take leaders throughout government, at the federal, state and local levels to see this done.  They will need to have the support and prodding of an insistent people who will no longer settle for the proposition that freedom is obsolete, or independence is outdated.

At present, there is only one political party that fosters and nurtures such leaders, and it is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. Instead, it is an informal association of constitutionalists and patriots who we now call the Tea Party.  The Tea Party is an outgrowth of the mainstream of America, and not the right-wing radicals media has portrayed them to be.  They’re more centrist in the sense that they don’t care so much about parties, more independent in that they don’t feel undue loyalty to the parties, but strong in their belief that the Constitution provides the basis for a civil society in which all can strive in freedom for prosperity.

This group has no official leaders in the sense of traditional parties, and they tend to cleave to no elected officials in particular, willing to discard or adopt them as the politicians’ actions warrant.  You might think of it as a performance-based policy uncommon in an environment where the party faithful dominate the political landscape, no longer sure why they support a candidate, and no longer able to demonstrate their preferred politicians’ adherence to any principles.

As it turns out, this is also a fair portion of the Republicans’ conservative base.  That’s significant, because while not large enough on their own to rule the country, they are large enough to control or at least strongly influence one party.  If they are faithful to their ideals, they can do more to drive the agenda than any party in recent history because of their centrist, independent strain that respects first the constitution before party or politician.  It is here that their secret power lies, because these are the people who have constituted the “silent majority” who had remained mostly quiet as the two parties dominating the country ran the Constitution into the ground, and with it, its law, its economy, and its people.

While they don’t look to any one leader, and there is a wide diversity of opinion among them, they’ve noticed that the politician they support most, because she has always supported them, is one of their number.  She rose to her status by being a grass-roots, common-sense conservative.   This appeals to the Tea Party, and her willingness to state their case to a media that chases her while ignoring them is something that makes her precious too.  She has become their voice, in the main, whether she intended it or not, and it is true that they respond to her in full understanding that she is not perfect, but she is the most suitable to the mission they see ahead.  She’s done more to upset the apple-cart of out-of-control and corrupt government and its cronies than the combination of politicians in the remaining forty-nine states. In that sense, Sarah Palin has been the greatest advocate for the restoration of the US Constitution of any politician in more than a generation.  The Tea Party sees it, and knows it.  So do many conservatives in the Republican party.  So also do many unaffiliated Independents and not a few Democrats.  This makes her something much, much different.  She is the woman for her time.

Never before in our history have we seen such a confluence of events that threatens the very existence of our republic, and we now have a body politic largely composed of crooks and liars, some of them committed on principle to the destruction of the republic that had been founded, and still more committed unto death not to notice. When an American who understands how broken things really have become notices, and worse, speaks out, he or she is labeled a “terrorist.”  That is what our government has slowly become.  Sarah Palin threatens to overturn all of that.  The Tea Party is in the unique position to lead, and this may be their moment, perhaps their last chance for a generation if not longer.

There were two things on my list that I wanted desperately for my birthday.  One has arrived in the form of a merciful rain, soft and not fully satisfying the dread conditions we’ve faced here on the parched Texas prairie, but the promise to sustain us until more may arrive.  The danger of fire will not be gone, but it will reduce it some for a few days or a week if milder temperatures persist even a little.  Having gotten this birthday wish a day early, I at once feel greedy to state another, though in truth, the rains came a day early, freeing up my wish to a sole purpose.

I will not speak it here, or name it, out of a respect for the legend, but I think at long last you know it, and if it is granted on Constitution Day, I will revel in it and work tirelessly to fulfill its meaning and value.  Maybe I will get my birthday wish, and maybe I won’t, but if I do, there’s a pretty fair chance you will know it.

Why I Fight

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Time is Running Out

I won’t pretend to speak for other conservatives, or Tea Party folk.  I can only make crude assumptions about the things that motivate people based only on what I can observe.  People have a tendency to project their own motives onto others at times, and this is the reason I will reduce this discussion from a collective “We” to the singular “I.”  I can’t say with certainty why others fight, but I know my own goals and intentions, and I suppose it’s time I stated them clearly to all, lest there be any doubt.  I fight for this country and its future because when the lights go out, and the last keystroke has fallen, this has been the greatest nation on Earth, and for my sake, and the sake of my progeny, I would prefer to leave it as I found it, or better.

By the standards of today, I’m still a fairly young man, but in the days of our nation’s founding, I would be nearing death’s door, if I remained at all.  This is because in general terms, despite all the trials and tribulations I’ve sometimes thought I have endured, the truth is that I haven’t known hardship like past generations.  Both of my grandmothers lost their first child, and both of them lost siblings in childhood and early adulthood.  My paternal grandmother’s family had terrible losses to diseases now nearly eradicated.  Before her time, it was even worse, and it’s no wonder that 50 years ago, Jonas Salk was regarded as a hero, and everybody knew his name and his deeds. What’s frightening now is how few still know it.

The world my generation inherited was one of hope and newly found economic vigor.  Ronald Reagan was the president when I came of age, and I served the first seven years of adulthood in the Army he restored from years of neglect.  We faced the Soviet empire across a cold and dreary frontier between East and West, and with his leadership, the West seemed to have prevailed.  As with any victory, however, it soon became clear that our self-indulgence in its wake could not last, as ever another threat arose to confront us.  Still, the looming threat of a global nuclear holocaust seemed to subside, and the country marched on.

One of the things I began to see some years after my service was the tendency of our culture to move toward a licentious view of freedom bereft of any understanding of what that freedom must entail to be maintained.  A radical movement away from personal responsibility has characterized most of the last two generations of American culture.  In generations long gone, it was an operating assumption that in good years, you put things back for the inevitable bad years that always visit.  More recently, it’s been the habit of our politicians, and also our people, to borrow and spend, in good times and bad, without a thought to savings or preparedness for those inevitable bad times. When those bad times strike, we simply borrow and spend more. That approach is rapidly nearing the end of viability.

Our current generation of young adults have seldom known a really bad time or a hardship, except for those relatively rare young people who still line up to serve our nation’s security interests around the globe.  I’m afraid we’ve arrived in a time when they’re about to see some exceedingly terrible times, and it’s not likely to improve.  We’ve allowed too many of them to be woefully unprepared. Sheltered as we’ve largely kept them, they’re not ready for much of what’s ahead.  We did it out of love, in an effort to protect them, as our parents sought to protect us, but the world is getting too ugly for that, and we won’t be able to maintain this bubble in which we’ve spared them some harsh realities, for very much longer.

The reason I fight is because I’m not done yet.  I’m not finished living, and I’m not finished being free to live as I choose.  I’m also not willing to surrender my daughter’s future to a darker age.  The problem has been that we like to delude ourselves into a belief that it’s all going to come out fine, and in the end, the hero will defeat the villain.  History is full of far too many victorious villains who succeeded because nobody thought to stop them until it was far too late.

If you’re serious about fighting the villain(s,) you’ll need to make a few drastic concessions to reality no matter how painful they may seem in the shorter run.  After decades of watching so-called compromise that has amounted to nothing but a progressive surrender, I am no longer inclined to die the death of a thousand cuts.  I will not compromise. I will not accept a candidate who does not adhere to the basic principles on which this country had been founded, or who has shown a tendency to dump the principles when political expediency has provided a path of lesser political resistance.  Those years are long behind me now, and I will not return to them.

I hold these truths to be self-evident, along with the others so many now mouth with growing indifference: The only path to prosperity for me, my progeny, or my countrymen lies on the path of free-market capitalism.  No Utopia is possible on Earth, and no amount of government spending can manufacture it.  All government can do is destroy liberty for the illusion of Utopia. People die. People become ill. People starve. People go without clothing, housing, cellphones, cars, and televisions. It’s not possible to provide the unlimited wishes of the globe, and I reject the notion that we should try, because at each step along that path, we must destroy real people, individuals, with their own motivations, goals, and aspirations in pursuit of an illusory paradise that can never be.

The United States of America became the leading nation not through national controls or federal mandates, but through the freedom of a people unleashed from the bonds of servitude. Those chains are slowly being affixed to our shackles again.  If we are to cast off this encroaching bondage, we will have need of new leaders.  Those now in place are too comfortable with the chains they’ve attached at our ankles, and soon they will not mind if we are also gagged.

I am serving warning to the GOP by this posting, and it’s simple and meant to be taken literally: If you nominate another phony, I will not support him.  If you nominate another RINO who pays lip service to reform, but never really intends any based on their past performance, I will walk away.  It’s the quickest way to guarantee the re-election of Barack Obama, in my view.  I will not speak for all my conservative friends, but I am disgusted with the latest offerings of more tired, professional politicians.  If this is the alleged ‘conservatism’ this party now offers, what possible reason can you offer me for supporting it?  You’re not offering a course upon which to save the nation, but merely a way to delay the inevitable a bit longer.

If Obama represents a national cyanide capsule, poisoning the nation with nearly instant lethality, what is offered with Perry or Romney is just a slow-acting poison like arsenic that kills through a less sudden but no less lethal accumulation of toxicity.   I will not be a party to that kind of fraud.  If Obama is likened to throwing the frog into the already boiling pot, impelling you to leap out, then Perry and Romney and any others like them serve as the slowly heated pot in which the frog never notices he’s being boiled until he’s been overwhelmed by the heat.  I’m not willing to croak by either method.

I fight because I know we can sustain neither course any longer.  I know that both roads being offered are really a single path to the same scorching cauldron for our nation.  I would ask my countrymen to pursue another course, and that is the road of actual capitalism, and away from the grasp of statism, whether it’s a sudden calamity heaped upon our country in the form of Obama, or the slowly widening calamity of those who would countenance the same ends, albeit more slowly.

You don’t want death panels? Too bad. You now will have them, and no tepid semi-statist will reverse them. No purveyor of campaign-season bluster will turn them away once safely ensconced in office.  There is no safe dose of statism outside the rigorously restricted limitations originally ordained and established by our Constitution.  That’s why I fight.  I fight because I know it, and I will no longer yield the argument to those who whisper the sweet nothings of compromise in my ear. I know they’re literally nothing.  No meaning.  No substance.  Nothing.  The rest of you will do what you will do, and if you’re stampeded and herded and chased into the chutes, don’t be the least bit surprised if you notice my absence.  I’ve tried to show you.  Just as it is long past the time for all the children of the current generation to see life outside their bubble, so it will be for you also.

Nobody will survive by faking reality for long, whether an individual, a family, a congregation or a whole people.  The time for choosing is nigh.  Choose well.  Good luck.