Posts Tagged ‘Conservatism’

We Need More Gridlock!

Friday, March 18th, 2016

dc_gridlock2_ftI’ve watched most of the GOP debates, and I’ve watched a fair number of the Republican candidates’ press conferences and campaign events, and one of the things I hear Donald Trump saying is that “we need to end gridlock.” His general notion is apparently that in Washington DC, they don’t “get deals done,” or “they make terrible deals,” and the result is gridlock.  Let me be clear about my position on this, Trump’s notions notwithstanding: Our government spends more than $4 Trillion per year, and without such “gridlock” as we have, we would undoubtedly spend more.  Mr. Trump would do much better with conservatives if he finally recognized this and integrated it into his views.  Our problem isn’t gridlock, but a terrible lack of it.

For the last several years, it has been a cooperation between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, working in concert with the Presidents Bush and Obama, to expand the government and to bail out the various entities, and to print money at an unsustainable rate.  It’s easy enough to look at the mess in Washington DC, see that conservative policies never make it into the resulting legislation, and conclude the problem had been “gridlock.” There are many Trump supporters, along with Trump himself, who view this as a failure of conservatism.  In one respect, they’re right, but where they are wrong is in a belief that conservative principles are the problem, or that the relief from “gridlock” will cure the issue.

One can apply this to almost any particular topic, or subject of legislation.  Let us consider the conservative view of taxation.  We’ve certainly had some gridlock on that issue, if your particular preference is to cut taxes.  On the other hand, if you prefer increased taxation, you will note that in various forms, the total taxation by the Federal Government has increased markedly in the era of Obama.  If you’re for significant tax reform, for instance, a “flat tax,” you will believe there is gridlock on this issue.  On the overall issue of taxation, however, there’s been no gridlock: We’re being taxed to death.  This is the problem with the term “gridlock,” and this is the reason it’s such a poor term. It describes a generic sense of inaction in Washington DC, but one can scarcely conclude, looking solely at the expenditures by government, that “gridlock” may exist on issues dealing with reform, but it cannot actually exist when the printing press for government checks is concerned, or where the printing(or digitizing) of new money is under review.

To show the other side of the misuse of “gridlock” in rhetorical flourishes, there are those advocates of an “amnesty” of some sort for the tens of millions of illegal aliens in this country who will insist that we have had “gridlock” on “immigration reform.” Let me state emphatically that with respect to the laws, I will fight fervently to see to it that “gridlock” prevails on this issue, because until we begin to enforce the laws that already exist, and until the “gridlock” in the executive branch is alleviated through an effort at enforcement of existing laws, I’m all for “gridlock” in the matter of “immigration reform.”  The truth is that we do not so much need “immigration reform” as we need “immigration enforcement.”  Listen, however, to the legalization and amnesty crowd, and what you learn is that when they talk about “gridlock,” they mean that they haven’t yet succeeded in legalizing that which had been formerly(and currently) illegal.

These and many more examples like them make plain that “gridlock” is not a problem.  The real problem is that in specific policy terms, our government uses the term “gridlock” to represent inaction on concrete policies that they favor, but the American people do not.  People should be skeptical when politicians talk about a generic “gridlock” without defining the specifics of the stoppage about which they’re concerned.  Too often, politicians have seized upon general sentiments against “gridlock” as the means by which to advance agenda items their voters and supporters would not support.  A great example of that would be Marco Rubio, who ran for his current seat in the Senate, opposing Charlie Crist on the issue of “amnesty,” but who talked about “gridlock” on “immigration reform.”  In his first few years in office, he spent much of his time and energies on the issue of “immigration reform,” attempting to alleviate “gridlock” on the issue, but little had his supporters expected that his proposals would ultimately be tantamount to a full reversal on the issue that had in part propelled him into office.  Of course, Rubio claimed all along that he was working to overcome “gridlock” on the issue. What becomes obvious, however, is that “gridlock” is a matter of perspective, and where one stands regarding an issue dominates whether one will view it in a positive or negative light.

The question isn’t whether we have too much gridlock, but whether it exists in the consideration of the right policies.  When the Republicans, then in the minority in both houses, fought to stop the passage of Obama-care, this was “Gridlock” writ large on the legislative stage, and I don’t know a single person now supporting Trump who wished there hadn’t been more “gridlock” on that issue.  In point of fact, more often than not, most of the people of the United States would be better served by a form of “gridlock” that causes stoppages in the legislative and regulatory processes of our government than by letting them go on in an unrestricted fashion.  Think about all of the stupid laws and regulations streaming out of Washington DC, but imagine there had been sufficient gridlock to stop them. This is the secret that most politicians don’t want you to know about “gridlock:” The constitution is itself a device of gridlock. It’s intended that way, and precisely for all of the reasons I’ve outlined.  The framers had the wisdom to know that “gridlock” impedes sudden and ill-considered change.

Knowing that, I’m in favor of “gridlock” generally, because I know that politicians promoting precipitous change have led us into a quagmire from which we will not easily emerge.  When Washington DC is gridlocked, I know my liberties are still safe, but when the gridlock breaks, my liberties are generally at risk.  The electorate at large has been conditioned to see gridlock as an ill of Washington DC, but the people should learn that gridlock often serves to protect us from the ills of excessive, bloated government, contrary to the impressions that media outlets and DC politicians often create.  If we’re going to talk about alleviating the log-jam in DC, let us be careful to use enough specificity to focus our energies, because otherwise, opportunistic politicians will run with the theme of “gridlock as the enemy” in order to foist all sorts of infamy upon us.  That’s why I rejoice when I see gridlock in Washington DC.  May we have more of it, that we may enjoy its innumerable blessings.

 

The Marginalization of American Conservatism

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

conservatism_the_real_thing_ftThis is an issue that should concern all those who are fervent conservatives, and it’s one we must now confront as we near the end of the primary season of 2016.  In this election cycle, the predictable outcome seems more inevitable than ever, but one can’t ignore how the current GOP front-runner has at times scorned conservatism.  Much like the long-established practice of the blue-blood Republicans, what has happened in this election is that conservatism has become increasingly isolated from the remainder of the Republican party, and from the electorate at large.  This isn’t a pleasant reality for conservatives, but it is nevertheless true.  So long as we permit this to occur, we will never see the sort of electoral outcomes we would prefer, never mind the the realization of  substantive policy results for which we’ve been fierce advocates.  We have some terrible choices before us, but in advance of us making them, we must come to understand how we’ve arrived in our current predicament.  If we’re ever to return this nation to a constitutional path, we must do first by adhering to it ourselves, and we must be willing to accept our own role in our political misfortunes.  The truth is somewhat difficult to accept, but there it lies, nevertheless, awaiting the summoning our courage to confront it.  Conservatism is increasingly marginalized precisely because we have permitted its dilution and diminution through the acceptance of too many compromises of principles, and too many instances in which we were willing to form an ideological “big tent.”  There’s nothing wrong with building temporary alliances with others, but if conservatism doesn’t stake out its ideological limits, and defend its ideological boundaries, it will continue to be marginalized within the broader general electorate.

When George W. Bush ran for the office of President of the United States in 2000, not a few Texans had significant concerns.  Many who had observed his performance here in Texas took the time to try to warn the party at large that he was not really a conservative.  Bush tried to ply conservatives with a new formulation, calling himself a “compassionate conservative.”  There were a few problems with this that some of us at the time recognized, and one of them was in the implicit denigration of conservatism generally:  Conservatism is compassionate.  We need no such adjectives.  We need no such descriptors.  We need no such modifiers on what conservatism offers to its adherents.  Conservatism is the most compassionate ideology in existence, but by accepting the adjective offered by George W. Bush, we made what was tantamount to an admission that conservatism wasn’t inherently compassionate.

What conservatives across the nation soon discovered was the fact that “compassionate conservatism” meant “big-government Republican.” On issue after issue, from defense, to security, to education, to Medicare, or bank bail-outs, there was no issue in which the answer of George W. Bush would be anything other than the expansion of government and the increase of our national debt at the expense of generations as yet unborn.  It is true that Obama has essentially doubled the national debt, but we must in all honesty admit that the same can be said of George W. Bush.  The Bush “compassion” came at the expense of conservatism, and at the expense of our generations of Americans as yet unborn.  Nevertheless, we permitted Bush to fly the flag of a highly adulterated “conservatism” without respect to what the long-run affects on our movement would be.  Most of the conservative media spent much of the eight years of the Bush presidency, and much time well beyond their end, defending the ludicrous policies and positions of a conservative who wasn’t.

We’re seeing some of the same thing in the current election year.  Donald Trump talks about “common-sense” conservatism. I have exactly as many problems with this adjective tacked as a prefix to conservatism as I did to the term “compassionate.”  In fact, over time, there are or have been “Tea Party conservatives,” “reform conservatives,” “constitutional conservatives,” and “moderate conservatives,” but I think all these adjectives placed in series with “conservatism” simply dilute the meaning.  These modifiers also act as a disguise for that which is not conservatism.  Herein lies the problem for we conservatives, because I believe conservatism is inherently compassionate, wholly common-sense in its construction, and entirely committed to constitutional principles.  In other words, to attach any prefix to “conservatism” is to dilute and pollute the concept, or strictly to permit the purveyor to pose as a conservative while not adhering to all or part of the broader concept of conservatism.

The other effect of these bastardized versions of “conservatism” is that when people traveling under those phony banners continue to assert their hyphenated-conservatism, the natural result is that conservatism takes the blame for all the failures of those folk who are not conservative. For an example, consider again the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush, this time in the context of the creation of the Transportation Security Administration(TSA,) and how he created a huge bureaucracy that increased the costs of government, but now, one-and-one-half decades later, we have another costly bureaucracy that fails to meet the security testing thrown at it just as badly or in many cases in worse fashion than the airlines-owned or airport-owned security that the TSA replaced. Again, another big-government solution that has failed, cost untold billions of dollars, and conservatives and conservatism are now permanently saddled with the blame, in large measure because a putative “conservative” enacted it.

This is the problem with letting others define “conservatism,” or letting non-conservatives decide who is or who isn’t a conservative.  “Conservatism” has become so generic and muddied at this point that it’s nearly impossible for us to in the first instance, exclude those who are not actual conservatives, and in the second instance, disclaim ownership of statist programs and policies enacted in the name of conservatism.  This is a gargantuan problem we face, and it helps explain why Donald Trump can make the point that “conservatives haven’t accomplished anything,” or that “conservatives are part of the problem.”  I think it’s time to heed the warning made explicit by this entire fiasco: We must make distinct our principles from the tawdry mix of self-contradictory, expediency-based lack of principle in the broader Republican party.

I don’t pretend to know the solution in this matter, but it’s one we conservatives must address. We’re being marginalized by virtue of a popular media meme, one that gains through our own passive associations with big-government Republicans, permitting them to shelter among us, gain our support, or in some cases, enjoy our defense of conservatism when they undertake less-than-conservative policies and programs.  This happens at all levels of government, but nowhere is it more damning and punishing than at the federal level.  Let us review briefly: In the aftermath of the 1998 mid-terms, the anti-Newt forces prevailed and essentially pushed him out of leadership.  Since that date, the Republican party, in various times controlling the House, the Senate, or the Presidency(and for some period, all three) have accomplished virtually nothing, but have frequently contributed to the statist cause.  The litany of issues and instances in which the Republican party has effectively aided and abetted Democrats in ruining our republic is gargantuan both in number and in consequence. We can no longer, not even once more, permit this to happen in the name of, or under the cover of another misappropriation of the title “conservatism.”

Justice Scalia, 79, Dead – Nation’s Loss, Conservatism’s Crisis

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

scalia_ftThis was just posted on Drudgereport. Please go read the details, to the degree we have any, here. When you have read the facts of Justice Scalia’s death to the extent they have been reported, I need you to come right back here and finish reading. It’s urgent.

We are at a constitutional breaking point. Without Scalia, the most reliable conservative on the court, we’re in desperate trouble.  More than that, I want you to look around at how conservatism is under assault on all fronts. In the Primary campaign for the presidency, conservatives are madly running off in this direction and that, hurling insults back and forth in a manner that will make it nearly impossible to come together for any purpose any time in the near-term future. More, it’s not just that conservatives are running off on their own, but that they’re being driven in a predictable pattern.  Look around. How many people you once trusted as conservatives are now mad at you, or you at them?  How many? How much of this is natural, and how much of it is being driven by something else?  Ladies and gentlemen, please consider this before you send out another tweet; Facebook or blog posting. We’re being divided and conquered, and it’s happening from the top to the bottom of the conservative movement. It will now be the method by which we are prevented from saving our nation.  It’s how the death of Antonin Scalia, the most consistently faithful constitutional jurist in my lifetime will come to spell the end of the Republic, and how conservatism will be neutered and helpless to stop it.  Listen to me: Elections come and elections go, and the upcoming election will be frightfully important to the future of our country, but we MUST NOT LET OURSELVES BE DIVIDED over transient political campaigns.  Candidates will come, and candidates will go, but if you’re really concerned about the country, and if you’re reading this, I know you are, we must stop the pointless, hurtful bickering and understand that we’re being driven toward an inevitable result, and it doesn’t matter who you’re supporting at this moment.  What will matter is that at the end of this process, we are going to be ripe for domination because we have permitted ourselves to be torn asunder. STOP! Who benefits when conservatives are at war with one another? Who? No, not just Obama and the Democrats… It’s worse than that.  Stop yelling at one another.  Think about what’s happening and how our vaunted conservative “spokespersons” are being neutered, one right after the next. It’s happening now. It’s hard to see because we’re in the midst of it all.

Think, people. We’re being played. All of us. We’re being divided and set up for conquer at the moment we can least afford it. More on all of this later.

Life Without Principles: The New America

Friday, February 12th, 2016

constitution_ablaze_ft

Given the feedback I’ve gotten over a previous column, both here and on Facebook, I’m inclined to believe that the country will not be salvaged or saved. What I’ve been told by people who I had long believed to be conservatives is that ideology is “BS.” Principles are worthless. Ideas and philosophy don’t matter. It’s all pointless babble, with no power to affect change, and that it must be discounted in favor of expedience, electioneering, and the perceived political exigencies of the moment.  I understand that there are people who find themselves in a place of complete and utter political disenfranchisement (welcome to my world,) but to suggest that ideas, principles, and philosophies don’t matter is to say nothing matters, not even life itself.  I was told in a Facebook comment today that I should be willing to set aside my principles for “the good of the country.”  What in the name of John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt does that mean?  Without my principles, how am I to know what is “the good of the country?” Without my principles, I might consider “the good of the country” to be whatever I imagine on a whim. Do I surrender my principles to Donald Trump’s judgments? To Sarah Palin’s? Without principles, how do I know if any of them are right? How do I know? There are some people who I trust a good deal, but I don’t surrender my intellectual or moral sovereignty to anybody. Ever. For once, I’d like all of the proponents of life without principle to consider what it is they’re advocating, assuming they’re still able.

Get up tomorrow morning. Go to work. Why?  Why bother? Who says you should pay for your own way in life? Who needs principles?  Choose your mate. Your soul-mate. If s/he displeases you, ditch and get another. Why try to work it out? Who says children need parents and an intact family?  Why are you hung up on principles?  Need food? Go take it from your neighbor.  Sure, it’s stealing, but we don’t have time or need of principles of private property, or any of that old-fashioned nonsense about good and evil, the ten commandments, or any other idea. We don’t need that.  Just do what you want to who you want when you want!  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Why bother with that? They’re all out to screw me anyway, and they will do unto me whatever they want, because they don’t have need of principles either.

To Hell with principle. Principles never seem to get me anywhere, anyway! If I stick to principles while others cast them aside, or never bother to consider them, I’m the sucker, and I’m the one at a disadvantage! No sir, no principles any longer.  I don’t worry about principles, or holding fast to my beliefs. I can go with the flow. I can be anything I want to be, any time I want to be whatever it is I’m considering.  I don’t have a care in the world about principles, because they simply act as a constraint upon me, but upon nobody else. That makes me the sucker, so no more principles.  In politics, I want to win, whatever principles I need to reject, discard, or otherwise eject from my thinking. As long as my candidate wins, principles don’t matter.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this line of thinking has come to dominate your thought processes, you’re on the wrong website.  LEAVE NOW, and never return, excepting as your folly becomes clearer in your mind.  I find this despicable in every possible meaning of the word. If you accept life without principle, I will have nothing to do with you, as no decent person on the face of the planet should.  Had you any principles remaining, you would be ashamed for even suggesting such a thing, never mind practicing it. It is despicable that in a nation founded upon an idea, the people of the country would devolve in character and wisdom to such an extent that in the throws of their allegedly patriotic fervor, they would reject ideas and ideals. It makes me sick – physically, demonstrably ill.

People have prevailed upon me to consider how a certain candidate will “Make America Great Again.”  I then ask: “What made America great in the first place?”  By what standard of value had American been “great?” On what principle were those standards of value based?  How can I even determine what is “great” without principles?  How can I know if it’s better or worse or just the same if I’ve cast off the ideology by which I am able to make such determinations?  How will I know?  Whose judgment shall I trust?  Upon which principle will my judgment rest once I’ve cast them off? This is something none of them can or will answer.  There can be no honest answer to this without either an immediate confession of error or a de facto admission of idiocy.

The United States, as currently constituted, was founded on a series of ideas about self-governance, limited government and natural rights.  Those principles, yes, principles, are the basis of everything we do and have and know in this country in terms of our relative prosperity, our material wealth, our technological advancement, and every other tangible exhibit of our modern culture.  None of it would have been possible without  principles, and you will neither restore or even retain your country if you now discharge those principles in favor of intellectual and political expedience.  Put another way, if you have come to believe that you can “Make America Great Again” without reference to principles, what you have done is to become part of a cult of personality, having surrendered your intellectual and political sovereignty to the perceived exigencies of the moment.  Good luck with that. In all the history of the world, such a movement has never succeeded.  Most frequently, they result in the rise of despots and the enslavement and purging of human beings in the million.  Of course, what do I know?  One of those antiquated principles to which I adhere is: “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”(George Santayana – one of those useless philosophers.)

If that’s your schtick, so be it. Go forth to whatever end your folly will have earned for you.

Donald Trump Lied About Conservatism

Friday, February 12th, 2016

trump_bsa_ftWatching the 2016 election season unfold, I’ve become a bit tired of two things in particular about the media, and Donald Trump.  In the first instance, Trump is wholly unwilling to discuss details of his plans, and the media dutifully accepts his empty rhetoric in an unquestioning manner almost as thorough as some of his supporters.  In the second instance, Mr. Trump is lying, and it’s a big lie that we conservatives must debunk.  It could be that Trump is just ignorant, so that when he spews his lie, he’s simply the parroting of talking points emanating from the rabid left and the DC establishment. Either way, a lie is a lie, whether it originated from Trump’s own mind, or he’s merely passing it along unthinkingly.  So what’s this big lie? On Thursday, Trump tweeted that conservatives are to blame and that conservatives have failed the country.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, but once again, debunking it requires the examination of a few salient details.  His throngs of supporters won’t be moved by this, just as they won’t be moved by any other rational argument. By and large, they’re proving immune to facts, reason, and details.  It should come as no surprise to conservatives that in one respect, I think there’s a nugget of truth that makes Trump’s lie seem superficially plausible, but it’s just a nugget.  It’s time to deconstruct Trump’s lie.

djt_conservatives_tweet

The first thing one must consider in answer to Trump’s assertion is: “Who are the conservatives?”  The truth in answer to this question is that actual, thinking, breathing, ideological conservatives constitute a minority of the Republican party.  The truth is that there are almost no actual conservatives in Washington DC, and to have been the party to blame for the state of the country, that is where one would have needed to be, not simply in a geographical sense, but in the sense of political efficacy.   Actual conservatives haven’t had any power to speak of in Washington DC for nearly two generations.  From the time of the middle of Reagan’s second term, there has been little one could properly label as “conservative” in our nation’s capital.  Where one can find any justification of Trump’s lie, despite the reality, is that for too long, we conservatives have let people who had no real attachment to conservatism pose as our representatives.

George H.W. Bush was no conservative.  Bob Dole was no conservative.  George W. Bush was no conservative. John McCain is no conservative.  Mitt Romney is no conservative.  I can extend this list to include current candidates like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio to an extent, and any number of other conventional Republican politicians.  Paul Ryan is certainly no conservative, but neither were his immediate predecessors, John Boehner and Dennis Hastert.  Mitch McConnell and his caucus of establishment Republican cronies aren’t conservatives either, but the problem is that we have permitted them to claim conservatism, and we’ve allowed them to thereby define conservatism by the association with us.  Most Americans simply don’t pay much attention to politics, and in their barely-informed state of political ignorance, they’ve accepted the following basic formula: Republican = Conservative.  They may have accepted also: Democrat = Liberal.  Both of these are tragically wrong, and I will suggest to my conservative brethren that we are at least somewhat collectively guilty for letting this stick.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve permitted this to happen.  We’ve been so busy trying to expand the “big tent” of conservatism that we’ve permitted the party-crashers of the establishment to redefine what conservatism is, at least in the popular culture, by their constant association with us.  It’s been going on since Teddy Roosevelt, who was a progressive in Republican clothing.  For my part, here on this website, I’ve always endeavored to make clear the distinctions.  One cannot go through the columns of these pages and make any mistake about the fact that the form of conservatism advocated and advanced here has no relation whatsoever to the Republican party, never mind its establishment.

Of course, the truth is far removed from Trump’s nonsensical allegation.  Most actual conservatives, I’d nearly assert all, do not support the actions of the establishment, moderate, “center-right” wing of the Republican party.  Most conservatives actually detest those people, and would replace them with actual conservatives if it was in their power to do.  Every time conservatives have gone along with the GOP establishment in order to try to move things in the right direction, two things have been true almost without exception:  The GOP establishment betrays us, and we wind up moving backward.  A case in point is immigration: Those who call themselves “conservative” but are aligning themselves with Rubio in this election cycle have a very “YUGE” problem: Their guy is an amnesty-monger, having proposed the most exasperatingly un-conservative bill proposed by a Republican in quite a long time.  The so-called “Gang-of-8” bill was a nation-destroying monstrosity, and it would never have attained launch, much less threatened passage, without the efforts of people who claim to be “conservative.”

This is the problem exposed by Trump’s lie: It’s only plausible because we conservatives permit others to define what is conservatism.  We permit the misapplication of the term to people who may on occasion, for their own political expedience(and too frequently, ours) to associate with us and our body of political philosophy.  Since the greatest number of Americans don’t really pay that much attention, and use generic labels in order to short-cut thinking, we have a responsibility as conservatives to define what that means, and to take great pains to differentiate conservatives from anything else.

The facts supporting Trump’s assertion dissolve the moment one asks: “What is a conservative?” The laundry list of non-conservatives mentioned above is just a sample, but it should serve as a decent basis for understanding the problem in its proper context.  When Donald Trump talks about “the conservatives failed,” what he’s actually saying is that “Republicans have failed.”  That’s demonstrably true.  The problem is that conservatives haven’t failed, largely since they’ve never really held power in Washington, except for the briefest few years immediately after the ’94 “revolution” in the House of Representatives.  Even its leader, Newt Gingrich, isn’t really a conservative, but some of the people around him were, and a few of the people who led early efforts in those environs were, but they were short-lived as was the influence of conservatism.  To find substantial, muscular conservatism, one must return to the first term of Reagan’s presidency, which is why conservatives so thoroughly long for a Reagan-like leader.  It’s also why the fakers, the so-called moderates in the GOP, can’t wait to bury Ronald Reagan in long-forgotten history of the Republic.

We conservatives must separate ourselves from the GOP establishment in a political and cultural sense.  We must create clear separation from the party’s moderates because by failing to do so, we permit the broadest brush to be used in defining our cause, our philosophy, and our values.  It won’t be easy to do, but I believe it must be done.  The most promising of the current crop of GOP candidates, who may be able to draw this distinction, is probably Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX,) simply because on so many issues near and dear to the hearts and minds of conservatives, he bucked the political trends in Washington DC, abandoning even his own party at times, apparently on the basis of principle.  It may be that for him to fully set conservatism apart from the muck of establishment GOP politics, he will find himself required to loudly and forcefully make the distinction clear, not merely in his words, but in the clear-thinking actions of his office, so long as he may be in it.  Otherwise, Trump will succeed in painting him, and conservatism, as just more representative of the whole of the Republican party, and with such a faulty attribution of blame, conservatism label will continue to be the generic container into which the wider voting public will file all Republicans.  I suspect Trump knows all of this, but his campaign isn’t one of nuance or detail.  Quite to the contrary, his campaign is one of generic sloganeering, with thinly-veiled emotional appeals substituted in place of syllogisms.

It’s because I do believe that Trump knows the difference that I consider this attack on conservatism to be a lie on his part.  There is some small chance that he is so thoroughly ignorant that he doesn’t understand the distinction, but I suspect that’s not the problem.  I believe that Trump is gambling on and playing to the electorate in a disingenuous fashion, knowing that his prospective voters don’t understand the distinctions anyway, and won’t be motivated to discover them.  Thus far, he’s been largely correct in this assumption, although it remains to be seen whether it will hold up through the entire campaign season.

The problem for conservatives is “Yuge” because they’re stuck in the same sort of problem, in almost exactly the same fashion, as is the basic reputation of “capitalism.”  This is not coincidental.  Capitalism continues to be blamed for all the evils of statism, in its various manifestations, because few are interested in learning the distinctions between what America’s actual economic system is, and why capitalism bears no actual resemblance. In much the same fashion that we haven’t even had approximately conservative governance in more than a generation, so too is it the case that capitalism was vanquished in America by the enactment of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Sherman Act is wholly antithetical to capitalism, and whatever economic system we may have had since, it is not and cannot be labeled as “capitalism.”  Of course, once again, the propagandists for statism have managed to re-cast the meaning of the term in precisely the same way that “conservatism” has been redefined so as to include all “Republicans.” It’s nonsense, of course, but that fact does not stop them from doing it. One must be attentive to details, in a disciplined way.  It’s an article of faith among those same propagandists that our system of government be referred to as “democracy,” but that bears little resemblance to the actual form of government our Constitution’s framers designed and ratified. The United States is, by definition of its organizing document, a “constitutional representative republic,” but too often, as a matter of ease and propaganda, folks drop that longer, much narrower description, and it is to the detriment of the body politic, unless you happen to be a propagandist or advocate for statism.

The truth Trump won’t tell you is that had conservatives had their way over the last three decades, we would never have approached the state of desperate gloom under which we now suffer.  What he won’t tell you is that statism is the responsible political philosophy, in large measure because he has been among its practitioners and advocates.  When he proposes solving the “student loan problem” with another government program, he’s advancing statism. When he proposes replacing Obamacare with what seems to be a Canadian or British-styled single-payer healthcare system, he’s proposing more statism.  He’s doubling down.  When he states that eminent domain is an important tool in private initiatives, he is declaring statism in big, broad terms, while he is defiling the good name of capitalism to do it.  Donald Trump isn’t a capitalist, but instead a cronyist.  He has greased palms and bought favors with campaign contributions as much as any person who has ever sought the office of President, and maybe more.  His well-documented use of government officials and offices in the name of his private concerns is evidence neither of capitalism, nor conservatism, and that to date, he has gotten away with this mislabeling and slander is at least in part the fault of we conservatives.

After all, it’s the same thing: Jeb Bush calls himself a “conservative” and most of us won’t bother to debunk his claim.  His brother called himself a “compassionate conservative,” but too few of us challenged his claim though it was obvious in most notable respects that his presidency was rife with the growth of statism, and the advancement of anti-capitalist measures.

Yes, Donald Trump is probably going to succeed in blaming conservatism for the sins of GOP establishment, moderate actions.  His lie will stand mostly unchallenged because most of us will not even stand for our claimed political philosophy.  While I can’t do a thing about that, I can and will continue to speak out about the lies of Trump in this regard: Conservatism is not to blame for the ills of this country, any more than one can blame capitalism, and for the same exact reason: We haven’t practiced either in so long that the terms have lost their true meaning.  Trump knows this, and he’s gambling that his supporters won’t discover it either.  It’s our job, the job of actual conservatives, to educate the electorate on the differences.

Editor’s Note: The Tweet image was added again after the fact because either I didn’t save the article with that image in it, or it dropped it, or something or other. Anyway, that is what I am referencing. Conservatives didn’t HELP the GOP betray its voters.

 

 

Obamacare Profiteer Seeks Republican Nomination – And You May Give It to Him

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Just a Little Profit?

It should come as no surprise to readers of this site that there are Republicans who sought to use Obama-care as a personal profit center. It’s fair to say that some of them, in and out of office, were only too happy to see the new business opportunity the scandalous program represents, and now at least one of them seems poised to run for President. Jeb Bush, son of former President George HW Bush, and brother to former President George W. Bush, just divested himself of Tenet Healthcare in order to conceal this fact or at least make it “old news.”  I’ve cautioned readers in the past that the reason Obama-care would be difficult to repeal is that too many Republicans are making too much money from it.  Here, a darling son of the DC Republican establishment demonstrates the point: Why on Earth would they repeal a profit center? All that is important to this sort is power, but neither liberty nor any virtue associated with it moves them. What Republicans like Bush should get from us is only our contempt, but given the recent history of Republican primary politics, there’s a fair chance that we’ll instead reward him with our support. If we wonder why it’s so hard to elect a conservative, we needn’t look beyond our collective conservative mirror.

Friday, I received a phone call from the RNCC soliciting a donation. In simplest terms, I told the man “Not no, but Hell no!” I took a moment to explain to him that this was because the Republicans had abandoned us on Obama-care and immigration immediately after their victory in November. He offered that it hadn’t been the time to expend the “political capital.”  That’s a sorry excuse, and I told him it was because both issues were causes of personal profits for too many inside-the-beltway Republicans who were bought and paid-for by lobbyists on these issues.  I asked him why it was that Republicans were saving all this “political capital,” suggesting that this was an excuse to cover their profiteering on Obama-care and immigration.  He scoffed, so I abruptly told him to tell the RNCC to get bent, and hung up.  The last thing I like to do is be rude to somebody the day after Christmas, but this guy earned it.

That it would be less than a few hours later when I would learn that, predictably, Jeb Bush had been among the Obama-care profiteers is perfectly fitting for our current political environment.  Frankly, I’m waiting for Karl Rove to affix a crown of thorns to this guy and nail him to a cross if that’s what will be needed to sell him to unwitting conservatives. The Bush family is at full tilt, and I knew when Jeb’s son ran(and won) office in Texas, 2015 was going to be the year Jeb chose to further pollute the American body-politic and try to resurrect the Bush name among conservatives.

The Bush family has spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out how to weasel Jeb into office.  Even before his second term had expired, George Bush’s mastermind Karl Rove went to work on the problem: How to recover the Bush name?  In order to do so, they needed a patsy, one so dismal that before it was done, people would be begging to have the Bush clan retake power.  They found one in Barack Hussein Obama.  I have known, and I suspect you have known conservatives who have declared they would vote for the devil if it meant wresting control of the White House from Democrats after two terms of Obama.  What do you think had been the point of the “Miss me yet?” campaign designed to compare George W. Bush favorably with Barack Obama? It’s all about rehabilitating the Bush family name.

Conservatives had ought to wise up. The Republican establishment is about to pull its usual divide-and-conquer maneuver so that it can saddle the party and America with another “lesser-of-two-evils” choice. The Bush family is gambling that you’ve become so desperate that you won’t care about Jeb’s profiteering on Obama-care. They hope you won’t notice, or even having noticed, won’t care about his continual drumbeat for open borders, or his insane “Common Core” education plans. No, the Bush family is hoping you will let them continue to re-invent America in their communitarian, Utopian vision. Welcome to the New World Order, a regime in which Americans are poorer, and less educated, while uniformly chanting “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

It’s already begun, of course, as CNN reports that Bush is now the early front-runner among GOP hopefuls. All of this leads me to a question: When did Americans decide that a monarchy was fine? On the left, we have the Clinton clan, and also on the left we have the Bush clan, both parading as “moderates” with respect to their chosen parties, and both being much more statist than their respective marketing would have you believe. Jeb Bush once [in]famously stated that he “used to be a conservative,” while responding to critics of his moderate-to-left policy preferences, but the fact is that nobody named Bush has ever been a conservative, instead having been at war with the conservative grass-roots of the party since the 1970s.  If Jeb evinces any confusion by that statement, it is that he hasn’t known what conservatism looks like, and had been permitted to wear that label as though it had ever actually applied to him. It doesn’t.

If conservatives don’t pull their heads out of the sand, and fast, deciding to skip over the pointless candidates who are entirely media creations at this point, settling instead on an actual conservative, get ready for another miserable primary year in which Republicans feed conservatives to the wolves. I’d ask you to consider how many of the currently polling individuals are really just creations of FoxNews, but who are neither conservatives nor crowd-drawing candidates with any hope of victory in 2016. Dr. Ben Carson?  Former Gov. Mike Huckabee? The New Jersey Blowhard? Can any of these defeat Jeb Bush? Plainly, no. Are any of these anything much beyond stalking-horse creations of FoxNews? No. There are a number of conservatives who still pine for Rick Santorum.  Can he beat Jeb Bush? Not a chance.  In all the Republican Party, there exists only a handful of people who have the kind of muscle it will take to derail the Bush train, but if they don’t step up to bat, we’ll never know for sure. Instead, we’ll be shafted with another 4-8 years of diminishing liberties and declining culture under yet another center-left Bush.

I understand that when conservatives get desperate, they will gladly accept another Bush over the leftist bogey-man of the moment, and left with no other choice, they’ll board that train, but for Heaven’s sake, it is time for conservatives to outsmart these people for a change.  If conservatives begging queuing-up behind the litany of second-tier candidates now under consideration, they will be divided-and-conquered just as in 2012.  Mitt Romney was effectively a test run for the Jeb Bush strategy, and Karl Rove knows it. If you will recall, Romney stayed around 25% support for the entirety of the 2011 silly season, knocking off conservative after conservative as they rose and fell.  Michelle Bachman. Rick Perry. Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney bested them all because conservatives were so desperate that they hopped from bandwagon to bandwagon at the first sign of weakness.  This strategy kept conservatives chasing their tails, while Romney basically survived with his base of support sticking with him through the process.  In the entirety of 2011, Romney never rose above 25-30$ support, and never fell below 20%.  More conservative candidates, along with relative unknowns, rose and fell like sine waves on an oscilloscope as conservatives rushed from one to the next in order to find a conservative champion who would not falter.  By design, I think, there were none.

If conservatives are to have a chance in 2016, they must identify a candidate soon, and must stick with that candidate until victory.  At present, I can only think of two or three conservatives with the chops to beat Bush, and as yet, none of them have made any firm indication that they might run.  Rather than pursue pipe-dreams, however, settling for the laundry-list of unknowns and also-rans FoxNews is serving-up, conservatives ought to spend some time talking about the kind of presidency they want to see in January 2017, and how to go about getting it. If you’re willing to settle for another Bush, or have one thrust upon you, fear not because Karl Rove is busy working on that, and has been since 2007.  Even if Jeb fails in 2016, you know they’ll try to derail any other Republican candidate who gets the nomination, because they’ve got another George[P. Bush] warming-up in the bullpen right now in Texas, who they will trot-out in 2024 or 2028.

If electing an Obama-care profiteer is an idea that seems to you too ghastly to consider, understand that if the Bush family has its way, you will soon endorse that action out of desperation.  The Bush family doesn’t mind providing the presidents America just barely elects, so long as they’re in charge.  Their continual quest to drag conservatives to the left in abandonment of our principles, one at a time, should be all the reason you need to oppose them and put an end to this seemingly unending American decline under their leadership.  It’s time for something different.  It’s time for a conservative. Obama-care profiteers need not apply.

 

 

Penetrating the Beltway Bubble: Republicans Should Notice They’re Winning

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

What he really thinks…

It’s rather novel these days to see Republicans standing and fighting for the American people.  They always claim to agree with us, but over the last several years, it has seemed that they would start a fight, ask us to man the ramparts, and then sneak out through the secret passage in the back of the keep.  This time is different, and while I am wary of potential pitfalls, as should you be, I sense that the Republicans are discovering much to their happy amazement that Americans are supporting them in this battle over the continuing resolution and Obama-care.   What the House Republicans and not a few Republican Senators need is to get their heads out of the Washington DC murk.  In the nation’s capital, there’s little chance they’ll get a sense of sentiment throughout the country.  They hear and see the mainstream media memes, assuming what they’re hearing is actually representative of the country at large, but it’s not even close.  Republicans in Washington DC must recognize that by adhering to their principles and promises, they are going a long way to influence this fight, and the American people outside the DC bubble know what’s going on.  The Democrats know too, because the media is on their side, but back in their districts and states, they’re catching Hell.  If the Republicans will hang tough and simply do the right thing, the American people will join with them in greater numbers to beat back the Democrats.

The sad fact is that Democrats know too well how badly this is going against them, despite the mainstream media’s attempts to re-write facts in favor of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and the whole DC mob.  Meanwhile, Republicans do not understand that the whole media picture is being aimed at influencing them.  The beltway bubble doesn’t want to divulge what the average American thinks about Obama-care or the shutdown.  Instead, it’s all about pressuring the Republicans and creating an environment in which the Republicans feel so thoroughly set-upon that they will crumble.  Of course, we have a few bone-headed Republicans who have bought into this, but the truth is that we don’t need them anyway.  Republicans should look at what’s going on in their districts, and how the average American out here in fly-over country thinks, and then realize that Obama and Reid are merely fabricating a spectacle with the special effects of the media establishment in order to make them believe they are losing.

This is why over the last twenty-four hours, the Democrats have become so shrill.  They know they are losing, and for a change, more Republicans are seeing through the smokescreen to realize they are winning where it counts: With the American people.   As evidence mounts that Obama-care is an unmitigated catastrophe for the American people and the US economy, Democrats are doing all they can to obscure this behind a torrent of inflammatory verbiage. Naturally, as it turns out, it’s the Democrats who have been losing this debate, and now it has been revealed that the national Obama-care sign up phone number is 1-800-318-2590, or 1-800-(F)(1)(U)(C)(K)(Y)(O).  Do you believe this could have been an accident?  This president has been flipping-the-bird at the American people since he was inaugurated in 2009. How well do you suppose that will go over with the American people?  The President’s “signature legislation” and biggest program can be accessed though a phone number that tells the American people the real nature of Obama-care.  The Democrats are losing, and they know it.

Now is the time in which Republicans must discover that they’re winning by standing against this national tragedy.  They should hear the voices of their constituents, to discover how terrible are the effects of Obama-care.  We must help them understand, because inside the beltway, they’re being hammered mercilessly by Democrats and media that want them to believe that they’ll take the political black eye.  They must stand now, or be finished as a political party, and at this point, they should continue to follow the strategy of sending individual funding bills to the Senate.  If, they buckle, then they will lose, because not only will America at large abandon them, but their own base will turn away in disgust.  This is no time for capitulation.  This is the moment for which much of the country has been waiting these last five years, and if the Republicans lose sight of it now, they will lose forevermore.  The truth is that they’re winning, and all they need to do to achieve victory is to stand their ground.  Now, it’s not only the right thing to do, but the only rational alternative for weak-kneed politicians.  The Democrats are self-destructing, and the more they and their cohorts in the media lie, the more Americans now see through the lies.

 

Cruz or Lose: What’s Really at Stake if Our Leaders Won’t Fight

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Just Once, Use It!

The truth of the matter is actually rather simple: Obama-care could be de-funded any time John Boehner decided to find his…voice…and do something concrete that is entirely within his power.  The House, led by Speaker Boehner, could initiate the process of sending individual appropriation bills to the Senate, one after the next, for all the essential programs and budget items that would fall under the ordinary budgetary process.  Send a defense spending bill.  Send a Social Security spending bill, and up the ante by giving a 4% raise in the cost of living adjustment, one time, “to account for the effects of inflation not considered in the CPI”(Consumer Price Index.)  Do the same with other big spending programs, but simply withhold one on Obamacare.  Dare Harry Reid to hold up the bills, or the President to veto them should they pass the Senate.  Go on television and explain why all spending measures must begin in the House, and the House has passed each and every one of these individual things, and throw down the list on the table.  Tell seniors: Harry Reid is holding up your Social Security check.  Tell soldiers that the President, their commander-in-chief, is preventing them from being paid.   Just tell the truth: Because the President and his party are more interested in buying votes than in funding the essential functions of government, the President is willing to see Grandma eating dog-food and soldiers in the field being denied beans and bullets.

I predict that with his increasingly tenuous grasp on the support of the American people, Obama would cave.  Tie each bill to the debt ceiling.  Make it impossible for government to spend more than its receipts.  This can all be accomplished if the House of Representatives merely exercises its prevailing constitutional authority over the purse.  You might want to know that Obama is probably a good deal more nervous about this than you might guess.  This is because government has been illegally borrowing money in excess of the current debt ceiling since early summer.  To me, this is an unconscionable circumstance, and part of the reason Boehner is going along is because the President has succeeded in buying his silence through Boehner’s complicity.  The US government is already in a sort of insurrection against its own laws.  Why do you suppose the debt clock has remained frozen these months, just shy of the legal borrowing limit?  Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is still lending money into existence to somebody.  Any rational person can guess the real answer here, and if there isn’t a continuing resolution and a corresponding increase in the debt ceiling soon, Obama and all those assisting him will be in deep…water.

There is a conspiracy of silence in Washington DC, and the American people are its first and foremost victim.  The truth is that at the current rate of government borrowing, no program is sustainable.  It’s now so bad that they’re suspending investments and re-investments of Federal Employee retirement funds.  That’s how bad it really is, and it’s the reason that John Boehner isn’t saying a word.   It’s the reason nobody really wants to push on de-funding Obama-care, and it’s the reason Washington DC is hoping they’ll pass a continuing resolution to fund the government and this will all just quietly go away… for now.

Ladies and gentlemen, you should know that there is no chance whatever that we will succeed in slowing this runaway government unless we lean very heavily on our elected representatives.  There’s no chance that as long as stooges like John Cornyn(R-TX) are willing to betray us that we can expect any change in direction.  We mustn’t let these rotten liars continue.  Yes, it’s as bad as that, and everybody should know it.  How many conservatives are aware of what’s been going on with our debt?  How many conservatives realize the implications?  When and if they re-start that debt clock, you will watch it wind up more quickly than ever, at blinding speed as it lurches to catch up with all the debt the government has illegally accrued in the last several months.  There is treason in Washington DC, and if you want to know why Speaker Boehner will do nothing about it, it’s because he’s in on it too.

On Friday will come the vote for cloture on the bill now pending before the Senate.  Reid must not succeed, which means you must turn up the volume on all Senators beginning first thing in the morning.  If you can fax them, do so. Their fax numbers are listed on the Senate’s website.  Just select your state in the upper right-hand corner, and if your own senators are pretty solid, check in with some of the others, including the Minority leader’s(Mitch McConnell of Kentucky) and the Minority Whip’s(John Cornyn of Texas).  Also hammer some of the red-state Senators who are up for re-election in 2014.  There’s some evidence Senator Manchin of West Virginia is beginning to crack under the pressure.  It’s time for maximum effort and maximum exertion from this moment until we win or lose.  This will almost certainly move back to the House, in which case we’ll need to get after Boehner and the establishment phalanx there.  Let us not squander the momentum and the good start Senators Ted Cruz(R-TX) and Mike Lee(R-UT) have provided.  We’re in for one hell of a fight, and our country’s future is at stake.  This is no time for hesitation or waffling, and we must demand our elected leaders show the character and fortitude we expect.  The country is in real danger now, much worse than the DC class will tell you, and it’s time we let them know that we see what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and what we intend to do about it.

Editors note: You will notice on the Senate homepage that there is an article celebrating 100 years of direct election of the Senate, complete with a propagandist puff-piece about the passage of the 17th Amendment.  Mark Levin’s book must really be getting to them, since he proposed repealing the 17th.  Coincidental? You decide.

Congressional Switchboard: 202 224 3121

 

Countering the Counter-Revolution: It’s Not the Dress

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Brutal Frankness

The progressives never declared a counter-revolution.  Instead, they merely attacked and conspired to undermine our nation until all that now remains of constitutional republicanism is a facade made up of our constitution and our alleged devotion to it.  For the twenty-five percent of the population that knows what has been done, it is difficult to convey to the roughly fifty percent of their disengaged countrymen who do not see it and who may welcome some parts of the counter-revolutionaries’ progressive reforms, not understanding the relationship of specific measures to the cabal against the whole.  If we intend to turn the tide against the counter-revolutionaries, we must explain their purpose and their true identity, but also ours.  Many formerly-disengaged Americans have begun to realize the nation is leaning only now toward collapse finally under the weight of the statists’ agenda.  Their quiet coup against our constitutional republic has been under way for more than one-hundred years, but to rescue our nation, we will be compelled to expose them along with their collaborators.  While there may be differences among us, we must unite in commitment to the proposition that to restore our dying, fading republic, the blunt facts and deferred truths must finally be told.

The constitutional republic we inherited had fallen into disrepair.  Too many years of bending to pragmatic surrenders of liberty had already taken their toll.  Too many shoddy reinterpretations of the definitions of words on which it relies had been at first permitted and then accepted.  Simple concepts all too common to our republic’s framers have been sullied, misrepresented, and discarded as antique, obsolete, or primitive.  One might wonder how successive generations of Americans had allowed this to happen, but the answer is ever the same: We and our forbears who ought to have risen against it were often beguiled into acceptance or even into open support because of political calculations about the practical nature of the issues.  For eighty years, we have accepted the lie that Roosevelt had saved the country, when we know he helped only to finally wreck it.  For a century, we have accepted the premise of Wilson that America should make the world safe for democracy.  For all of my life, we have permitted the statists to continue a lie of gargantuan proportions about the efficacy of the welfare state for fear of being labeled as compassion-less.

We must become truth-tellers about all of it. We must dare even to tell the truth about the parts of it in which we may have participated.  We must tell this truth to the young, because they ought to know it from us.  It starts with a single confession:  There exists no cause that will not precipitate an effect; there are no causeless effects.  This simple truth applies to everything we understand about our world, but most particularly in this context to every human endeavor.  Money does not fall as pennies from Heaven, and there is no free lunch.  For every thing some person consumes, somewhere, in some fashion, payment will be made.  The plotters and the schemers of the statist counter-revolution know this, but it has been their desire to disguise it, and too often, we have permitted them to propagate outright lies about it, or to reduce it to an emotional artifice upon which facts have no bearing or relevance.

I am reminded of an old joke about a wife trying on new dress.  Asking her husband plaintively, she already has an answer in mind when she queries: “Does this dress make me look fat?”  It is assumed in our culture that the man must answer in a particular fashion to soothe the vanity of his wife irrespective of reality by answering in the negative, but if true, what an honest husband must answer is: “No. It’s not the dress that makes you look fat.”  It is this second clause of the answer, the one that defines the real problem, that we have abandoned as a culture.  It is this second form, telling the whole truth, that we have permitted ourselves for the sake of immediate comfort to abandon.  While doing so may be a suitable approach to marital relations in the estimations of many, such a fraud will not permit a country to live and thrive.  What we have adopted is the cultural form of the expected answer for which the wife in this old joke had been hoping to soothe her vanity.  This then must be the form of our answer in full, but applied to our cultural and political context: “It’s not the dress that makes you look fat. It’s the fat that makes you look fat.”

That sort of brutal honesty is a thing most are not now willing to adopt for themselves, never mind to profess it publicly.  This basic shading of the truth by redirecting the question of effect to unrelated causes is the heart of our collapse.  The statists rely upon it in so many issues and policies that I doubt I could name them all. It’s not a lack of contraception that makes women pregnant.  It’s not the lack of a job that makes a person unemployable.  It’s not a lack of any particular material thing that makes a person poor.  It’s not a lack of money that makes a bank robber. It’s not the widespread availability of axes that makes axe-murderers possible.  It’s not a lack of social programs that makes persons income-insecure in their old age, disability, youth, or at any other point in their lives.  All of these are artifices, and all are contrived to permit us to avoid the unpleasant necessity of relating cause to effect.

Whatever we do, if we are to have any hope of reversing our decline, we must be truthful about its cause.  When the professional protesters of statists’ instigation arrive to demand this thing or that thing, all assumed to alleviate their current state of discomfort, we are right to reject their bankrupt appeals, but more, to state flatly our judgments of the proximal cause of their “plights.”  We must also state these truths about ourselves.  We will not capture any solid proportion of the youth if we hide from the facts behind platitudes or pragmatic politics.  The young people in this country are being sacrificed, and we are permitting it. We are.  We’re permitting is because we don’t believe they’re worth the effort, and because we are consumed with hanging onto so much as remains of our own ambitions, goals, and long-range prosperity.

Our founders risked everything to carry out a revolution against that era’s preeminent manifestation of the state.  They did not hide behind platitudes.  They did not construct flimsy artifices and swallow them whole.  They dared to name the truth of the matters at hand, and they did so knowing they might not survive to bear their revolution’s fruits.  What truths will we risk?  When we bounce our grandchildren upon our knees, taking delight in their precious smiles, at what point will we consider them old enough to know the truth about the world we are bequeathing to them?   When our children near adulthood, will we have armed them with the facts, or will we permit them to struggle against or for the wrong cause, having unlinked the true cause of the effects they must now suffer?  It is our silence that will kill them.  It is the collection of artifices we have accepted that will annihilate their futures.  Dare to look them in the eyes and tell them all the excuses, and that it hadn’t been your fault.  After all, you didn’t choose this. You didn’t consent to this.

That shame we feel at having let this befall them must be given a voice.  Since there are none but us to find it, we must gather our courage to say it.  The statists did not alone impose this upon us.  They had collaborators.  Until we are willing to name them by confession, our silence is purchased and we are the root of the problem.  Even now the Republicans who had opposed Obama-care with varying levels of ferocity only now to accept its miserable implementation as grudging convicts accepting the lashes for a secret guilt.  Our progeny may now become slaves to our guilt, because for the sake of what we hope to scrounge in a dimming future, we won’t tell them the truth lest they discover our complicity.  This conversion to rampant statism could not happen without our participation, or at least our silent assent.  The establishment Republicans in Washington and elsewhere are those who had known better but said nothing out of fear that upsetting their apple-cart would cost them, too.  We are the people who had accepted this as “leadership,” and who took a few of their crumbs offered as bribes for our silence.

Time is running short for this fading republic, and if we are to make a true effort for restoring her, we must state our case, including the confessions of every deceit we’ve accepted.  It is not as though we hadn’t known.  When we accepted the income tax, we knew where that would lead.  When we accepted debt as money, we could not have believed it would be a solid foundation.  When we accepted the programs with their ever-increasing eligibility, we must have known what it would birth.  When we decided that we could “have it all” without the corresponding effort required to truly have it, we knew we were short-cutting.  Let us then embark if we will upon a single premise that we often mouth without commitment to its meaning: “Freedom isn’t free.”  It is now time that we clean our messes and bear its costs.  If vanity leads the wife to ask a question for which she wants only a dishonest answer, what character defect in the husband permits him to satisfy the request?  This is the central question that lies at the heart of our national morass, and until we answer it truthfully, there can be no restoration.  We cannot hope to stave off the counter-revolutionaries by soothing their egos, and in so doing, satisfying a few of our own indulgences. The time for truth is now.

It’s not liberty that makes socialism unworkable…

Change: We “Need” – Governed By Necessity

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Do Needs Trump Rights?

One of the most abused and over-used words in the English language is “need.” In all its forms, including “necessity” and “necessary,” there lurks a cruel despot willing to plunder, murder, and enslave any person at any time for almost any imaginable reason. “Need” in all its forms has been the excuse of tyrants throughout history.  It is used to seize those things that the needy want or wish, but cannot or will not themselves provide.  Once America accepted the cult of “need” as a driving rationale for government, it was inevitable that we would see the demise of our nation.  Now we have a President who has elevated the claim of “need” to supersede the assertion of rights.  Ours has become a nation of needs. Let me be clear to all those who use “need” as a bludgeon against your fellow man: You’re monsters, and your self-serving claims of “necessity” will not be forgotten, or forgiven.  “Need” is not a legitimate claim to anything, and until Americans understand this, there will be no chance to restore ours to a nation of rights.

I “need” a million dollars, or so I might claim. You might ask me for what purpose, but if I can’t tell you, or if the purpose is unsatisfactory in your estimation, it won’t matter at all so long as I can get some body of politicians to agree.  The framers of the constitution left in a number of loopholes through which despotism could slither, gaining direct access to our liberties in order to strangle them, one by one.  Your property?  It’s not yours if the government or some favored concern decides it “needs” your land, your chattel, or your money.  The political process now exists solely to rationalize and legitimize some person’s concept of “need” so that once codified in the laws of the land, it will become an unchallenged, irreversible claim for all times upon all persons residing within the nation.

One might claim a “need to eat.”  Everybody needs to eat, right?  Nevertheless, my “need to eat” doesn’t entitle me to walk next door to my neighbor and threaten him with bodily violence unless he feeds me.  His right to his property trumps my alleged need. It doesn’t matter whether I’m a starving bag of bones or a gargantuan tub of lard.  In any civilized society, where the rights of property are observed, a person making such a claim at gunpoint would be considered a criminal and prosecuted as such.  Why then do we permit a third party that profits from the robbery to carry it out without respect to property rights?  The government takes from your wallet, and places it in the empty wallets of others while taking a cut for its administrative troubles, all based on the generalized claim of need: “Everybody needs to eat.”

One might claim a “need to medical care.”  Here, the robbery goes farther and deeper, because the monetary costs of this “need” are not the only thing being redistributed.  Doctors and nurses have their pay capped under such a paradigm because the government claims the bargaining power of aggregated millions.  It can set the price for medical services at any level it likes, and the only choice those who are professionals in the field may do is to simply refuse to participate.  Worse, because government sits atop the heap in judgment of who is most needy or most “deserving” of the redistributed loot, government becomes the arbiter of who will live or die.  Death panels are not imaginary, but are instead a fact of life in a system that is permitted to pay for necessities while determining what those necessities may be.

Let me be perfectly blunt in explaining my position: Your need for a thing, whether goods or services, is not a legitimate claim upon my wallet.  Redirecting your need through a third party charged with meeting your needs at the expense of my bank account is no less evil.  One can claim anything as a need, but spreading the burden of such needs around doesn’t diminish the moral failure, but as Rand famously wrote, merely “multiplies the number of victims.” Rather than taking your whole monthly grocery bill from a single neighbor, you take some tiny fraction of a penny from millions of neighbors, with government at the enforcement arm of your protection racket.  Every person compelled by law to pay for your meal, your education, your medical care, your housing, your “Obama-phone,” or your utilities is right to view you and every person like you as a collection of mobsters, while seeing  government as the enforcers of a vast organized-crime syndicate made up of thugs.

Naturally, the concept of “need” isn’t restricted to individuals or classes of individuals. In 2008, when George W. Bush began the bail-outs that Barack Obama finished, it was all on the basis of a claim to need by vast corporate entities that had become “too big [to permit] to fail.” When Obama bailed out Chrysler and GM, again the claim was that the “need” had been great, and that we would trump the rights of millions of Americans to their wealth for the sake of a “need” by large corporations and trade unions.  The claim of necessity has ever been the tool of thugs and tyrants, and it has always served their interests first, and foremost.  At each instance, the claim of a critical need has been the driving force behind the actions, but it seems too few are willing to demand in response: “Need? By what right?”

It is easy to claim a need. Every person “needs” something.  The question must be: “By what right does one’s need confer a positive obligation upon others to fulfill it?” Unless and until the American people come to see “needs” as “high priority wishes,” the country will continue the moral cannibalism we now practice until such time as it devolves into the literal form.  This will require Americans to ask themselves some extremely consequential and deeply introspective questions about their own behaviors, and if there’s one thing our nation lacks, it is the will among its citizens to strictly critique themselves.  As Americans, our response to any claim of “need” by any person great or small should be met with a question: “By what right do you impose your needs as a claim upon others?”

Ours can be a nation of needs or rights, but it may not long suffer while attempting to be both.

Have We Become Too Lazy to Save Ourselves?

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Too Tired to Try?

When I think about Mark Levin’s forthcoming book entitled The Liberty Amendments (sure to be a bestseller,) I become a bit frustrated.  Among conservatives, what I hear most often in thoughts expressed about the book is either that his proposal is simply too hard, or that it’s too dangerous a prospect to seek to amend the constitution through the convention process detailed in Article V of the constitution.  What I perceive among conservatives is a collective sigh and shrug, in admission of slinking retreat from the battlefield.  I understand that frustration, and I know too well why so many conservatives feel like surrendering, so thoroughly exhausted from fighting what seems a losing battle. On the other hand, I must ask my brethren if it’s wise to relent so easily.  After all, if we’re serious about saving the country, it’s going to have a cost in dollars, sweat, and sadly, perhaps some blood.  If you have any illusions about it, you’re not really in this fight.  What conservatives should recognize is that Levin’s approach may be all that can avoid civil conflict, and that avoidance will lead to subjugation or civil war. Some may think it is impossible or even suicidal to amend the constitution by the convention process, but we mustn’t let fatigue, fear or sloth stop us.

Although the book has not yet been released, Levin has discussed the broad concepts involved on his daily radio talk-show.  He’s even made the first chapter available for download on his website.  Some callers seem enthusiastic, but there is another group of callers who seem somewhat confused, or even to be overwhelmed with misinformation with respect to “opening up the constitution” either to gross re-write or outright replacement.  While amendments that are broad are certainly possible, what must be understood is that under Article V, any such amendments would need to be ratified by thirty-eight of fifty states before being adopted as part of our constitution.  With that sort of broad-based approval being required, it’s hard to imagine something tyrannical or fundamentally anti-American gaining traction.  Impossible?  Strictly, no, but with millions upon millions of watchful Americans, it’s hard to conceive of the process being hijacked in such a manner.  While it is easy to understand such fears, it’s not very likely that due cause for them would materialize.

Instead, most fears I’ve heard expressed on the subject are born of a general fatigue and frustration, inasmuch as most Americans so-concerned do not believe anything fruitful would be obtained from such a process, or that such a process would ever be permitted to come to pass by the political powers running Washington DC.  My fellow conservatives point to the basic sloth and lack of political study or engagement of most of their fellow citizens as evidence for the cause of a presumed failure-to-launch for such a movement.  It’s hard to disagree with this pessimistic view of the efficacy of any such effort given the obvious problem we have in this country when one considers even voting turn-out in national elections: Most people don’t want to be troubled with politics, and will simply obey whatever laws are passed by whichever politicians manage to pass them, irrespective of their effects.

One of the reasons for doubt among so many conservatives is an intense understanding of how hard it has become to penetrate the veil of pop-culture distractions behind which most Americans live their daily lives.  It has been a lament of my own for years past counting that too many Americans are more concerned about trivial, inconsequential matters like television shows or sporting events.  Many Americans reorganize their lives around such things, but despite having the intellectual capacity to comprehend all the statistics of sports, or to track the endless permutations of reality television, most Americans simply can’t be bothered with the work of self-government.   How often do I read such laments in the comments on this site?

The trouble then may be us.  We are obviously too interested in the direction of our country, if judged by the standards of so many of our countrymen.  What we must ask is if there is any way to capture and hold their attention for such a monumental task.  Such an undertaking would not be likely accomplished in a span less than a decade, because we would first be required to put in place state legislators in sufficient numbers who would carry this forward.  The simple truth is that for any of this to happen, we must put it into action.  We, who have continued to struggle as the country’s economic beasts of burden, dragging the nation along despite more outrageous loads being heaped upon us must finally decide whether we will be crushed under this cargo or instead unload it by a conscious effort to do away with it.

I no longer argue with leftists.  I find that they are as intransigent in their opinions as any brick wall, but what I have discovered is that there exists a vast swath of America’s population that simply doesn’t care.  For now.  As the country begins to devolve and ultimately dissolve, the statists will become increasingly desperate to hold it together, and this will lead them to inflict more and more outrageous measures.  As they do, the American people will begin to wake up, and we will need to be there, ready to welcome them into the fold.  Nothing drives political involvement like self-interest.  Why do the Democrats concoct phony wars on women, wars on minorities, and wars on the environment?  It is all aimed at capturing votes through a perceived self-interest.  Knowing this, we must be prepared to gather such of our people as we can in order to gather steam as the opportunity presents.

As Levin has explained, there is no need to fear the Article V amendment convention he proposes.  George Mason insisted upon it as the last peaceful recourse against a despotic Congress.  When the two parties now openly collude, Mason’s gift to us may yet be the salvation of our nation if we have the requisite diligence to pursue it. It would be simple to walk away and await our doom, accepting what may come with grim resolve, but I must ask my fellow conservatives if that is the fate we will accept.  If it is true as seems to be the case that the Republicans now collude in the growing despotism of an ever-larger, entrenched surveillance and welfare state, commanding and controlling our lives, Levin’s approach may be our sole remaining peaceful opportunity.  I don’t know if the sloth born of complacency will stop us from saving the country, but it shouldn’t stop conservatives from trying.  It may be all that remains in the kit.  We can take the country back, and the wisdom of our founders provided us one last method. I’d urge readers to consider Levin’s book with the diligence it deserves, equal at least to his supreme diligence in writing it.

Fearless Conservative Addresses Minority Outreach

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Show-me State Visit

Some of you will be familiar with this speaker, Adrienne Ross, who writes at MotivationTruth, as well as a contributing to C4P, and this speech to Cape County(MO) Republican Women’s Club, is a great candid approach to expanding the appeal of conservatism to a wider audience. She makes plain here the importance of expanding the reach of the conservative message, and in so doing, debunks a body of lies that is accepted in the media culture and political establishment as fact. One of the things that has confounded many conservatives is how they can extend their message into a community that so often shares social ideas with conservatism, but who have become estranged by sixty years of identity politics.  Is there a way to bridge the gap?  Ross has her own ideas on the subject.  Here’s the video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AXXKf25_vQ]

Freedom: Will We Keep It?

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Which freedom?

As I logged out of a remote session between my home and my office this morning, having initiated some much-needed maintenance on some critical equipment, I pondered the meaning of the holiday most will be enjoying today.  As I take a short break before heading into work to complete the maintenance on-site, it strikes me as tragic that we could let such a wonderful country slip from our grasp.  Two-hundred-thirty-seven years ago, our founders endeavored to create something that had never been: An independent nation of independent people, each free to pursue their own ends in responsible respect for the rights of every other.  The most pressing task of their day was not really in fighting the British, but in convincing their fellow colonials to join them in the fight.  As we look forward to a country rapidly crumbling under a weight of government our founders could not have imagined, we must again make the case to our countrymen that freedom is worth the fight.

In the sixties, it became fashionable in some circles to claim as a popular song of the time that “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”  That sentiment has become the undercurrent and the back-drop for a cultural decline that now pervades our national spirit, as the concept was injected into the realm of the politics.  Too frequently, men and women born to freedom surrender some facet of that liberty in the name of Janis Joplin’s lament, the implication being that freedom is merely the result of having nothing.  The pragmatist’s sing-song, claiming that freedom is a pointless exercise without material or spiritual values is a detestable lie that has gained something akin to a majority’s acceptance in modern America.  True freedom, they would claim, is the state of having nothing, or of being nothing, such that to have anything, one must yield one’s liberty, or that to be truly free, one must surrender life itself.  As Ayn Rand observed, the collectivists extol the virtues of freedom – but only as obtained in one’s grave.  As our founders had done, I stand opposed to their anthem, and its corrupt concept of freedom.

Freedom is not the absence of material or spiritual values.  Indeed, real freedom is possessed of the ability to obtain material and spiritual values without interference from others, the capacity to establish one’s own course without infringements, and the presumption of sovereignty over one’s life and property.  By setting values against freedom, the statists’ lament is intended to trick you into surrendering both.  Neither do you wish for the “full freedom” of the grave, wherein lies its ultimate expression by their estimates, nor do you wish to be in perpetual servitude as a kept being, left on a causeless, pointless system of life-support in exchange for your lack of self-direction.  Instead, they preach, you should seek to achieve a “balance” between the perfect  freedom of the grave and the tyranny of perfect servitude.  This false dichotomy is the first argument they must convince you to accept, and it was the false thesis our founders were compelled to destroy.

As most of my readers know too well, freedom is not the human escape from life, as statists would contend, but the extension and enhancement of life by the ability to self-govern.  Whether on a national scale, or on an individual basis, self-determination is the real object of the statists’ attack.  You must suborn your wishes to those of your community, that must in turn submit to the will of the state, that must finally concede any nationalistic impulse in the interests of all humanity, according to their prescriptions.  Their ugly secret lies in the fact that all along the way, they have rigged what will come to be considered the interests of the community, the country, and the entire planet.  In short, their interests are simultaneously pro-humanity and anti-human, which means a generally benevolent sentiment toward the whole of humankind through a focused malevolence of policies against all individuals.

The simple truth is that they offer the classic carrot and stick.  On the one hand, the easy enticements of the welfare state and managed compliance, but in the other, the brandished club of the mindless collective.  To accept the former, it is true that one must yield one’s ability to choose one’s course, but the latter requires no acceptance, usually delivering or threatening some form of their view of “perfect freedom.”   In stark contrast, what the founders offered a people was the ability to set one’s own course; to live or die by one’s efforts or their lack; to succeed or fail at one’s own expense; to thrive or languish according to one’s ambitions.  In short, there would be no guarantees, neither of comfort nor of poverty, but merely the freedom to act and choose to pursue one’s own ends without interference.  By the standards of Joplin’s lament, this is not so enticing a choice for those who have grown accustomed to a standard of living they no longer have the willingness to earn.

In this sense, the founders of the United States of America may have had an easier task.  Looking at the sprawling wilderness before them, colonial Americans could envision unparalleled opportunity, whereas in our time, opportunity has been suppressed by governmental decree while the ability to perceive opportunities has been blindfolded in favor of the known, and the reliable.  The children of this age know a world of material plenty, but they have not been taught how it was obtained, and most have not even the knowledge or the desire to maintain it.  Ambition has been replaced by a hopeless wishing, by which too many of our youth spend their time daydreaming of the perfectly unobtainable while bypassing the opportunity to plan for and work toward the imperfectly approachable. Risk-taking was key to the building of America, and to the freedom it has enjoyed, but now we are dominated by a culture of risk-averse automatons who stare with jovial indifference at flashing pixels that describe their foremost entertainment. It’s all fiction.

If we are to succeed as a country, we must first succeed as individuals, but to do that will require stepping away from the left’s adaptation of Joplin’s view of freedom.  What a few more Americans have been realizing lately, as we careen toward implementation of Obama-care and the institution of a National Security State is that there is more than “nothing left to lose” contained in freedom.   Our founders understood this, evidenced by the fact that they were willing to risk their lives and their sacred honor, and all their worldly possessions, in the name of self-determination for a people and for individual persons.  What have we been willing to risk?  Public denunciations?  Scorn and ridicule?  Political engagement?  A few dollars to a favored cause, in the hope that some other might act in our stead?

Even given this, I still have some reason to hope, for while fleeting, a text came in that made my day.  A friend attending a 4th of July parade in a nearby town with his family saw fit to share with me something that had just happened.  In that town, a group of Texans favoring Open-Carry legislation assembled at a location along the parade’s course, and upon seeing his daughter looking across the street at them, he asked her if all of the guns she could see caused her concerns.  She replied simply to her father, and he reported to me her epic response:

“No, people scare me – guns don’t.”

In that sentence lies a naked but essential truth about freedom that our founders had understood too well, so that if it is alive in a teen-aged girl on a blistering sunny day in central Texas, there may yet be some hope for us all.  There is much more to freedom than “nothing left to lose,” and it’s time we begin to make that case again.  “Freedom” conceptually implies a “for whom” and a “from whom,”  because freedom is neither exercised by inanimate objects nor is it stripped from us by amoral conditions of nature.  There is always a “who.”  It has been the tireless trick of collectivists to substitute a laundry list of “what” for the “who.”  Just as the leftists have conveniently forgotten that Bobby McGee had been the real object of Joplin’s lament, they always manage to forget the “who” in their discussions of freedom.  Their litany includes “freedom from poverty,” “freedom from want,” “freedom from unemployment,” and “freedom from oppression” as if those conditions could arise without a “who” on either end.

As most Americans continue to clamor for more goodies from the hands of their would-be masters, it is important to remember what independence means, because a nation of dependents will not maintain it on a national scale, having surrendered it as individuals.  Freedom from the conditions of life are not liberty at all, but instead a form of bondage to whomever is maintaining that illusory and undeserved condition.  Franklin’s warning rings in my ears, because while the founders fought for freedom, and the framers of our constitution had indeed given us a form of government amenable to a great liberty, it is we who will decide if we shall keep it, or trade it in on a vision of freedom popularized by a drug-addicted woman who finally obtained her freedom in precisely the form she had described it.  Of all the concepts we might address, I believe Franklin’s conditional declaration must remain the most pressing question of our time.

Asked by a lady what form of government the constitutional convention had conceived, Benjamin Franklin purportedly responded:

 

“A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Will we?  As we celebrate our national independence, we ought to consider individual liberty’s uncertain future, and which  concept of freedom we will adopt as our own.  Our founders knew that the most pressing purpose of their declaration was not to inform the British or the whole world of their treasonous intent, but to lay down an unimpeachable argument for independence among their own.  What will we risk for our vision of freedom?  We must be willing at least to make an argument on its behalf, or surrender to the alternative view of freedom as the exclusive province of death.

Sarah Palin at CPAC: “We’re Here to Rebuild a Country”

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Rebuilding a Country

After a string of speakers this week who hope one day to be President of the United States, Sarah Palin spoke to a packed house as she explained her vision of the future, and also what conservatives must do to regain electoral success.  She was introduced by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who had been the keynote speaker.  Of all the rhetoric to come out of CPAC 2013, it will be this speech that is remembered.  Governor Palin reminded conservatives that it is their principles they must abide, and not the political winds of the day, but she also cautioned conservatives to speak to a broader audience, instead of merely preaching to the choir. She also pointed out that rather than abandoning their principles, conservatives should abandon the consultancy that has led the party to so many defeats.  As has always been the case, Governor Palin energized the crowd.  At a time when conservatives are still reeling from Obama’s re-election, her speech laid out the only rational course conservatives can take in order to rebuild the country.  Here’s the video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkRw4EOwY2g]

The Conservative Savior-Trap

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Who?

It’s time for some blunt talk among conservatives.  The fact is that we’re losing the country, and in one election after another, we continue to seek out a conservative savior who will put things right.  The problems with this approach are extensive, inasmuch as we assume we can find one person who will so perfectly embody conservatism that we can stop worrying about the direction of the country.  It may be understandable, given the dire condition of our economy, the wreckage of our culture, and the endless parade of disappointments to which we conservatives have been witness, but I’ve begun to think it’s largely our own fault.  We want to go on about our lives and mostly leave the running of the country to some honorable man or woman who will do what is right without further involvement from us, but that’s simply not going to happen.   The truth is that we conservatives have become too obsessed with a savior and too impatient to build the kind of movement that would make one possible but ultimately unnecessary.  If you think I’m overstating the attachment among conservatives to this notion, I offer into evidence the GOP’s own 2012 savior trap.

Consider Michelle Bachmann’s entry into the 2011 primary scene.  Popular with some of the Tea Party wing, for a time, she did well, but then she made a few verbal missteps just as Rick Perry entered the scene.  In a matter of days, Bachmann plummeted in the polls, and Perry’s elevator began rising toward the top.  While she stuck around quite a long while, she never recovered from that point forward.  It didn’t take long, perhaps the span of a month or so, and Perry stumbled badly in a couple of debates, and his numbers tanked badly.  Sensing the end, and realizing Perry was not their savior after all, conservatives held a clearance sale and abandoned him, leaving him to spend the next couple of months in a sliding finale ending with his return to Texas and his endorsement of Newt Gingrich.  Rick Perry would not be the conservatives’ savior any more than Bachmann had been.

At about this time, both Chris Christie(who broke Ann Coulter’s heart) and Sarah Palin(who broke many more, mine included) announced in rapid succession that they would not join the fray.  Two more potential conservative saviors (although calling Christie a “conservative” is admittedly a stretch) went by the wayside as Perry’s meteoric rise was matched only by his apocalyptic fall from polling grace.  The Texan didn’t fulfill conservatives’ search for a savior, so the quest moved on to its next failure.

Enter Herman Cain.  Remember him and his “9-9-9?”  Who could possibly forget?  I enjoyed Cain’s plain-spoken rhetoric, and his ability to speak in sensible albeit general terms to a set of issues that were important to conservatives across the board.  Then something happened, and some allegations were brought forward by all the usual suspects, and before he could shout “9-9-9” one more time, Herman Cain was gone, knocked out from a rapidly rising lead by the false hope that he could be the next conservative savior. He was not.

Then came the circumstance of Newt Gingrich’s double rise and double-dip.  He came forward and began to create momentum the first time as Herman Cain began to falter.  The two shared a stage at the Woodlands near Houston for a one-on-one debate, and the one thing it made plain was that Cain was out of his depth, nice man though he seemed to be.  Gingrich owned the stage in terms of thoughtful policy ideas, and his command of the issues outgunned Mr. Cain substantially. Suddenly, conservatives who had dismissed him earlier on in the season began to take note.  He was making the case, and he was making it well, and many people dreamed happily of Gingrich facing Obama in debates.  Gingrich came under hammering attacks in early December.

Then there was the first brief double love-affair with Rick Santorum, who seemed to attract social conservatives who felt put-off by some things in the former Speaker’s personal history, and the two dueled back and forth, but Gingrich managed to come back on top.  By the middle of January of 2012, with the South Carolina primary victory, Gingrich had debate performances that put him clearly atop the heap.  Then came the accusations about him, and one flat debate performance, and though he battled back and forth with Mitt Romney, Florida’s primary was won by the former Massachusetts Governor. Santorum also managed to capitalize on Gingrich’s fall,  but it was going to be a two-horse race, and neither of them would be Newt Gingrich. Conservatives dismounted and went on to find their next ride.

After Gingrich, Santorum made a valiant effort, trying all he could to upset the Romney apple-cart, but by then, too many conservatives had hopped from one horse to the next, and Santorum just wasn’t going to do. Conservatives were simply too deeply divided, and thus conquered, so that in the end, Santorum too went down when the money wouldn’t come and the Romney machine gathered steam.  The last conservative savior then faltered and went by the wayside, or so we thought.

At long last came Mitt Romney, and while some hoped for something dramatic at the convention, most had by now accepted the fate of the GOP: The Republican party would put Mitt Romney forward to face Barack Obama and pretend to themselves that he had been a conservative all along.  We all know how that came out, and there’s no point in re-hashing it, save to say that we conservatives permitted ourselves to go off in search of a savior who never arrived.  By the morning of November 7th, we all knew the miserable failure, but we weren’t finished quite yet.

Three months later, we have now the spectacle of Sean Hannity posing the question to Dr. Benjamin Carson about the possibility of his presidential ambitions.  As ever, and hot on the trail of anybody who might save us, somehow, a number of conservatives departed on the path toward seeking a Carson candidacy.  As I detailed earlier, there are any number of reasons to be a bit more cautious about how we will throw our political support around.  Dr. Carson may be a skilled physician, and he may run an excellent foundation, but that’s hardly a reason to consider him for the presidency, particularly in lieu of more thorough examination.

So it is that conservatives left 2012 behind, and with it, an understanding of the causes of their recent disappointments. Already, there is a slate of possible or potential candidates for 2016, but while conservatives run headlong into another round of the savior trap, Obama and his cronies are doing real damage to the country.  Conservatives seem fixated on the notion that they can somehow elevate one person to the presidency who will undo all of Obama’s damage, but I must insist that this is not the case.  Absent a conservative majority in the House and Senate, Obama’s will be done, come Hell or high water.  As one examines the array of Republicans already being batted around as potential presidential candidates in 2016, one can see the same scenario arising, and it ought to jog some conservative memories of 2011-12, and with them, some caution.

I’m not suggesting that conservatives should ignore 2016, but the truth is that we have a good deal of work to do before we get on to that campaign.  Besides, if conservatives are to find such a leader, it will likely come in the heat of the battle of the next two years, when we will begin to form a sense of who is able and willing to lead a conservative movement.  In 2010, one conservative voice lent to the national discourse in a significant way, a voice that had a strong influence over the outcome, helping conservatives send many new members to the House.  She stayed out of the nomination fight in 2012, but without her leadership in 2010, making the campaign stops, and pressing the issues with voters, I doubt we would have had the beltway-blasting success of taking back the House.

As conservatives begin again to seek out another savior, I wonder how many of them are paying attention to the lady who had been in front of them all along. Let us be clear about how important Sarah Palin’s influence had been in that election season, particularly before we go off in search of another would-be savior.  Whether she will seek the presidency at some point in the future is anybody’s guess, but I would keep an eye on Wasilla, if not for a candidacy, then at least for a bold leader who helped us to retake the House in 2010.  In 2012, voters agreed with her endorsements in nearly seventy percent of those races in which she offered one, suggesting that if somebody in the greater universe that is conservatism understands the electorate, it may well be Governor Palin. More importantly, however, she has exhibited the ability to lead on issues and rouse the base while making a strong stand in defense of the republic.

Whomever we may choose to carry our banner in 2016, I hope we are a good deal more persistent than we had been in 2011-2012, a season in which conservatives leaped from one horse to the next with little hesitation.  It’s more important than ever to identify a candidate who can lead, but leadership will be about more than great speeches or rousing debate performances.  A goodly portion of our attention must be aimed at identifying those who will step up to lead now, as we embark on four more years of the Obama agenda.  Who will rise to oppose him?  Who will push hard in the midterms of 2014?  Who will rally conservatives?  Who will be able to put a shattered party together again, if it can be put together again at all?  With whom will conservatives stand in unwavering support?  These questions may well be answered in the next two or three years if we have the discernment to recognize it.

It is time that conservatives re-think this entire savior mentality.  No fruit was borne by that tree in 2012, and I doubt the outcome will be different in 2016 if that is our sole focus.  We must build conservatism not by electing a President first, and then hoping wistfully to achieve success, but instead by building a movement that is positioned to elect a President.  Short-cutting our way to electoral victory cannot and will not work, as evidenced by the miserable results of 2012.  When one places the question in this context, it is true that it exposes the daunting enormity of the task before us, but at least it offers an honest view of the fight we have ahead if we are to salvage the republic.  Wild-eyed but temporary enthusiasm for one candidate or another will not rescue the country, but building a movement can.  At long last, we must stop seeking the one person who alone can save the country, recognizing instead that an able leader can only arise when by our own tireless efforts, we’ve laid the groundwork and made the country capable of salvation.

The Fantastic Delusion of Fiscal Conservatism Absent Social Conservatism

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Naked Contradiction

This is a subject that comes up frequently, as the GOP establishment attempts to drive out actual conservatives time after time.  It’s nauseating, really, because under the light of the first bit of logical torture-testing, this concept fails miserably. Let me once again address the foolishness of this proposition, this time in light of various current legislative priorities, with the understanding from the outset that there can be no way to square the two positions.  One simply cannot be both an actual fiscal conservative and an adherent of a liberal social agenda.  The latter cancels out the former, in the same fashion anti-matter annihilates matter.  The two cannot share the same space.  Translated, their proposition suggests approximately that while one is concerned with the fiscal condition of the country, one need not be concerned in the least with the fiscal costs of one’s social advocacy.  Confused?  I suppose there are still a few people who are tricked by this self-contradictory hogwash, but I think it’s important that it’s finally clarified. The two concepts stand in direct opposition to one another, and if you claim to be a conservative, it’s time to speak out against this blatant philosophical pollution that having successfully wrecked the GOP, is now destroying our country.

Let us take the occasion to point out that in various times and places, conservatives are tricked by DC insiders, and beltway establishment Republicans into believing there can be a way to have one’s cake while having eaten the baker before he could commence his baking.  In the case of “comprehensive immigration reform,” the bait-and-switch game is being carried down the field by Senator Marco Rubio(R-FL,) who insisted in multiple interviews on all the big conservative radio and television talk shows that no consideration could be given to immigration reform unless and until border security had been addressed in the first instance.  Unfortunately, the real legislation will not focus on security even slightly, relying on the Secretary of Homeland Defense to merely certify the border as secure. Since Janet Napolitano has already effectively done so, with our tightly secured border(?), let the amnesty commence in earnest!

Let us imagine for the sake of argument that the advocates of this social policy would do as they say, and that they would actually secure the border first(which they won’t.) What will be the cost in real terms of this social legislation preferred by the moderates and liberals?  In short order, all of these newly certified “guest workers” and their families will find their way into eligibility for welfare, and other entitlements, just as legal immigrants do now. despite the fact that it’s not supposed to happen that way. All of this “social moderation” will simply lead to more spending.  All of the rotten promises will be broken just like they’ve been in every previous iteration of this garbage.  Worse, for every one potential voter the GOP establishment hopes ultimately to gain, there will be two in the Democrats’ column.  In this issue, we have not only the galling spectacle of social liberalism negating any claim to fiscal conservatism, but in fact negating conservatism itself.

Next, let us imagine the beginnings of other social programs, like food-stamps, that were invented without respect to their fiscal costs, and continued despite the fact that they had exploded well beyond anything imagined at the time of their original enactment.  Food-stamps were presented as a way to alleviate the social problem of poverty, specifically hunger, and also promised as a way to reduce crime, but such programs have had neither promised effect.  Poverty has never shrunk, and indeed, the government and the politicians and bureaucrats who populate it have done all they could to expand eligibility requirements and grow the roll.  While crime statistics have moved up and down, none of the change can be attributed to so-called “poverty programs.”  What started out as a modest social program now serves one-sixth of our population at a staggering cost in real dollars.  We are borrowing those dollars, so let not the advocates of these programs posture as fiscal conservatives in any measure.

So-called fiscal conservatives who are merely liberals in disguise also prefer abortion rights.  It is said that they prefer to let women do as they will with their own bodies, as if that was the question at issue.  What they will not acknowledge as they plead for the increase in available workers to be provided by their amnesty plans is that if the United States did not have an abortion-on-demand policy, it is likely that our population would have grown by a net additional thirty million or more people, first subtracting the estimated twenty million illegal aliens.  These “social moderates” in fiscally conservative costumes pretend on the one hand that abortion is an individual liberty issue, but that illegal immigration is not, ignoring the liberty stripped via taxation and borrowing.  As they whine over the lack of new revenues to the treasury borne by forty years of abortion, they instead blame the lack of tax-payers on an “antiquated immigration policy” they’ve never really enforced in the first place.  The social costs are obvious, but the fiscal costs are gargantuan. If even half of those fifty million aborted children had by now attained working age, they would be prospective tax-payers helping to prolong the life of the Social Security Ponzi scheme for which the social liberals in the Republican Party now propose amnesty as the answer.

Let us consider a few other “social issues” in rapid-fire form, thinking about their fiscal impact. Irrespective of how you may feel about gay marriage, will including homosexual couples in the entitlement to spousal benefits for government employees cost the government more, or less?  Naturally, more.  Will the provision of abortion and contraception by government programs as a part of various government health-care initiatives cost taxpayers more or less?  Naturally, more, and by the way, they’re also cheated of help in paying the bills.  Will permitting women in combat, whatever your view on the issue may be, cost the services more, or less?  More. Absolutely.  As you begin to take inventory in this fashion, you will quickly realize that this business about “fiscal conservatism” is a complete farce once combined with the contradictory notion of “social moderation/liberalism.”  The latter simply destroys the former, making it clear that the claimed notion of fiscal conservatism had been a mask for rampant statism all along.

This applies nowhere more than in the examination of our federal fiscal disaster.  Consider the farce of Paul Ryan’s budget plan, that promises to reduce the rate of federal growth but assumes a preposterous five percent rate of growth in the GDP for as far as the eye can see, while doing approximately nothing to reduce federal expenditures, instead promising to grow our way out of our current fiscal morass while slowing the rate of spending growth.  Ryan and his fellow advocates of this plan pretend to us that it is a serious proposal that can offer us a way out, but that is a dishonest calculation based on highly deceptive number-rigging, and it is offered to us as a way to preserve all of these entitlement programs ad infinitum, in answer to the charge that Republicans are extremists who care not for the social good. One time after the next, the Republicans have shown us their true colors as they have repeatedly capitulated to  Obama and the overt statists at the expense of American not yet born.  Naturally, since they’re willing also to fund abortion, they’re be fewer of those anyway.  The thing to notice is that when the system collapses under the weight of these entitlements, nobody, neither recipient nor payer, will be spared by the calamity.

In fact, this has been the basic pattern of conduct by so-called “fiscal conservatives” over the last four decades. In virtually every social issue, they go along with the leftists, and each time, we pay not only a horrible social cost, but also an incredible fiscal burden, both measured in the lives and exertions of real people.  At each new increment, we are promised they will go this far, “but no further,” until the next occasion to surrender to the left.  Rinse and repeat.  They have been slowly increasing the temperature on the pot that is the social cauldron, asking us to accept a little more, and some more, and eventually the whole agenda.  Virtually all of our fiscal woes owe to the growth of “social moderation,” as expressed in the endlessly growing pile of debts accumulating in our treasury.

At some point, Americans, particularly conservatives, ought to stop falling for this nonsense.  Statism has grown by virtue of this sort of dereliction of fiscal conservatism in favor of social liberalism.  Education.  Health-care. Prescription drugs.  The list goes on and on, from colossal costs to smaller ones, but always, without fail, at some cost, somehow, for American tax-payers to bear. The entire budgetary deficit would be wiped out, and much of of our debt would not have accumulated but for all the times some allegedly “fiscally conservative” Republicans had gone along with social liberals in pursuit of some advertised social aim.  As people such as Karl Rove set out to create subsets of the Republican Party designed to finally vanquish actual conservatives, it is critical to understand how they have succeeded in stripping the party bare of all its former principles, remaking it to resemble the Democrat Party in every way, to include the long-maintained pretense of concern over fiscal matters.

It’s not as though any sober adult would believe the claims of these alleged fiscal conservatives, but that presumes a good deal too much about their intended audience.  As one final proof of the sort of idiocy explicit in this claim of the fanciful combination of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, I offer you the Super-Sunday tweet of one Geraldo Rivera, Fox News “correspondent” and professional purveyor of every tragedy into which he can insert himself, who has now said he is considering a run for the United States Senate, as a Republican(?) from New Jersey.  Given the ascendancy of Chris Christie, I hadn’t been aware that New Jersey had a viable Republican Party, but Rivera wasted no time in leaping into the sphere of social issues, predictably at a substantial cost:

If elected I would propose a bill to make Super-Monday a national, no school, no work holiday/day of community service” – Geraldo Rivera via Twitter

Here then is the final abomination of “social liberals” who pretend to be fiscal conservatives. Ready to give every Federal worker and most everybody else a day off, irrespective of the colossal expense to the economy at large, never mind the taxpayers and businesses, Rivera is willing to ignore all of that in order to buy votes.  As if to further the absolutely idiotic meaning of this proposal, he then offers it as a day of community service!  Does anybody believe that having abandoned paid “community service” for another day, the government workers would then spend this “free time” laboring on behalf of “the community? ”  Only the crudest idiot could buy into such a scheme, but then again, to whom do you think these social moderates make their appeals?   To those who would pay for such things?   No, these are aimed solely at those who would derive some benefit at a cost to others.

Only children or child-like minds are able to erect a wall of dissociation sufficient to separate policies from their fiscal costs, and yet this is the aim of every one of the self-described “fiscal conservatives” who abandon fiscal concerns at the first indication that they can use the treasury to buy votes with real or imagined social concerns as their excuse.  In the real equation from which they hide in abject fear and with loathsome evasions, one may be a fiscal conservative, or a social liberal, but one may never under any circumstance be both.

Truth in Advertising? Rove Creates “Conservative Victory Project”

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

The New York Times is reporting that long-time establishment insider and Bush confidante Karl Rove has created a new political action committee called “Conservative Victory Project,” an exercise in Orwellian doublespeak if ever there had been one.  Since there’s only the slightest hint of conservatism in Rove’s past, and since we know he has no intention of permitting real conservatives to win anything, sabotaging and undermining them at every opportunity, it’s laughable that he and Steven J. Law, (President of Crossroads GPS, President and CEO of American Crossroads, as well as former Deputy Labor Secretary under George W. Bush, among postings of lesser note) have combined forces in order to play a bigger role in selecting Senate candidates.  Breitbart is also reporting this as an effort to fully undermine the Tea Party’s influence, and as I and other conservative have long suspected, implied in all of this is the role Rove played in helping defeat various Republican Senate candidates in 2012.   Rove is part of the reason the GOP is a feckless, useless gaggle of insiders who do not serve their constituents, but more than this, he and his ilk are part of the reason conservatives continue to lose. It’s not accidental.

Let’s be blunt about Rove’s activities, and admit that he is no friend to conservatives. According to the Times article’s opening lines, the “Conservative Victory Project” is being created with a single purpose, and it isn’t conservative victory:

“The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.”

With the Times inserting the descriptor “far-right,” what we’re really talking about is mainstream conservatives, who are regarded by the New York Times as extremists.  Less obvious is that Rove and his band of merry moderates see conservatives in precisely the same way, substituting their own version of statism for the concept of conservatism.  It became plain to me that this would be Rove’s direction once he appeared on Fox News this week to explain conservatism in terms solely of fiscal and economic considerations.  He’s trying to re-cast “social moderates and fiscal conservatives(a contradiction in both ideology and terms) as “conservatism” (Full stop.)  By claiming the mantle of conservatism as their own, the hope is to scavenge and cannibalize the unaware and uninformed who tend to follow the Republican crowd, but who are not exactly devoted students of political philosophy or ideology, and so may not realize that there can be no such thing, in fact or in logic, as a “fiscal conservative and social liberal/moderate.”

As Ben Shapiro, writing for Breitbart explains, much of this is Rove’s fight for relevance and credibility in the wake of the 2012 disaster:

“But victory for conservatives isn’t Rove’s goal. He’s a political insider par excellence, and he’s playing for his political life in the aftermath of 2012. If that means declaring war on the Tea Party, so be it. “

Rove once thought to use the Tea Party, but when they didn’t particularly respond to his strategy, he decided they were more trouble than they were worth.  His decision to submarine Christine O’Donnell was a calculation in favor of demolishing the Tea Party, and from that point forward, Rove has done nothing but undermine actual conservatives at every turn, while propping up long-time DC insiders and establishment hacks. Rove represents the well-heeled, nanny-statist wing of the Republican party, a group of people who generally feel more at home among liberals than with anybody who meets the definition of “conservative.” Through various Super PAC activities in 2012, Rove and his friends spent more than a quarter-billion dollars in pursuit of their agenda.  They lost big, but only insofar as their candidates lost.  What they succeeded in doing was to assist a number of Republicans in losing, but more importantly, in putting up another place-holder into the Presidential nomination who they fully expected would not win, despite their fairy tales to the contrary.

Conservatives won’t be surprised at any of this, but what they must not do is to permit Rove and his pals to claim the label of mainstream conservatism, because they represent no such thing.  If Rove had any integrity, he would relabel his latest effort “the Moderate Victory over Conservatives Project,” or “The Mini-Dem Victory Project,” because the only win they’re likely to obtain is one against conservatives, particularly if they fall for his siren’s song again. Rove is poison to actual conservatism, and despite all the money and prestige, we should at last come to view him as a destructive force of the liberal faction of the Republican Party.  He doesn’t speak for conservatism, he doesn’t like conservatives, and he would rather that Democrats win than to let actual conservatives achieve victory.  After all, if he can see the defeat of a few conservatives in traditionally red states, he may be able to defeat the Democrat with any old RINO in the next cycle.  Consider Indiana the model, as you can bet that come 2018, he’ll have Mitch Daniels or some other popular Hoosier-State moderate ready to challenge the first term Democrat incumbent who his pals in Indiana helped to defeat Richard Mourdock.

As Breitbart’s article points out, they’re after Steve King(R-IA) who they will try to paint with notions of extremism.  It’s the Rove way: Attack and defeat conservatives so their former seats can be later back-filled with GOP establishment types.  The “fiscal conservative and social moderate” schtick of the GOP establishment is a demonstrable loser, and only Rove and a few like-minded DC insiders seem unconvinced by that fact.  We mustn’t permit them to lead conservatives astray once more.  It’s time to send Rove packing.  He’s the persistent architect of conservative defeat.

 

 

Obama Preparing for Second Term Rampage

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Readying His Assault

I hope conservatives are up for a battle, because they’re about to find themselves in one.  President Obama will waste no time attacking Republicans, particularly conservatives, as he intends to go for the throat on guns through a legislative agenda.  As I reported to you earlier, David Plouffe is telling the press that Obama has the votes for some kind of gun control measure in Congress, but if you think that all there is to this is some sort of political prognostication, you’re in for a surprise.  It’s time to get proactive, so I’m going to tell you what I think the Democrats and their leftist cabal intend to do.  You will remember that President Obama said in his speech on “Gun Violence Reduction” that pressure should be put on Congressional members from districts that don’t ordinarily favor such measures. Don’t doubt that this President is now preparing to lay siege to your liberties, and that the next four years will make the last four seem almost pleasant. He’s readying his forces, and they’re now ready to attack.

Let me tell you what I believe they are planning, because the left is nothing if not well-organized and shrewd.  They mean to make it very difficult for your House members to stand, and they intend to make a spectacle wherever they are able.  Between now and whenever the legislation already sitting on Feinstein’s desk is brought to the floor of the House, Obama expects that various members of the Republican caucus in the House will go home at some point to hold town hall meetings with constituents.  Remembering the effectiveness of such events when used against Democrats in 2009, on the subject of Obama-care, you can expect leftist groups to fill these town hall meetings in order to put on embarrassing shows from which the previously steadfast members will quickly retreat to contemplate surrender.

This must be prevented, but since town hall meetings should happen, there being nothing wrong with that form of communication with constituents, we must flood the meeting places with our own number, and be prepared to loudly jeer any gun-grabbing malcontents.  Most of these members will only take questions from their own district’s constituents, but that won’t stop the left from simply lying about their residency.  While we shouldn’t lie in order to ask questions of congressional members in whose districts we do not live, there is nothing that says we can’t loudly jeer leftist questioners irrespective of their residency.

It’s hard to make a good YouTube moment out of an attempt to ambush some congressional member with some set-up question if the moment it becomes plain what you’re up to, the rest of the crowd loudly voices its disbelief and disapproval.  If you want to know at least part of what Obama’s minions plan, you should expect variations of this sort of thing.  More, your members should be forewarned of this potential and be prepared to answer idiots with the answers they deserve, while remaining respectful and clear-headed about the intent behind the questions.  A community agitator like Obama will never miss an opportunity to make the most of such situations, but being prepared for the onslaught is the best way to blunt its impact.

The other thing we ought to consider, particularly those of you who live in districts where members are so-called “blue dog Democrats” is that you have a similar opportunity.  In fact, there’s nothing that says a Democrat shouldn’t have to answer your pointed questions about a gun control agenda, and if the members’ answers are asinine, there’s no reason they shouldn’t get a verbal dose of your ire.  After the left got pasted with the negative coverage from town-hall meetings in the summer of 2009, they immediately recognized the value of the tactic and began to try to turn tables on the Republicans.  They met with mixed results, but they haven’t given up, and on an issue so fundamental to the political divide in this country, you can bet they will be putting maximum effort into their propaganda operations.  You shouldn’t permit it, and only your presence at such events offers the chance to deny them their propaganda victories.

Expect them to go so far as to haul out children, and tempt you to “boo” little kids asking their congressional members a question about school shootings.  I’m telling you that the left will stoop that far, and if any Republican member thinks he or she may be unable to withstand such tactics, they ought to quit and go home.  Again, the members must be forewarned, and prepared to answer carefully and respectfully, and the way we can blunt such things is not to jeer children who have obviously been put up to this garbage, but to cheer the members who manage to fetch a proper response from the pits of their bellies.

Of course, Obama won’t stop with these sorts of tactics, but given his predilection for conflict engineering, you should expect the worst.  To pretend that liberty is not under siege in America is a dangerous self-delusion we cannot afford, but there is nothing yet etched in stone that demands our capitulation, and it’s time we began to make our presence felt once again.  Obama will not cease, so it must be accepted from this moment forth that we will need to man the ramparts of freedom from now until he leaves office.  We must prepare Republicans for the onslaught lest they surrender liberty on our behalf.

Naturally, gun control is far from all that is on Barack Obama’s agenda, as he is still seeking some kind of comprehensive immigration reform that will doubtless consist of amnesty, however they will disguise it. As you know, he’s already taken a number of measures through the use of executive orders in a constitutionally questionable fashion, but now he wants to cement this into law so that a future President couldn’t just as easily undo it.  For those who come to think of this as one of the issues where Republicans must modify their position in adjustment for changing demographics, I’d beg you to reconsider.  Many of the people presumed to be the target of this legislation are in fact opposed to it.  What conservatives must by now recognize is that attempting to pander on this issue is more likely to lose them support than to gain any.

Once again, the media will be compliant, and since the RINO wing of the party is much in favor of this, there may be no way to stop an aggregation of liberal Republicans and the Democrats in Congress from pushing legislation through in the same manner as the fiscal cliff deal was passed.  As all of this goes on, we’re hurdling toward another moment for choosing, when Republicans will be compelled to decide whether to stand on principle or abandon them over the Debt Ceiling.  There are already many rumblings suggesting the leadership is looking at surrendering on this issue again, and if so, it will mark the death of a viable Republican majority in the House, at least with the current cast of characters.  Obama knows this, and will push the House Republicans to a sudden fracture.

Part of Obama’s tactic is to carry on as if he has every advantage, and to pretend as though he’s winning every argument, but whatever the weak-kneed Republicans in the House may do, you mustn’t concede the point.  If true character is revealed in moments of crisis, may we find the best within us now, for America is slipping into a deepening crisis, but if it is to be saved, it will be done by the tireless exertions of patriots who will not permit themselves to fail.  Obama will now raise the stakes, and we must contest this all the next four years with a resolve that would make our founding fathers proud.   We mustn’t permit the greatest country mankind has ever known to slip easily through our fingers.  It’s for all the marbles now, and anything less than our best effort may well end in disaster.

Obama’s preparing. Are you?

Escaping The Party-Trap: The Liabilities of Low Information Republicans

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Cheering for the Team

Rush Limbaugh has popularized the discussion of “Low Information Voters” who dutifully go to the polls on election day to throw the levers as instructed by the talking heads of the Democrat party, but the truth is that we on the so-called “right” face a similar challenge with many Republicans, who hold with that party due to tradition, momentary fad, or simply because it’s what their friends are doing.  In many cases it simply comes down to their disgust with Democrats, an understandable feeling that would drive sane people to vote for virtually anybody else.  This is all a result of what I term the party-trap, and it causes people to defend and support candidates, ideas and policies with which they would never align had they been asked to choose from an infinite range of possibilities.  This is the intention of GOP party bosses and insiders, who wish to leave you with a narrowed range of choices among which their chosen candidate will be left standing as the only “obvious” or “inevitable” choice.  They don’t mind if you see their candidate as the lesser among evils, so long as you show up and vote for them.  It is in this way that the Republican Party has gone from a mildly conservative party to a reliably liberal one, not in its speeches, but in its actual legislative and executive endeavors, but it’s only possible because we have permitted too many of our own to become Low Information Republicans.

The whole notion of party identification is to associate candidates, ideas, and policies with a party, such that if the party is seen in a favorable light by a given voter, he will tend to choose that party irrespective of the concretes involved with the specific choices at hand.  In 1994, after the Republican revolution led by Newt Gingrich, there was an entire sea-change as many long-time Democrats saw the hand-writing on the wall, resigning that party to join the Republicans.  Did they change their firmly-held beliefs overnight, or did they simply change labels according to the shifting tide in favorability in party labels?  Here in Texas, I can certainly tell you that a large number of politicians who jumped from one to the other didn’t change their ideas in the least, and we witnessed newly-minted Republicans who continued to advance policies that looked precisely like those they had advanced when they were still Democrats.  It is for this reason that I think when a politicians switches party, he or she ought to immediately face the electorate to confirm their continuance in office. It’s not that I wish to punish those politicians who have a real change of heart, rare though they may be, but that I wish all the others to face up to the electorate and explain their change, and what views they’ve adapted or changed. Otherwise, it looks a good deal like being traded from the Yankees to the Dodgers, where the only determinate factor in loyalty is the matter of who is paying the wage.

Too often, our own ostensible support is hooked into those party labels without regard to what they mean or represent. In too many instances, this is because the labels have come to mean precisely nothing.  This is how we arrive at the bizarre spectacle of Jon Huntsman Jr. seeking the nomination for President as a Republican.  Huntsman’s disagreements with the Republican Party platform are so thorough and so deep that I cannot imagine how he sees himself as even remotely eligible, but the same can be said for other liberal Republicans like Chris Christie, or Colin Powell or Jeb Bush.  These are not Republicans insofar as the party’s platform would describe one, never mind conservatives, yet these are the sorts of people who seem to crop up as our national choices, and with increasing regularity and unfailing precision, we seem always to land on the most leftward candidate that conservatives can somehow contort their intellects to support.

From there, it’s a piece of cake.  The Low Information Republicans, easily pushed by media and political strategists, go into full-throated support mode, and then there is no stopping it.  At that point, there’s such gravity in favor of the candidate that nothing short of a colossal and all-consuming scandal can stop them.  In 2012, I watched people I had regarded as conservatives based on their prior positions go into defensive mode on behalf of Romney-care.  Ladies and gentlemen, there is nothing about Obama-care’s pilot program in Massachusetts to defend, particularly if you’re even vaguely conservative.  I listened to self-described “conservative Republicans” explain to the electorate with unabashed loyalty to the party, but not their purported principles that Mitt Romney’s more liberal decisions taken as governor owed only to the liberal environment in which he was operating, as though this would be some sort of assurance that once he landed in that statist Mecca that is Washington DC, he would somehow there find reformation to something approximating conservatism.  It was gob-smacking.  Worse, all through the country among Low Information Republicans, I watched as people desperate to unseat Barack Obama abandoned all reason and actually concocted some formula by which to call Romney a conservative!

Those of us who had thought Romney the worst possible choice (excepting only Huntsman) dutifully went to the polls with the singular motive to oust Barack Obama, but we were not fooled about who Mitt Romney was, and we certainly had no intention of carrying water for him.  In point of fact, many of us were on the fence as to whether we would vote for him at all.  I don’t believe there was more than one chance in one-thousand that Romney could defeat Obama, and I said so all through the long primary season during which he was consistently portrayed as the “inevitable nominee.”  The problem is that for Low Information Republicans, this “air of inevitability” became a sort of self-fulfilled prophecy to which at some point, most Republicans inevitably surrendered.  This is why we mustn’t adhere to the notion that to get somebody out of office is our most pressing objective.  If we had succeeded in pushing Obama out and getting Romney in, what would we have gained?  A slightly less-virulent big government?  Electoral success cannot commence with the self-deceptive idea that a candidate can win by default.

Ladies and gentlemen, if party labels are to have any meaning, the candidates, ideas, and policies of that party must be firmly rooted in some sort of ideological bedrock from which we will not retreat.  The dangerous phenomenon of Low Information Republicans must be demolished, not by name-calling or brow-beating, but by a real and thorough effort to educate our target audience.  So many who vote Republican cannot tell you why they do except in terms of their opposition to Democrats, and when left in the position of defending one of the liberal or so-called “moderate” Republicans, they engage with the same fervor as their Democrat counterparts who defend Obama, and from the exact same ideological vacuum.  Ideology is a dirty word to many, but ideology is merely an expression of the fundamental principles underlying one’s proposals.  If one cannot describe his or her ideology, they’re offering a blank slate onto which anything conceivable may be drawn, and it is by this method that the Republican Party has moved unmistakably leftward.

It’s our job to explain the ideology we conceive as being “conservative,” because left to others, the entire question will be abandoned, dismissed, and evaded in order to continue the process by which voters are subsumed into the party without any identifiable, rational cause.  This party-trap is fueled by people who have no actual interests in policy discussions, but are instead motivated by such faulty drivers as “popularity” or “prestige.”  They speak in riddle-like terminology about “compromise,” “moderation” and “flexibility” without explaining what these will mean in concrete policy implementation.  The more troubling part is that too many ostensibly on our side will accept it.   These are the same Republicans who cannot really explain why they dislike Sarah Palin, except in terms of leftist attacks in the popular media culture. They’re like the cheerleader section of the Republican Party.  They don’t know why they’re cheering, except that “their team” is involved so that whatever that team does, it must be good, right?  I think this business begins in High School, where no person would consider publicly supporting a rival team, or even contemplating the nearly unlimited alternatives.  One team.  One. That’s all they’ll permit themselves to see. It will be up to us to show them something different.

I realize that many of our Low Information Republicans are simply people who are too busy in their lives to take on much more, trying to keep businesses afloat, keeping the family farm alive, or merely concentrating on local politics where statism is likewise on the march, but the truth is that much of it is intellectual laziness predicated on the false hope that somewhere, somehow, some one else is fighting on their behalf.  You might be astonished at how many Low Information Republicans actually exist, and how dependent the GOP is upon their votes, but as you may have guessed, not nearly all of the people consumed with the idiocy in our popular culture are liberal, leftwing Democrat Low Information Voters, although admittedly, that number is embarrassingly high.  What I hope is that we who study the issues, make the arguments, and engage in the political discourse are willing to make our case, not merely to one another, and not only to our friends, but particularly to these Low Information Republicans because if we are to avert the rise of faulty candidates, we’ll need greater numbers of those who by sheer ideological immunization against them are no longer persuaded by superficial cheer-leading.

The elections season of 2014, and just beyond it, the next presidential cycle in 2016 are racing toward us, though with Obama in the driver’s seat, it seems torturous and slow. It’s time now to give some thought to where we have been racing, and and whether the lame horse that is the GOP can be rehabilitated, or instead should be put out to political pasture.  We won’t be able to accomplish either if we’re outnumbered by Low Information Republicans, but as we stumble around in search of a viable course of action, we’re in danger of being led into another losing effort, and it will be made with the voting support of those least aware of our current predicament. If we’re not careful, they will overwhelm us by the sheer force of their numbers. How many conservatives spent some of the last primary season scratching their heads over the absurd pronouncement of fellow Republicans?  If we’re to avert that sort of catastrophe, we must begin now, advancing our position by making our arguments and refusing to defend bad decisions and policies of the past on the basis of supporting the team.  One unmistakable message of the primary season of 2012 is that we ought not spend so much time worrying about Democrats’ legion of Low Information Voters.  We have enough of our own to keep us busy for a long, long time.

 

Colin Powell’s Feckless Attacks on Conservatism

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Voice of Reason?

The only thing worse than a has-been is one who won’t acknowledge that status and simply fade away. Former Secretary of State and general Republican malcontent Colin Powell has for two presidential election seasons endorsed Barack Obama over moderate Republicans who ought to have been to his liking. Since Powell desires nothing more than to avoid the charge of hypocrisy because he rose to prominence due in part to misguided policies of affirmative action, and since he is obsessed with maintaining his allegedly “moderate” position, I think it’s time for him to leave the Republican Party.  It’s not that I care about the Republican party so much that I desperately wish for him to leave it, as it is the fact that this ideological garbage-receptacle is hauled out by the media as some kind of authority on Republicans and conservatism, as though despite his last two endorsements, he could possibly preserve any credibility with those who fit these approximate descriptions.  Colin Powell is a fraud, but the media gives him airtime precisely because it’s his goal to damage conservatism in exchange for positive press.  In the venue that is the study of political philosophy, Colin Powell is a circus madhouse of self-contradictory posturing who provides a good deal of haughty noise but evinces no substance.

Consider this video as the latest exhibit in evidence of my thesis:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ8ZWWceTL0]

Seldom will you see aggregated in such a fashion the grotesque spectacle of a mind at war with itself.  Contrary to what some might assert, this does not make the former Secretary of State “thoughtful,” but merely muddled and confused like a football player who’s taken one-too-many shots to the head.  There is no virtue in his convoluted positions, to the degree they are discernible among the loosely connected philosophical wreckage, but let us imagine that we were to seriously consider the things this man has said, and so examine them in light of the facts.

Let us examine his claim that “there is a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party.”  The first “evidence” he goes out of his way to offer as evidence is a statement by Sarah Palin about President Obama’s “shucking and jiving” over Benghazi, suggesting that this was a racially-tinged statement.   Apart from the fact that Governor Palin has never exhibited the first inclination to racism, apparently, Colin Powell believes that phrase has been used exclusively to describe the behavioral pattern of blacks held in bondage during slavery, and through the pre-civil rights era.  That’s an utter falsehood, but leave it to Powell to be so racially tuned as to mind-meld with the crowd which professes these myths to our youngsters on college campuses around the country.  A “moderate Republican” such as he takes the opportunity to attack Sarah Palin for alleged racism in the party?  I think it is only through the lens of focused, narrow-minded racism that one could begin to assert such an underlying motive on her behalf due solely to the choice of that phrase. In truth, the term “shuck and jive,” despite its ancient origins, is exactly as racist in contemporary terms as the pronouncement of our President’s middle name, and for precisely the same dishonest reasons.

Three times during the course of this interview, Powell couldn’t wait to push the immigration mantra of the GOP establishment, and it boggles the mind that any person, least of all Colin Powell, doesn’t understand the grave national security risks in the continuance of our current open-borders policy.  Here is a man urging Republicans to bend to the pragmatism of changing demographics while he continues to push for acceleration in that change.  Does he seriously expect to win an argument with right-thinking people who note wryly that far more people are murdered each year by illegal immigrants than by so-called “assault weapons” since that term of weapons classification became law in 1994? [1]

The problem is that Powell isn’t satisfied with a conservative party, or one even vaguely trending in that direction.  If you listen carefully to his litany of top policy priorities, it sounds like the platform of the Democrat National Convention, circa 1992.  Health-care, global warming, immigration, education, and the whole sorry statist menu is also his agenda.  Back in the mid-nineties, I called Rush Limbaugh’s show one day to offer my opinion, since there was much talk about Colin Powell as a potential GOP candidate in the upcoming 1996 election cycle, and I asked quite bluntly: “What’s the difference between this guy and Bill Clinton?”  Rush argued that he didn’t think we could say with certainty, but if that’s so, what must we now conclude?  Apart from the fact that it has been clear for most of the last two decades that Colin Powell is a Republican in precisely the same fashion that Ted Kennedy had been a Catholic,  sharing precisely the same devotion to bedrock principles, the simple truth is that he loathes the so-called “right-wing,” which is to say: Average, everyday Americans who make the country work.

Another key to Powell’s confused philosophy is his claim that we must “help those less fortunate than us.”  Who is the “us” he describes?  I think it’s clear that he’s referencing people he perceives as well-off, so that what you have here is another appeal for higher taxes on the so-called “rich.”  What Colin Powell obviously doesn’t understand is that many people who fit that description on paper are entrepreneurs who do not have vast wealth.  Being that Powell has seldom held a non-political job since at least the 1980s, it’s easy to see how a man captive to the DC cocktail party circuit could conclude that a certain gross income equates to a significant wealth, but I know individual filers with seven-digit gross incomes that wind up living on well under six figures in order to keep the business going, since the vast majority of that revenue is plowed into paying for employees, supply vendors, and capital investments in plant and equipment.  In other words, this is much less money than a General or a Secretary of State receives, even retired.

Colin Powell speaks of a disconnect between the Republican Party and its people, and if there was one idea he conveyed with which I can whole-heartedly agree, this would be this notion of a party disconnected from its base, except that his concept of this disconnect is exactly backwards.  As expressed through his critique of so-called “birthers,” one is left with the sense that the General is accustomed to top-down organizations dictating the course and the direction without input from the poor saps below.  On the matter of the so-called “birthers,” he asked:

“Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?”

General/Secretary Powell, has it occurred to you that the senior Republican leaders tried very hard to dismiss and discount the entire “birther movement?” Let us be honest shall we?

The left also calls those concerned with the eligibility of Barack Obama to the presidency “birthers,” but there is nothing inherently wrong, evil, misguided, or otherwise faulty about demanding that our politicians demonstrate their legal eligibility to office.  Why is it that Powell thinks this is somehow evidence of the great problems in the GOP?  What he ought to consider is that rather than being dismissive of the issue from the top down, had the party actually addressed the issue with diligence from the top, it would have been dispensed with in one way or another several years ago.  Instead, by acting to suppress the discussion as he insists they should (albeit apparently with insufficient vigor to suit Powell,) what happened instead was to keep the issue boiling without final resolution.

Powell is the sort of elitist who thinks that a political party is or ought to be like a military chain-of-command, but this neglects the distinctly populist view that has been the tradition of American politics since at least our founding.  The parties are conduits for the ideas and the will of their members, or at least that’s what they ought to be, and it’s the job of top party leaders to guide rank-and-file without trying to drive them like a herd, and to accept their input on the direction of the party, understanding that without them, there could be no party.  Part of what leads Powell to his mistaken conceptions of party structure is undoubtedly his military service, where one does as one is commanded, or else…  I think the bigger measure of his problem may be that he’s lived an insular existence within the Beltway of DC for thirty years, and he has come to believe that what he sees of the party in DC is representative of the party at large.  It isn’t, and it hasn’t been, despite the view one might develop on the cocktail party circuit.

Powell is a product of his political upbringing, and the pinnacle of his career’s successes came under two Presidents named Bush, but neither of them had been conservative, despite their strong inclinations to national security.  Both were Republicans of the mold to which Powell is inclined, which is to say that they remained in perpetual struggle with much of the base of their party over fiscal and social policies, because the Bush family is not comprised of conservatives with moderate leanings, but instead moderates with a bare few conservative notions.  If Powell is right about anything, it is that sense he expresses that he doesn’t belong in the Republican party, not because it has moved rightward as he asserts, but precisely because it hasn’t.  It’s because he and his ilk have moved instinctively leftward, away from the mainstream of those who consider themselves to be Republicans, never mind conservative.  Powell’s conceptualization of Romney’s 47% remarks may have been the giveaway, because Powell and his moderate friends are intent upon increasing that number given their continuing commitment to growing the welfare state.  If Republicans had a party leadership worth a tinker’s dam, they would call Powell aside and tell him to pack his bags, and move with deliberate energy to the other side of the aisle.  If this is an example of our alleged “friends” in the DC Republican elite,  truly, who needs enemies?

The one thing Powell’s interview makes plain is that he’s out of touch, and mortally so, with those who comprise the vast bulk of Republican voters, whatever their party identification.  It’s absurd to believe as Powell does that the whole of the party should rush to seek his favor.  Why should they?  What would such a surrender to his leanings gain for them?  An endorsement of Joe Biden in 2016?  Thank you, no.  I’d just as soon General/Secretary Powell depart the Republican party, or anything else even vaguely related to the concept of conservatism.  He’s not our friend, and offering him authority to speak for the Republican party merely provides him a platform from which to aggrandize himself, but nothing more.  I think we who are conservatives, and have been the lifeblood of the Republican party have had quite enough of this sort of paternalistic counseling.  Leave already, General Powell!  The elephant in this room is wearing a general’s stars, but it might do the retired Secretary of State well to understand that if the Republican party is broken, it is because he and his moderate friends have been running it for a generation or more.  Add to this his malignant misunderstanding of conservatism, and it’s well past time Powell is discharged.

 

1.]According to FBI statistics, in 2010, there were 348 murders with all rifles, which includes so-called “Assault Weapons” but also includes ordinary hunting rifles.  At that rate, it would take a decade to equal the number of murders by illegal immigrants in a single year.(click to return)

Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together Again

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Too Fractured?

The Republican establishment has done all it could to fragment and divide the Republican Party.  Divide and conquer is part of their strategy. In each election, they are willing to let Republicans lose who do not fit the mold of their moderate visions.  Conservatives are told to go along, and to shut up besides.  Worst of all, different factions within conservatism are beginning to follow the cues of the GOP establishment.  Conservatives of various descriptions should understand that we mustn’t permit the establishment to blame conservatism, whether they point their finger at economic conservatives,  Tea Party constitutionalists, social conservatives, evangelicals, or any other element within the broader description of conservatism.  This is part of their strategy to divide us.  Please don’t fall for it.  Instead, I’d like you to look at the GOP establishment, where the blame really rests, and consider what it has meant to all of conservatism to be led by a pack of moderates who behave as a fifth column for the left.  We may never put Humpty-Dumpty together again, but I ‘m not certain we should try.  Instead, I want all of the subsets of the greater universe that is conservatism to examine how the Republican establishment has betrayed all of us, and we can’t win with their divisive approach.

Let’s examine this thesis a little more closely.  I’d like to see if I can demonstrate my point to the broader audience that is conservatism.  Let’s identify some sub-groups, and how their most important issues are being thrown overboard by the GOP establishment:

  • Fiscal conservatives are being told that “we can raise taxes a little on the upper brackets.”
  • Conservatives in general are being told that “we must be open to comprehensive immigration reform.”
  • Social conservatives are  being told that “we must be more open to the gay rights agenda.”
  • Evangelicals are being told that “abortion, contraception, and related life issues are killing us.”
  • Liberty-minded conservatives are being told that “we may have to make some compromises on gun control.”
  • All conservatives are now being told that “Obama-care is the law of the land [and we’re going along.]”
  • All conservatives are being told that “we need to become more inclusive”[while they ditch and fail to support Love and West.]

Which division or subset of the conservative base of the party has not been betrayed by the GOP establishment?

During the primary season, we were told that Mitt Romney was inclusive, Mitt Romney could appeal to independents, he would do well among Hispanics and the LGBT community, and that incredibly, he would do well among minorities in general.  We were assured repeatedly that this sort of moderate candidate could reach all of these independents, but the results of the election tell a completely different story.  We did not make even a slight dent in the so-called “gender gap,” the minority gap, the gay rights gap, or any other discernible subset of so-called “moderates” or “independents.”  Why did that fail?  Why was Romney’s alleged draw insufficient?  The answer is rather simple, and I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: You cannot win by trying to out-liberal the liberals.  They will beat you because this is their game, and they are professionals at winning it, but more importantly, they will rush to point out how you’re effectively endorsing their positions anyway.  Biden did this during the debate with Ryan, and sadly, Ryan had no effective answer.

What you might conclude from this is that the Republican party is hopelessly lost, and I would agree inasmuch as under the current direction and “leadership” offered by the establishment, there is no way to repair the fault-lines splitting the party apart.  Let’s be honest about it:  Conservative positions on a per-issue basis are winners across a broad spectrum of the electorate.  I think we need to engage the various subsets of conservatism and ask the simple question: What one issue is the absolute deal-breaker for you?  Are there more than one?  I suspect there may be, but let’s be honest with ourselves and one another about what that list of issues looks like.

I don’t like the fact that evangelicals have decided (broadly)to take a powder.  I don’t like the fact that social conservatives are splintering away.  I detest the fact that the Tea Party wing of conservatism has felt rejected and put-upon.  In fact, as I go through the list, the thing all of the subsets of conservatism have in common is this: The GOP establishment is out to mute them.  Some may put a priority on one issue over another, but in a broad and general sense, most of these subgroups within conservatism agree.  The problem may be that we’ve been too willing to cast a subgroup of which we are not constituents overboard.  “Throw the evangelicals overboard.”  “Ditch the Tea Party.”  “Get rid of the social conservatives.”  No, if we fall for this ploy, we’re trapped like suckers in a game we cannot win.

In order to obtain electoral victory, we will need to define ourselves rather than letting the media or the establishment define us.  We’re going to need to find away to create a working coalition that is large enough to capture the White House. We will either do this or die as an electoral force.  We can’t deny that the one thing the Democrats and their cohort groups never do is permit themselves to be split.  The GOP establishment’s tendency to compartmentalize conservatism so as to better control us means we’re going to need to defeat and discharge them from leadership, or abandon the Republican Party altogether. We have four years to have our act together, but truly a good deal less, and it’s time to acknowledge that the leadership of the Republican party on the national level is ineffective, disingenuous, and in all too many instances, the largest part of the problem.  The work begins now.  Let’s get going!

 

The GOP Has Figured Out the Problem: You

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Can it recover?

It shouldn’t be possible that we have people who invested in the neighborhood of one billion dollars for a return on their investment that amounts to exactly nothing.  These were the so-called “wizards of smart,” who knew how to guide Mitt Romney and the slate of down-ballot candidates to victory.  They’re the number-crunchers, the poll-takers, the marketeers and strategists who represent the consultancy who ran the electoral efforts of the GOP and associated groups.  All of it was allegedly aimed at getting Mitt Romney into the White House, and spend like mad though they did, the failures were massive by any measure.  What makes the whole thing more preposterous still is that five days after the electoral failure they helped to build, they’ve all figured out what the problem is, and they’re unanimous: It wasn’t them, their strategies, their marketing, or their polling models, but instead a single problem that none of them anticipated:  You.

It was the fault of the Tea Party, says Rove.  It was the fault of social conservatives says Erickson.  It was the fault of conservatives’ insistence on closing the border down and dealing with the illegal immigration problem before we commence any sort of immigration reform.  It was the fault of xenophobic conservatives who just don’t want to reach out to Hispanics, they said.  It couldn’t have been their messages, their advertising, their notions of the electorate, or even their candidates.  It was you.  Now that we’ve moved from a President who has spent four years blaming George Bush for his own failures, we will now spend the next two years at least with the Republican establishment’s intelligentsia telling us how the problem had been we conservatives, of varying descriptions. It’s worse than preposterous.  It’s maniacal.

We now know we have at least one Republican Congresswomen addressing the Spanish-speaking press, telling them that the problem with the Republican Party had been the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh.  Jeb Bush, says she, is a conservative.  If Jeb Bush is a conservative, I’m Adam Smith. Actually, I’m a good deal closer to Adam Smith.  The point is that the party is trying to repackage what it means to be a conservative, and along the way, there are several issues they’d like to dump:

  • Traditional marriage
  • Pro-Life Stance on Abortion
  • Illegal Immigration
  • Obama-care

Since they’ve yielded over the years on nearly everything else, what this suggests is that they wish to dump all associations with conservatism.  Sure, they’re still in favor of free markets and property rights in principle, but they can be flexible on those too. American sovereignty isn’t an issue for them either, since they don’t think it ought to exist.  States’ rights and the 10th Amendment are fine insofar as it goes, and with this crowd, you can bet it won’t be far.  No, there isn’t a principle in existence they won’t spit on or tweak if they believe they can somehow capture the middle but still scare you into showing up.  The problem, their wizards of smart assure them is that they’re not liberal enough.

Most conservatives I know are livid over this election, in part because of what it will mean for the country, but also in part because so many of them warned against nominating a moderate Republican of the establishment wing.  To know that Karl Rove’s view is essentially “you win some, you lose some – oh well, we’ll get ’em next time,” is enough to make most conservatives begin to experience dry heaves.

Like so many of you, I had wondered what could possibly account for this crushing defeat, but while we tend to focus on the Obama vs. Romney campaign, I think we ought to spend some time looking at what happened in the down-ballot races. The more I look, the more I become convinced that this election presented an opportunity for a purge of conservatives, and the GOP establishment capitalized on that opportunity.  I wonder how many members of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives never saw it coming.  Remember, the roots of the Tea Party go back to 2006, when there was widespread dissatisfaction with Congressional support of Bush policies and spending priorities, and the sense of general uncertainty about the growth of the deficit.

The one discernible constant has been that conservatives are to blame.  Idiots on the left blame conservatism for moderates’ bad policies, policies on which they would double or triple-down. Consider the whole sorry spectacle of Obama campaigning on the “unpatriotic” nature of the Bush deficits.  He’s quadrupled them.  Bush was widely criticized by conservatives for the prescription drug plan for Medicare, but he was widely criticized on the left also.  The difference is that those on the left would have spent more, much more, and all to purchase votes.  We conservatives get the blame for everything the moderates in the GOP establishment enact, but we generally oppose these things also.

In one sense, we deserve some of the blame since we helped elect these guys often knowing they were mush. The problem is that as the GOP establishment views it, this is a good opportunity to rid themselves of conservatives.  They will use this opportunity to push conservatives to join them, and in desperation, some will.  I think conservatives should think carefully about the notion of blaming one another.  Evangelicals are not the problem.  Tea Party and constitutional conservatives are not the problem.  Social conservatives are not the problem.  The problem is the GOP establishment, and it always has been. It’s when we let them set the agenda and the direction that Republicans lose or having won, blow the opportunity. If we’re ever going to save the country, I don’t think we have any choice but to walk away from the GOP. The Republican establishment will always displace blame and it will always land on us by association.  It’s time for conservatives to get out of the box.

The War Starts Now

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

...And then there were none

The War for the conservative movement starts now. I have now read reports that Allen West, Mia Love, and several other noteworthy candidates have gone down to defeat.  Let me be blunt: This is the result of having a moderate at the top of the ticket.  Fox News is already pushing the meme that the Republican party is too conservative.  Screw that.  I am sick and tired of the RINO news network telling me I’m too conservative.  I suppose if one views law and order, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and an efficient administration of essential departments of government to be too conservative, I’m guilty as charged.

Mitt Romney lost this election because he was unable to substantially differentiate himself from Barack Obama, and in two debates, along with the Vice Presidential debate, he and his running mate spent half their time insisting that they agree with Barack Obama on this or that.  Screw that.  I don’t agree with Barack Obama about anything.  Anything he says that would lead some poor, brain-addled sap to believe Obama agrees with me is simply the result of Obama’s attempt to conceal what he’s really about.  Sadly, with too many people in this country, that sort of dishonesty works.

Mitt Romney is a nice guy.  What is it they say about nice guys?  He’s a nice guy in precisely the sense that he offends no one, except the perpetually offended left.  They’re always pissing and moaning about something, and nice guy Mitt Romney is exactly the kind of sap upon which leftist descend like locusts to devour.  His “Obama is in over his head” schtick played like Milli Vanilli right after the lip-syncing was exposed.  For all his good traits, Mitt Romney was sorely ill-equipped to stand in and battle a fight with no rules.  His first mistake was to believe there are any. On national television, in a debate with Candy Crowley, he permitted Barack Obama to get away with a lie and use Crowley as the authority on the matter.  He stood there impotently, amazed that Obama would lie, and that Crowley would back him up on it.  That moment silenced Romney on Benghazi, and from that moment, he was doomed, irrespective of the great winds Hurricane Sandy and Cyclone Christie, although it’s certain that bit of sabotage didn’t help.  I don’t care what the blowhard New Jersey now claims.

Let’s be blunt.  We conservatives were led by the nose from one candidate to the next throughout the primary season.  First there were nine, but Pawlenty jumped out, and then Johnson was in, but he didn’t last.  Now, more than a year later, there are none.   They trotted one after the next out, and each one would rise a little before being sabotaged.  How many were there? Three-quarter dozen?  After a while, it seemed to me each had played their appointed role, and each got out of the way in turn.  I’m not interested in such candidates any longer.  I’m not interested in the moderates that result from these set-ups.  I am going to write my requirements for the next conservative candidate I will support, and I really don’t care about the Republican party any longer.  With an even narrower margin in the House, and with Boehner leading the retreat, we’re in deep doggy-do.

We need a new party, and we need it now.  Does anybody know how to go about building one? I have no confidence in the ability of the Republican party to be an effective force in politics any longer.   I know this:  We must define what it is to be conservative.  We must make clear what positions a conservative must take.  Some will whine immediately that a party needs to avoid being to rigid, and too narrow, but I disagree.  A party that has no defining principles, no bright lines, and no boundaries isn’t a party at all.  It’s a mob.  Mobs are too easily steered by the personality of the moment.  Instead, we need to become a party of clear ideas that make perfect sense and are easily accepted by most rational people.  We need to educate many of our fellow citizens who are the victims of a monopolistic education system that has become the indoctrination camp for the left.  We have much ground to cover.  We can’t afford to waste even one day.

We need a party, and while conservatives tend to be rugged individuals, we need to come to terms with a few basic tenets that define conservatism.  It’s time to start down the path of rebuilding.  The GOP needs either a complete overhaul, or to be scrapped and cannibalized for its useful elements.  It’s more important to start out right than to be consumed with victory in one cycle.  We can’t afford any more of this, and who knows?  If we create a dynamic party with dynamic candidates, there may be yet a chance to turn this all around, though it seems remote at the moment.  Coming events will cause change, as they must, but in order to be positioned to take full advantage of these events, we will need to think this through now, while the sting is still in this defeat.  It’s when we’re most capable of brutal honesty, and it’s time we conservatives had this discussion.

 

Oh, Let’s Not Fight…

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Let's Get Along!

Why should we conservatives become upset about notions like adherence to principles?  Why shouldn’t we simply vote for whomever we believe can win? Perhaps more importantly, why bother with winning?  Let’s simply just go along to get along!  It seems to work out so much better that way.  There are no arguments, and nobody gets upset, and we can all just be friends.  Who needs the divisiveness of politics anyway?  Let us blow unicorn kisses at one another, and shoot rainbows from our backsides and just be happy.  Perhaps we need to move away from all of these terrible ideas about individuality, principles of liberty, and so many of these other antiquated ideas that merely serve to keep us apart.  Naturally, to obtain this sort of ideal place, this realm of perfection in which everybody is happy, and everyone simply gets along, we’ll need to give up a few things lest we permit the temptations of greed and selfishness spoil it all for the world.  To that end, let’s go through a partial list of those untidy things we won’t be keeping in order to obtain this happy sort of Utopian happy-place full of happy-talk but no happy-meals.  Don’t you feel better already?  Can’t you feel the love?  Let’s find out.

Go ahead and pack up all of your guns and ammo and turn them in to the nearest office of the BATFE. They’ll be happy to take them, and then you won’t have to worry about gun laws any longer.  The gun laws will be whatever the government types want them to be, and we won’t have need to fight about it any longer.  See that?  One huge political issue solved, forevermore!  Isn’t it magical?  Isn’t it wondrous?  Aren’t we thrilled to have surrendered our rights and our principles all in the name of unity?  No, we’ve now reduced one less hassle from our lives, and one more source of potential lethality, but most importantly, a very big source of disunity.  We should all feel good about this, shouldn’t we?

We need to close down all blogs, all newspapers, all broadcast news outlets, and so on immediately.  Free speech simply upsets people and no implementation of free speech upsets more people than the press.  From now on, the news is whatever the government tells us.  You trust them.  You believe them.  Oh, it might be bad for a while as Obama’s still in office, but if we elect Mitt Romney, it’ll be fine.  Just you wait and see!  If we have to wait another four years to replace Obama, that will be okay too, and rather than spend all your time reading and watching and listening, you can simply accept what the officials of government tell you.  By now, we should be starting to feel those rainbows warming up in our bellies.

Let’s get rid of all this “search warrants” nonsense.  Law enforcement officers always act with deliberate and faithful motives, and never abuse us.  Let’s allow government to come and go from our homes and businesses as they please.  First, we’ll be safer, and second, we’ll get along so much better.  “Come on in! ”   This should be our attitude.  See how much more neighborly you feel already?

Vote? Why do we need to do that?  Voting is for illegal immigrants who want our stuff.  Why should we oppose that?  We wanted our stuff, so why shouldn’t they want it too?  Speaking of stuff, let’s dispense with this notion of property.  Let’s just get rid of it.  Whomever comes upon a thing may have it.  Just take it, it’s yours if you want it or need it.  Go on!  It’s better this way.  So much less conflict.  So much less strife.  Property rights aren’t necessary.

Yes, and while we’re at it, let’s get rid of this two party system.  Let’s replace it with a no-party system, and just have a government, and we can trust that the government will do exactly what it’s supposed to do, and no more.  We can send all of our money to the government too.  Let them feed us with our money.  Let them set the menu.  Michelle Obama is waiting to show you the finest in dining habits.  You won’t have to spend another moment deciding “what’s for supper” tonight.

Work?  That’s an outdated concept.  Why should anybody need to work in the 21st century?  Why should any person be moved by his nature to create the means of his own subsistence?  Why?  The means of our existence is virtually automatic nowadays, right? Why should one live in a mansion while another lives in a hut?  I think Barack Obama’s poor brother in Kenya should move into the White House and Barack can just as easily live in the hut.  What’s the problem?   We need more brother-love.  Are you ready to blow me a unicorn kiss yet?

Why do we need health insurance anyway?  Why not just go to the doctor when you are sick?  Why should you need to be worried about how to pay for it?  That would require you to work, and we don’t want that.  Doctors love being doctors, and nurses love being nurses, and they won’t expect payment.  Why should they?  No, it’s much better if we all sit around on our back-sides waiting to be fed, clothed, housed, doctored, and entertained.  Are you feeling the love yet?

Ladies and gentlemen, if you want any part of that, you’re on the wrong damned website.  If you expect me to blow you kisses because you’ve accepted a nominee in your party who is willing to participate in building the nightmare described above, you’re on the wrong damned website.  If you believe health-care is a right, or you believe that humans don’t have the natural right to self-defense by any means necessary, or you believe that property is something that gets in the way of human relations, you’re on the wrong damned website.

I did not create this website to be a pant-hoot-howl for Republicans.  I created this site to be a beacon for liberty, and whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Communist, if you expect me to keep mum about people in politics who are now disparaging our liberties, you’re on the wrong damned website.  You don’t want me to talk about Boehner’s betrayals? Tough. You don’t want me to mention Romney’s shortcomings?  Tough.  You don’t want me to mention the kind of things that your own party does to you when you’re not watching?  Too damned bad.  If you want that kind of world, you won’t find it here.  Seek your utopia of togetherness wherever you can.  There are plenty of Republican cheerleaders on the Internet.  There exists an endless array of Romney shills.  Just turn on Fox News.

To those of you who are interested in knowing who is screwing you today, and you want to know it even when they happen to have an “R” trailing their names, stick around.  The premise of this website is that we know the left is monstrous, buffoonish, and demonic.  Nobody here doubts that.  It’s a given. Why repeat it when there’s no novelty in it? It would be like prefacing every sentence in a conversation about weather with “the sun is our largest heat source.”  No, I do not wish to spend time talking about the villains in the Democrat party.

I find it much more fruitful to point out all the disguised villains in the Republican party, since there exists no shortage.  My object is to reverse the infection of the Republican party with the same disease, or if we cannot cure it, how to find a new host party, even if we must build it ourselves.  This is not MarkGoesAlongToGetAlong.com, but if that’s what you’re after, I say: “Go build it.”