Can America be Conservative?

You wouldn’t think so, if you listen to the MSM all the live long day. As far as that goes, the MSM Narrative is that one or two aged Christians are all that stands between us and the Progressive Utopia of $15 an hour minimum wages and daily flights bringing in foreigners who will be able to vote from age 16 on. On the other hand, 84% of the American people back a ban on late-term abortions – including 69% of those who identify themselves as “pro-choice”. In other words, this increasingly Progressive America has some how or another managed to latch on to a key aspect of Conservatism – respect for the inalienable right to life enshrined in both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. I fully expect a ban on late term abortions to happen before I die – and I expect that one day abortion will only be permitted when it really is crucial to save the life of the mother. The tide in America is set on pro-life. How did that happen?

Patience and charity played a huge roll. We can’t just change a person’s mind overnight. It takes a while – and you also can’t change a person’s mind if you’re being uncharitable to them…that is, condemning them, scorning them or otherwise indicating a distaste for them. While from time to time a rather zealous firebrand would come to the fore in the pro-life movement, it was pretty obvious that such people were (a) kinda shoved forward by an MSM which wanted people to think that pro-life people were like that and (b) they weren’t really representative of the pro-life movement.  It was hard to characterize the pro-life movement as bad when it was almost always people quietly praying and offering counsel and assistance to women in need. It was also rather crucial that being pro-life was, is and always will be to be in favor of not just something good, but something so obviously good that even the most inattentive can see the merit of your case.

Another case of us winning is on the gun control debate. When I was a kid, it was the “thing” as much as being pro-choice was. Of course everyone wanted strict regulation of guns. But by being patient and being charitable and being in favor of something that is obviously good – the right of people to defend themselves – the right to bear arms movement has triumphed. Oh, to be sure, our Progressives are still keen to take away the guns – but they are just as keen to provide federally funded abortion on demand, too…but they won’t get it and they dare not speak their desire openly, because they know the debate is over and they lost. Only in the very deepest blue areas of the country can Progressives proclaim their desire to have taxpayers pay for abortion and to confiscate all weapons. On the national stage, they have to be in favor of “choice” in abortion and “common sense regulation” of weapons.

So, as we can see, conservatism can win – we can conserve things; the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms. We can also conserve things like property rights, the family and the free exercise of religion, as well – but only if we go about it with patience and charity and carefully selecting our issues so that we are defending what is obviously good. Leaving aside family and the free exercise of religion, let’s use property rights as a means of illustrating how we’re doing it wrong.

At bottom property rights are the fundamentally conservative thing in economic policy. The right of a person to own what he or she makes or inherits is what we’re supposed to be about. But what we do is essentially winding up defending money – we do it by defending capitalism, as a thing, and the net result is that in the public mind, we’re defending those who have bags of money. And the really irritating thing about that is that while we’re in the public mind defending the wealth of robber barons we’re actually defending the wealth of Progressive billionaires who use their money to undermine the things we actually must defend – property rights, the family and the free exercise of religion.

We can’t win the fight to save property as long as in the public mind we’re defending billionaires and multi-national corporations. In point of fact, someone who has billions of dollars and a corporation as large as, say, General Electric is a negation of property. General Electric is a behemoth making a few people very rich. A billionaire doesn’t have property like, say, a farmer or small retailer has property. A billionaire has investments and interests and wants to defend them – and will use his wealth to ensure special dealing for his investments and interests (and large corporations do the same). A farmer just wants his farm to work. A retailer just wants his store to be profitable. Do you see the difference?

To win the fight to save property rights, we have to champion those who actually have property – not those who have buckets of money. In fact, we have to stand athwart those with buckets of money…because a key thing for us to conserve, if we are indeed conservatives, is the bedrock, “small r” republican concept that any great concentration of power is a danger to the Republic. Large amounts of money under control of one person or a few people are dangerous concentrations of power…just as much as any large government bureaucracy. We have to be seen as curbing the power of billionaires and large corporations – and our battle ground would be best defending small business operators and other small property owners against the regulations of government, often done at the command of large corporations and billionaires who are trying to use government power to protect themselves.

What I’m talking about is well illustrated by a proposal from Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to regulate soap – specifically, a requirement for soap makers to register with the FDA any time they change their ingredients. This will not adversely affect  large soap manufacturers – they only rarely change their ingredients and the economies of scale allow them to easily absorb the cost of new regulations. But small soap makers who can’t buy ten tons of their ingredients at a time and, at any rate, might just decide to, say, put a little more of Ingredient A into their soap can’t afford the freight. The big soap manufacturers are entirely behind this proposal – from Procter and Gamble to Revlon and everything in between…because they know full well it will drive a lot of small competitors out of the market, thus increasing their profit margins. We should be taking up the banner of the small operators against the big players…people will see, easily, that we are on the side of the good guys. And we’ll make our point that property rights are something worthy. A battle over this – and similar battles that come up – will allow us to cast ourselves as the defender of the little guy…and will show up Progressives like Feinstein and Collins for what they are: tools of the rich.

Other things that are obviously good can be defended, as well. The family, for instance. Don’t get wrapped up too much in some of the debates currently raging. They are trivial. But in Nevada the governor recently signed a law which empowers families to control the education of their children (it has to do with Education Savings Accounts which allow parents to easily save money to pay for private education). That is obviously good – in defending such a thing as that, we’re defending the ability of strong, responsible parents to be deeply involved in their children’s education, rather than having faceless and corruptible bureaucrats decreeing from on high what sort of education the kids will get. The difference here is not in attacking the public school system, which only allows Progressives to absurdly (but effectively) paint us as anti-education – we’re not attacking anything; we’re just empowering people to do for themselves, if they want. And in doing this we’re also defending family, as a thing. We’re not saying what is a family, at all – we’re just saying that families have rights and privileges that are worthy of defense. And that is a winning way to approach it – because no matter how crazy it gets out there, most families will remain what they have always been…mom and pop and the kids.  And in defending that, we’ll set the cultural stage for a revival of all the things which go along with strong, independent families. And into the bargain with our defense of strong, independent families is a death blow to Big Government: the more power we secure for families, the less power there necessarily will be for government to exercise. Think what happens to government mandates in education once, say, even 25% of the kids are being educated as their parents wish in institutions the government has no control over?

I guess if I had to nutshell it, the revival of a conservative America depends upon us finding the good things we want to defend, and then going out there an defending them without acrimony. People do wish to be fair  and if we’re defending what is fair, we’re going to win.

 

 

 

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55 thoughts on “Can America be Conservative?

  1. dbschmidt June 9, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Sleep easy Mr. Blogger. This is and always will be a conservative nation

    • M. Noonan June 9, 2015 / 11:21 pm

      True – but I’d rather it be on top and governing.

  2. Retired Spook June 10, 2015 / 9:32 am

    Something that has always puzzled me about Liberals is that the majority of them, at least the ones I know, live their lives in a fairly conservative manner. Now I’m not talking about activists or elitist leaders, but just your average, run of the mill, left of center folks. Most of these people talk the liberal talk but don’t walk the walk. They are global warming alarmists but make few, if any concessions in their daily lives that could be construed as helping “the cause”. They rail about helping the less fortunate but give far less to charity, on average, than Conservatives. They claim to support public education, but are more likely to send their children to private schools. The list goes on and on. What makes most Liberals liberal are their “feelings”, not their actions.

    • M. Noonan June 10, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      Also, the herd mentality – someone being viciously attacked is viewed, I believe, by most people as someone worthy of being attacked…at least to the point where those watching the attack don’t want to be seen as defending the person or idea being attacked. This is even more so when it appears that all the cool people are on the side of the attacker. It is much, much easier to go along than to stand against.

  3. Amazona June 10, 2015 / 10:10 am

    As long as we keep falling into the Liberal trap of defining politics by issues instead of by political philosophy, we are going to keep widening the gap between Conservatives and Liberals.

    We have seen here the fact that most people pick a side, politically, on nearly anything BUT political philosophy. Look at all the years I spent challenging Lib posters to explain their political philosophy. In all those years, one—-ONE—–could or would do so. The others either tossed out some platitudes—–“I am a Liberal because, you know, I like think that everything ought to, you know, like be FAIR,,,” or I would be attacked for various ranges and kinds of stupidity for thinking this is important. And if we choose to be sucked into the silliness of defining ourselves by our own buzz words, without having a solid base of objective political philosophy beneath them, we are always going to lose ground.

    The nation has sunk so far into political ignorance that people don’t even understand the concept of a political philosophy. We could start to turn this around by shifting discussions into talk about whether someone believes the federal government should have less power with more authority vested in the states, or if he believes the federal government should have unlimited power and scope, with very little power left to the people at the state level.

    Believe it or not, this is something that way too many people have never even considered. We as conservatives think we have addressed the issue when we toss out the term “state sovereignty” but we don’t explain it, we don’t tie it back into the Constitution, we don’t bring up the Tenth Amendment, we don’t talk about how much more power the CITIZEN has when power is shifted from DC to the states—-we do none of this.

    We feed this ignorance when we want to hear potential candidates debate on the issues and then include issues that are not even in the scope of Presidential, or Congressional, authority. Look at Rusty, just a couple of days ago, with his panties in a twist because a UNITED STATES SENATOR would not butt into Colorado state politics—-he simply does not grasp the roles the different levels of government are supposed to play, and WANTS a federal official to intrude into state government. I’m not sure if he even grasps the fact that there is a difference, or agrees there should be a difference.

    I think most people would prefer to have states having more control, and the only objection I have ever found (with one objection—-a Lib was adamant that the feds had to be in control of everything so everything in every state would be the same) has been money. The state could not afford to pay for the programs paid for by the feds. Well, if the federal government was restricted to only the duties enumerated in the Constitution, federal taxes would be less than half of what they are now, and states could tax more, to pay for programs and agencies they might not even decide to have once the discussions got down to the state level.

    These are POLITICAL discussions, which will never take place, even though they would result in many more people agreeing that they are Conservatives on a POLITICAL level, and agreeing that their issues need to be fought out and legislated at the state or even local level.

    • M. Noonan June 10, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      I think an important thing for us to do is to also take command of the terms of the debate – we should own words like “fair” and “freedom” and “justice”. It is, for instance, just plain and simple fair that parents should be empowered to easily save money for their children’s education – join that with a “long march” attitude (ie, whatever small things we can accomplish today are always done with a mind to how they’ll develope in 10 or 20 years) and we’ll eventually beat the left (in this case, by essentially creating a parallel education system to compete with and eventually replace the current public education system).

      • Cluster June 10, 2015 / 12:39 pm

        How about “education equality” by offering school choice and allowing inner city kids the opportunity to go to better schools?

      • M. Noonan June 10, 2015 / 2:14 pm

        Excellent phrasing – and we should use it, especially in the deep blue areas of the country where our liberals have utterly destroyed education. It won’t get us majority support in such areas, but it might boost us up from, say, 20% support in Los Angeles to 35% support…and that opens the possibility of us winning California Senate seats, as well as putting California back in play on the Presidential level.

    • rustybrown2014 June 10, 2015 / 1:49 pm

      Ama,

      “We could start to turn this around by shifting discussions into talk about whether someone believes the federal government should have less power with more authority vested in the states, or if he believes the federal government should have unlimited power and scope, with very little power left to the people at the state level.”

      This is a classic false dichotomy. You present your side as reasonable and the opposing side as hysterical. Nobody is for the federal government having “unlimited power and scope”. You’re not going to win anybody over by demonizing your opposition in such a simplistic way.

      Also, what’s wrong with issues? Issues are what people care about and rightly so. Issues affect their daily lives and the lives of their loved ones. War, health care, education, etc are far more important to most people than some kind of underlying political philosophy.

      • M. Noonan June 10, 2015 / 2:15 pm

        Name an area of human life where liberals don’t want Federal power exercised.

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 9:04 am

        Here is an example of how an invented issue with absolutely no relevance to the scope of presidential authority was inserted into a press conference. Rick Santorum was asked if he would “accept” support from Caitlin Jenner>

        Really? This is a legitimate question of a presidential candidate? The CNN “reporter” went on: “You accept their vote. But do you accept them? Do you accept her?”

        To a certain mentality, this may seem significant. But it is really an example of how far into the swamp the concept of “journalism” has sunk.

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 9:21 am

        “Issues affect their daily lives and the lives of their loved ones. War, health care, education, etc are far more important to most people than some kind of underlying political philosophy.”

        And here we have, in a nutshell, the ignorance of the LIV.

        Work backwards through this comment. It is the “underlying political philosophy” that dictates how the entire nation will be run, and it dictates (or should dictate) how those issues should be approached and legislated. War, health care, education, ARE very important—-but even more important is dealing with them properly.

        I think government-run health care is a very very bad idea. Setting aside the linguistic error of calling payment for health care “health care”, as if it is government officials doing surgery and prescribing drugs (a frightening next step) government is not very good at very many things. But, having said that, if voters want some degree of government participation in paying for health care, voters have every right to vote for that. Voters have every right to vote for representatives who will honor their wishes and legislate it. Big issue. Very important. Got it.

        The problem lies in the effort to make it a FEDERAL issue. Paying for health care for its citizens is simply not a mandated, enumerated, duty of the federal government, and therefore, as so clearly stated in the tenth amendment, it is something that falls to the states—-or to the people—-to deal with. Therefore, it should not be an issue for presidential candidates.

        Ditto for education. Ditto for abortion. Ditto for nearly every single issue that clutters every presidential debate, every election cycle, and the minds of every LIV and Lefty (sorry for the redundancy).

        So….with a clear understanding of one’s underlying political philosophy, the issues issue becomes clearer. That is, more power and authority rest with local government, and presidential candidates should be judged on their positions regarding the areas of authority granted to the office, and to the federal government. That eliminates the silly gotchas so beloved by “journalists” of the Complicit Agenda Media. And it allows us to focus on what is really important to know about a potential president.

        The state level is where almost all issues battles should be fought.

  4. rustybrown2014 June 10, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    Sorry Mark, that question is far to broad. And “liberals” as a general term? Which liberals? Me? Bernie Sanders? We don’t all lock step you know.

    • M. Noonan June 10, 2015 / 2:41 pm

      Just name an area of human life where you believe no liberal wants to have Federal government interference.

      • rustybrown2014 June 10, 2015 / 3:21 pm

        Legalized weed?

      • M. Noonan June 11, 2015 / 12:23 am

        But you still want to regulate it heavily. As far as I’m concerned, fire up that bong and have yourself a time, if that is what you’ve a mind to do.

      • Amazona June 10, 2015 / 7:39 pm

        Huh? Libs want the Feds involved in legalized marijuana? Guess I missed that memo.

        As for the “false dichotomy” whine, it is not false at all. Draw a horizontal line. (Take your time—we’ll wait.) Now put a short vertical line at the middle of the horizontal line, bisecting it.

        To the right of this vertical line is the philosophy that the Constitution is the law of the land, and we are bound by it. That is, that we live in a nation in which the federal government is severely restricted as to size, scope and power, and in which most of the authority is vested in the states, or in the people. In a belt-and-suspenders approach to clarity, the Founders laid out the enumerated duties of the Federal Government in the main body of the Constitution, and then added the 10th Amendment, which basically says if something is not stated in the Constitution as allowed to the feds, the feds have to back off because this is where the authority lies with the states. Or the people.

        Anyone who believes that the federal government has or should have the ability to go beyond the enumerated duties assigned to by the Constitution is to the left of that center line.

        You seem to object to the term “unlimited” yet once the decision to expand federal power has been made, there is always another degree of expansion waiting in the wings. Very few are going to admit that they want “unlimited” ability to expand the size, scope and power of the federal government, yet once the expansion is accepted it does seem unlimited.

        We have gone from a “temporary” fix for people who lost their retirement funds in the great stock market crash of 1929 to a permanent behemoth entitlement program which is only a part of a vastly (and apparently unlimited) welfare scheme that advertises for people to sign up and strives to keep people dependent on it indefinitely. Those on the left side of that center marker want the feds to make decisions that were always either personal or state initiatives, such as paying for health care, educating children, subsidizing housing, paying for food (and cell phones and tattoos and cars and luxury foods and cigarettes, etc)

        We have gone from a three part system of government—-executive, legislative and judicial—-to a four part system, adding agencies as a branch of government. That is, adding unelected people who cannot be fired, who have little or no oversight, who have vast control and authority without the slightest hint of legislation.

        Once we have moved leftward across that line, it is clear that it is easier and easier to move more and more, even if it is incremental, to expand the size, scope and power of the federal government. And it seems that any effort to rein in this expansion is met with Leftist hysteria. So “unlimited” is the right word to use. If you can find any limits on federal expansion, do let us know.

      • Amazona June 10, 2015 / 7:43 pm

        And just to be clear, capital-L Liberal refers to those on the political Left, while the word liberal still has vestiges of the original definition of the word. I think it is important to acknowledge the distinction between the two, as Liberalism is so illiberal it defies the very meaning of the word.

      • rustybrown2014 June 10, 2015 / 7:43 pm

        For Pete’s sake Ama, put on your glasses. Mark asked me for “an area of human life where you believe no liberal wants to have Federal government interference”, the exact opposite of your interpretation. Get a grip.

      • Amazona June 10, 2015 / 7:45 pm

        My goodness but you are a pissy little thing, aren’t you? Sounds like you missed your saucer of milk this afternoon.

      • rustybrown2014 June 10, 2015 / 8:08 pm

        I never miss my milk. It’s just annoying debating someone who interprets the exact opposite of what’s being said.

      • Amazona June 10, 2015 / 8:39 pm

        Thank you for acknowledging my position. You are right, it IS annoying. Given your hissy fit over my simple misreading of a couple of words, you must be empathizing like crazy about the frustration of trying to talk to you when you claimed that “making contraception easily available to all women” really meant “not making contraception easily available to all women”.

        Does this mean you are developing the ability to see another person’s point of view?

      • rustybrown2014 June 10, 2015 / 11:35 pm

        Can you point me to where I said anything remotely like that? No? That’s because I never said it. But you are right that I understand your position quite well.

      • rustybrown2014 June 11, 2015 / 3:32 pm

        Responding to Ama, June 10, 2015 / 7:39 pm –

        You are correct, I fall to the left of the center line in your example, but I reject your definition of “unlimited”. It’s simply false to equate the observation “once the decision to expand federal power has been made, there is always another degree of expansion waiting in the wings” with “unlimited”. Of course, further expansions are POSSIBLE, but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable, or even likely.

        I agree with you that bloat and bureaucracy in our federal government is a problem, and has a pernicious tendency to increase.

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 9:28 am

        Where do you draw your personal line on expansion of federal power, after you move to the left of center?

        Do you think the feds ought to have authority regarding abortion? Paying for health care? Supporting the indigent? Educating our children?

        Do you think the President should be able to bypass Congress and simply legislate from the Oval Office if he thinks what he wants is important and Congress will not go along? On everything? Or are there limits to what the President should be able to decide and implement on his own?

      • rustybrown2014 June 12, 2015 / 4:34 pm

        Ama,

        I don’t draw a personal line on the expansion of federal power, at least not in the pedantic, rigid way that you do, but neither do I think it’s unlimited. I believe the Constitution is a living document and I take things on a case by case basis. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Constitution is an amazing document and a great framework to adhere to, but I don’t think that any human prescription is going to last in perpetuity. The Human race is just too complicated for it to be so. I realize you think differently but that’s just my opinion.

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 8:06 pm

        “The Constitution is a living document” is one of the most annoying platitudes of the Left. The Constitution is a contract with the citizens of the United States, laying out in no uncertain terms what the federal government must do, can do, and cannot do. If you think a contract can be a “living document”—-that is, malleable and without a clear, objective, predictable form, then I wonder, as Spook often has, if you would buy a house with such a “living document” or even play poker if the rules can be taken “on a case by case basis”.

        The Constitution is not some charming but archaic artifact, to be looked upon fondly but set aside when it is not convenient. There is not one single thing the Constitution has failed to cover. It has clearly described the mandated duties of the federal government, it has set up a process by which it can be amended, and in its delegation of most authority to the states it has provided unlimited flexibility to address any issue that might arise—-at the state level.

        Sure, it would be helpful to have some terms defined, but who knew that terms commonly in use and part of the contemporaneous lexicon would NEED to be defined?

        You fuss about Mark not doing the research you seem to think should be done before he offers his opinions, yet you do the same thing here. I will give you some references, even some quotes so you don’t have to look things up, if you have a legitimate interest in learning about the stated intent of the Founders and their responses to some of the same challenges and arguments made today.

        This country was founded by, and the Constitution written by, men with an absolute commitment to creating a form of representative government which is governed by the people through their elected representatives, and which can never become the kind of massively powerful Central Authority fought in the Revolutionary War. The Constitution was carefully structured to keep most of the power and authority dispersed throughout the nation, in the various states, for that very reason. These men had seen the effect of centralized power and were determined to keep that from happening here.

        And when the Constitution is applied, it works. Boulder, Colorado, passed legislation saying that people do not own pets, they are caretakers for companion animals. That is fine for the Peoples’ Republic of Boulder, but it would be a terribly silly thing to have as a national law. One Size Does Not Fit All, and each state has its own set of unique problems and issues. What works best for Boston is not likely to be the best thing for Williston, North Dakota, and forcing national laws onto areas where they do not make sense is a deprivation of liberty. Moving authority from the states to the national level has the effect of decreasing independence and autonomy.

        It is a lot more economical to have an agency at the state level, created to deal with state issues, without an extra level of bureaucracy at the federal level, and it provides more control to the citizens most affected by any law. It is a lot easier to fire a state senator, elected from a specific district, than a federal senator elected statewide and all too often by a couple of population centers that may not have the same concerns as the rest of the state. (Colorado is a good example: It is mostly agricultural, but the population centers of Denver and Boulder can carry an election in spite of having very different needs than the rest of the state.) It is easier to fire a governor than a president. It is easier to provide oversight to welfare systems at the state and local level than having them administered from afar, by people with no dog in the hunt and no knowledge of the reality on the ground.

        There is only one reason to argue for expanding the size, scope and power of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and that is to concentrate power. And this only benefits those who seek power, while diminishing the power of the citizen. There is no downside to seeing the Constitution as an actual contract, the law of the land, to be followed as it was written—-anything anyone wants to accomplish can be accomplished at the state or local level if the citizens want it.

        One of the things I have noticed about those who claim “the Constitution is a living document” is that they have a very fuzzy idea of why it was even written, and what it was intended to accomplish. It takes a certain background into the formation of the country and the debates on how to govern this new country to be able to understand why the Constitution was written the way it was.

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 8:11 pm

        What is the difference between not drawing a line on the expansion of federal power and not having a limit to the expansion of federal power?

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 8:23 pm

        (emphasis mine…)

        “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
        -Benjamin Franklin

        “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
        -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

        “A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
        -Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

        “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
        -Thomas Jefferson

        “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”
        -Thomas Jefferson to Charles Hammond, 1821. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, ME 15:332

        “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
        -Thomas Jefferson, letter to E. Carrington, May 27, 1788

        “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
        -John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787

        James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, elaborated upon this limitation in a letter to James Robertson:
        “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

        In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
        -James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794)

        “…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
        -James Madison

        “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison, “Letter to Edmund Pendleton,”
        -James Madison, January 21, 1792, in The Papers of James Madison, vol. 14, Robert A Rutland et. al., ed (Charlottesvile: University Press of Virginia,1984).

        “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”
        -James Madison, Federalist No. 58, February 20, 1788

        “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
        -James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 9:55 pm

        In his farewell address, George Washington warned this country:

        “the spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers…in one, and thus to create . . . a real despotism .

        ….and….

        ” Let there be no change in the constitution by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

      • rustybrown2014 June 13, 2015 / 12:07 pm

        What is the difference between not drawing a line on the expansion of federal power and not having a limit to the expansion of federal power?

        Just semantics really. I don’t have any firm line which must not be crossed but can imagine particular scenarios (as I’m sure we all can) where the government overreaches. As I said earlier, I’m not in favor of “unlimited expansion” of federal power as literally understood.

      • rustybrown2014 June 13, 2015 / 12:08 pm

        Ama,

        First off let me say I’m not a Constitutional scholar and this area has been of little interest to me. I think you make some good points and I agree with some of what you say, but I just don’t see this as a pressing problem. It’s clear I’m not the originalist you are and still feel that we must have the flexibility of interpreting 200+ year old prescriptions to accommodate the unpredictable characteristics of the modern world. There were about 4 million people in a handful of states in when it was written, now we’re at close to 320 mil.

        For one thing, I disagree that state run programs are a priori more efficient than federal programs. At the risk of opening a fresh can of worms, Single payer is a much more efficient at managing health care reimbursement than is our current system. Medicare/Medicaid operate with greater efficiency than private insurance companies. Also, I think state programs like the one you mention are great and still thriving. I think there is still a very robust autonomy in the states, at least in comparison with other state systems.

        Since you see this as such an urgent concern, let me ask you what abuses are you specifically referring too?

      • Cluster June 13, 2015 / 5:54 pm

        I disagree that state run programs are a priori more efficient than federal programs

        Efficiency is not the entire reason for the State’s role. It was the intent of the Founders. And I believe their would be more efficiencies. Think of this way – the intent of the Founders was to create 50 laboratories of democracy under the protection of a federal government. The state’s should be competing with and against each other in education, healthcare, etc., and for private business and out of that competition we would see a more responsive and more efficient government. Competition improves everything.

      • Retired Spook June 13, 2015 / 12:52 pm

        Medicare/Medicaid operate with greater efficiency than private insurance companies.

        You’re kidding — right?

        Funded jointly by the federal government and the states, Medicaid provided health insurance to about 72 million low-income Americans at a cost of $431 billion last year, according to the report. By the Medicaid agency’s own reckoning, $14.4 billion of federal spending on Medicaid constituted “improper payments,” which include both overpayments and underpayments. That’s 5.8 percent of what the federal government spends on the program. The $14 billion figure doesn’t tally what states lose to bad payments.

        –snip–

        Part of the problem is that Medicaid in general “has not traditionally been very transparent, nor has it been very easy to see where the money goes,” the GAO’s Yocom says. Managed-care arrangements are even more difficult to monitor. “The visibility of what happens is once-removed, because of the managed-care entity itself.”

        Craziest of all, states aren’t required to audit the payments they make to managed-care companies, or the payments those companies make to medical providers. The GAO, in its drily ascerbic way, recommends they start.

        And as for Medicare:

        A four month “Nightline” investigation into Medicare fraud makes one thing perfectly clear: this is a crime that pays and pays and pays. The federal government admits that a staggering $60 billion is stolen from tax payers through Medicare scams every year. Some experts believe the number is more than twice that.

      • Retired Spook June 13, 2015 / 3:33 pm

        Rusty, two back to back, somewhat contradictory statements in your linked article struck me as the crux of the problem:

        So-called “competition” in the private health care market has driven costs up.
        .

        In most local markets, providers have monopoly power. Consequently, private insurers lack the bargaining power to contain prices.

        It would be interesting to eliminate the “so-called competition” (not sure what that even means) and just let insurance companies compete across state lines. I’m betting both administrative cost and insurance costs would drop.

      • Cluster June 13, 2015 / 5:40 pm

        I would like to see Medicaid/Medicare shift to the State’s responsibility with the hope of increasing efficiencies, and then deregulate the private insurance market and allow all companies to compete for everyone’s business in every state. If you open up the market, companies will begin to find their niche and soon there would be more affordable insurance with a wide array of policies and premiums to choose from.

      • rustybrown2014 June 13, 2015 / 4:15 pm

        I bet that would help, Spook, but doesn’t go far enough IMO.

      • rustybrown2014 June 13, 2015 / 4:17 pm

        Oh, and I’m guessing ‘so called “competition”’ phrase is sarcastic, referring to it being closer to monopoly rather than competition.

      • Cluster June 13, 2015 / 5:27 pm

        There is essentially no competition in the private health care market.

      • Retired Spook June 13, 2015 / 4:54 pm

        Rusty, you’ve awfully conciliatory in this thread. Are you feeling OK?

      • Amazona June 13, 2015 / 5:26 pm

        “… I’m not in favor of “unlimited expansion” of federal power as literally understood…”

        Well, the term “unlimited expansion” as it is LITERALLY UNDERSTOOD is “expansion without limits”. You think the Constitution should be expandable and you have no personal limits, no personal line you don’t think should be crossed. That sounds like a very literally understood definition of “unlimited” to me.

        “…Of course, further expansions are POSSIBLE, but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable, or even likely…”

        Name one expansion of federal power and scope that has not expanded.

        “First off let me say I’m not a Constitutional scholar and this area has been of little interest to me.

        Yet you have such strong, strongly worded opinions on government! If I had pointed out that you opine with no basis in fact or knowledge, you would have embarked on more of your insults and personal attacks, so it is nice to see you making the same point for and about yourself.

        “I think you make some good points and I agree with some of what you say, but I just don’t see this as a pressing problem.”

        Don’t see WHAT as a “pressing problem”? The erosion of our very rule of law? A federal government which has recently spun so far out of the orbit of Constitutional law that we have one branch of government declaring independence from the other two and simply creating laws on its own—–the very definition of tyranny? The death spiral of a nation plunged into unsustainable debt and economic failure due to this unilateral approach to government, in violation of the efforts of the Founders to prevent the establishment of a massively powerful Central Authority?

        From your posts you seem to find the real “pressing problems” to be the lie that the Earth is warming, the efforts of a conservative Senator to provide easily accessible and affordable contraception, and the idea that citizens, in their state and local governments, should have more to say about their laws than Washington DC. You sound like those Twinkies who say they think the “most pressing problem” in this country is if Jim can call Mike his husband, or the new meme of “income inequality”.

        ” It’s clear I’m not the originalist you are and still feel that we must have the flexibility of interpreting 200+ year old prescriptions to accommodate the unpredictable characteristics of the modern world.

        What “unpredictable characteristics of the modern world” could not be effectively addressed at the state and local levels? Or going through the process of amending the Constitution? Why do these alleged “unpredictable characteristics of the modern world” have to be addressed at the federal level, requiring a Constitution so shapeless and floppy it has no integral coherence or authority? What “unpredictable characteristics of the modern world” can be handled more effectively in a nation with no clear and objective rule of law or consistency? What, aside from the enumerated duties of the federal government, cannot be handled with adequate “flexibility” at the state or local level?

        “There were about 4 million people in a handful of states in when it was written, now we’re at close to 320 mil.”

        So? It seems to me that the more populous a nation becomes, the more essential it is that it is governed by objective laws consistently applied, and not open to “interpretation” on a “case by case basis”.

        Quite simply, you can’t discuss government without understanding government. You can find articles that resonate with you on an emotional level, for personal reasons, and you can react and emote and be quite passionate about how you FEEL, but without a foundation of understanding the foundation of our system of government you are merely expressing very superficial FEELINGS based on what you have been told.

        You, by the way, are not alone. You are obviously used to thinking of yourself as the smartest guy in the room, and your arrogance is quite obvious, but you are not unique in believing that being kind of smart and very eager to engage others in verbal fisticuffs (reserving the right to use brass knuckles when, as you say about your insults, the opponent’s statements “merit” such disdainful treatment) means you bring anything of value to the table. You and your fellow travelers don’t engage in discourse to exchange ideas and argue their merits, and possibly learn something along the way—–no, you seek out people who have different opinions and beliefs with the intent of beating them up, ridiculing them and harassing them and insulting them and berating them and in general acting like a verbal thug. This is what gets you off, not the satisfaction of engaging in a true discussion.

        But sure enough, when it comes down to knowing what the REAL issues are, the issues of how best to govern our nation, you finally admit you don’t know much about it and don’t care much about it, preferring to slug it out over Identity Politics and the silly and superficial.

      • rustybrown2014 June 13, 2015 / 6:14 pm

        Well, the term “unlimited expansion” as it is LITERALLY UNDERSTOOD is “expansion without limits”. You think the Constitution should be expandable and you have no personal limits, no personal line you don’t think should be crossed. That sounds like a very literally understood definition of “unlimited” to me.

        I thought I was quite clear. I can imagine scenarios of federal overreach that I would not favor but I don’t think of this as my “having a personal line that should not be crossed”. If you want to phrase it that way, go bananas. Again this is a stupid, minor semantical point. My main point is that I don’t believe in “unlimited expansion” as literally understood, nor do I think 1 out of perhaps 5,000 Americans do. Your previous attempt to redefine “unlimited” to mean “things which could happen” is idiotic. Since you seem to have a short memory i’ll quote myself again from above:

        “I reject your definition of “unlimited”. It’s simply false to equate the observation “once the decision to expand federal power has been made, there is always another degree of expansion waiting in the wings” with “unlimited”. Of course, further expansions are POSSIBLE, but that doesn’t mean they’re inevitable, or even likely.”

        If I break my diet and have an ice cream cone it doesn’t mean I’m going to clear out the bins at Baskin Robbins. My decision to break my diet does not need to result in stuffing “unlimited” amounts of ice cream in my gob. Get it?

      • M. Noonan June 15, 2015 / 12:35 am

        You should read “A Republic No More” by Jay Cost – seriously.

        You’re missing a very large point – any tampering with the law, no matter how well-meaning the action, leads to disaster. Whatever laws you want are fine – but you have to make them laws by the established, Constitutional means or you will get disaster as the end result. I don’t care what you want – the whole Progressive canon, for all I care…but if you don’t enact it via Constitutional means (which would require a whole series of Constitutional amendments, by the way), then you can’t do it…no matter how hard you try to just cut corners or just declare something ok, all you’re doing is making a mess.

        As was noted earlier in the comments, the amount of money lost by Medicare/Medicaid to fraud is astounding…but even that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Money legally used by Medicare/Medicaid is often misused because there is no way to really control how the money gets used…and too many well-heeled groups, plenty of them firmly on the Progressive side of the spectrum, have a vested interest in keeping things deliberately screwed up in the accounting methods just so they can continue to rake it in. If you want Medicaid/Medicare – if you want full-on socialized medicine – then that is fine. Go to the people can campaign just for that and let everyone know just what sorts of Constitutional changes you are prepared to make to our government to ensure that it does what you want – provide health care to people. If you don’t do that, all you’ll get is what we’ve got now – a massively expensive mess which is pushing us towards national bankruptcy while not even making sure that everyone who needs care can get it (and ObamaCare is just Medicare/Medicaid on steroids).

        There is no short cut to reform save by revolution – but even if you do a revolution, if you don’t set up a carefully balanced system (as our Founders did) and then rigidly adhere to it, then you won’t get what you want. Ever.

      • Amazona June 13, 2015 / 6:57 pm

        “If I break my diet and have an ice cream cone it doesn’t mean I’m going to clear out the bins at Baskin Robbins. My decision to break my diet does not need to result in stuffing “unlimited” amounts of ice cream in my gob. Get it?”

        Yes, I get it. What I get is that you don’t get it. This is nothing but a remarkably silly straw man.

        But if you want to use ice cream as an example, OK. Start with a law: No one can have ice cream. That’s clear, that is unambiguous, and it applies to everyone.

        Now expand a little—just a little. People can eat ice cream on legal holidays. Then on Sundays. But then comes the question, why not on both days of the weekend? After all, it’s recreation time, it’s family time,and it would be nice to have ice cream on both days. Then there are the anti-religionists, complaining that being able to eat ice cream on Saturdays and Sundays is a de facto recognition of Judaism and Christianity, a way of celebrating religious beliefs, and therefore ice cream should be allowed on any old day at all. After a while, someone starts to complain that some people can afford to buy more ice cream than others, so ice cream should be “free”. Of course, it is not really FREE, it is paid for, but it is paid out of government funds, which come from taxpayers, so now all taxpayers are paying for ice cream—it has become a right, an entitlement. But vanilla ice cream is racist—-why can’t dark skinned people have dark colored ice cream? So the “no ice cream ever” law has expanded to provide ice cream of different flavors to anyone who wants ice cream, with Uncle Sugar (taxpayers) picking up the bill. But what about trans fats in ice cream? Peanuts? High-fructose corn syrup? What about diabetics? What about artificial sweeteners? Subsidies? There is a Department of Ice Cream, there is a budget for the department, and we have gone from a nation in which ice cream is simply not allowed to one with large amounts of resources dedicated to ice cream, in which ice cream is not only a national entitlement but highly regulated.

        It’s not about one person and his or her self discipline.

        We had a Constitution clearly designed to NOT include charity. But gee golly, during the Depression some older people didn’t have enough money to live on, so the “no charity” rule was expanded to provide income to poor old people, in a temporary program. But then it expanded to include all old people, and then it became permanent. Then it expanded to include disabled people, and the families of younger people who had died but paid into the system. Then it became so embedded in the society of the nation that it was not only permanent but a RIGHT. From there it expanded to include food stamps, which then expanded to include free housing, and then cars and TV sets and credit cards that can be used on cruise ships and in casinos and to buy liquor and cigarettes. Naturally, this Uncle Sugar charity had to include paying for medical care for older people, but then it expanded to include all poor people of any age, and of course now it is the hulking behemoth of Obamacare.

        The law said SS numbers could ONLY be used for SS purposes. That expanded in little increments and then in larger and larger increments till now you can’t cash a check or get cable TV or go to the doctor without giving your SS number, and it is now used for a vast range of identification purposes

        And so on and so on and so on.

      • Amazona June 13, 2015 / 7:16 pm

        Here you go again.—the one who squeals about insults and name calling only reverts to himself (in pretty much every post) only because other posters DESERVE IT. (It is “merited”.)

        Clearly, the only way to deal with you is to get past your bizarre projections of your own pathologies and try to find at least one coherent idea or question not too saturated with figurative spittle. So, what do I think is the biggest abuse of …..WHAT?

        Expansion of the limited original delegated authority of the US Supreme Court? Roe v Wade stands out—not for its intent or its results,but because it is stunningly bad law. The only way this Court could expand not only its own authority but override the stated restrictions of the 10th Amendment was to, in its own words, discover an “emanation” of a “penumbra” of an unstated and previously unknown “right”. That is to say, an invented “right”. Redefining a fine or penalty as a “tax” to enable punishing people for not participating in Obamacare is in there, too.

        Forcing the United States Federal Government into being an agent of charity? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the atrocity that is laughably named the Affordable Care Act, though it is not affordable and not about care.

        Violations of state sovereignty? The most egregious is the federal stance on state control of illegal immigration. Trying to control education is another.

        Every social engineering scheme put forth by, supported by and imposed by the federal government represents a violation of the Constitution. You could read the Constitution, read the enumerated duties, read the Tenth Amendment, but there is no need to do that, is there? All you have to do is just nonchalantly toss out the opinion that you don’t care about the Constitution, and to you that settles the matter. And for you, and people like you, it probably does. Good luck with being that cavalier about all other laws—“Well, Officer, I know the official speed limit is 60 but that is an archaic law that fails to take into account the complexities of modern life, which includes cars I feel to be safe at twice that speed. I choose to view the speed limit as not a rigid LAW but more of a guideline, and with no real authority.”

        We will now pause for the next chapter of name calling, slurs on my character and sanity, and general attacks on my principles, education and beliefs. That is, what you use instead of rational and respectful discourse. That will probably take a while, so I’ll go fix a drink and check the weather report.

  5. Cluster June 11, 2015 / 8:16 am

    Note to my fellow B4V’ers Having spent quite a bit of time in the progressive sewer with our fellow leftists, I can tell you that they are not so much leftists, as they are just really strange people. They are obsessed with us and always have been. Over on the site that they set up for themselves they repeatedly talk about us. They seem much more interested in demonizing conservatives for any issue, real or imagined, then they are in discussing actual current events of substance. They emote far more than they think, and all of them have a weird self superiority complex. I read their comments now with bewilderment rather than with any seriousness. They are simply a legion of ill mannered children who manufacture issues in which they can construct some imaginary moral high ground and denigrate anyone who dare take an opposing opinion. As I said – they are just weird people.

  6. Retired Spook June 11, 2015 / 9:37 am

    Cluster, I suspect the reason they manufacture issues is that they are unable to articulate any kind of a coherent political philosophy, much less defend it.

    • Cluster June 11, 2015 / 10:52 am

      Agreed. But of course they just fall in line with the contrived issue du jour that the MSM, Salon, TPM, Media Matters and other leftists outlets start pushing out. The NYT expose on Rubio, his traffic tickets and his boat is mind numbingly sad how far the left has devolved. Here’s an interesting read on just how far left the Democrats have gone – with the CNN transcript at the bottom of the article:

      http://newsbusters.org/blogs/connor-williams/2015/06/08/cnns-borger-states-obvious-dems-have-moved-so-far-left

      Despite the abysmal results of leftist/statist policies that we are all currently living through, particularly those poor folks in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, etc., the Democrats seem prepared to double down on the insanity and continue to distract voters with meaningless, childish, emotionally charged and poll tested issues. Democrats and leftists have effectively created a generation of mindless, hyper emotional populists who think like children and feel morally superior to those they disagree with. I think that’s why it is very important to nominate a conservative candidate who is of the younger generation and who can begin to stem the tide.

      • M. Noonan June 12, 2015 / 12:53 am

        You should be reading Ace of Spades blog. In a recent response to a Progressive who was asserting that “you guys” is sexist, he has this to say:

        You read up on the issue?

        This is what I’m talking about: You can’t “read up on the issue” because there’s nothing to read but Vox-style Highlights for Children-level blogsh** about it.

        She makes it sound like she’s done some real reading about a real subject.

        Nope! She’s just read the sh** these dummies read and call themselves well-read for reading– Jezebel, Guardian Comment is Free, HuffPo…Maybe “read up” on some of Anita Sarkozian’s Cultural Marxism for Gurlz (TM) videos…

        Incidentally, she provides no link here to all the “reading” she’s done on the issue — she does link Tumblr, though, which I think we can all agree is one of the most profound journals of critical thought in the world today.

        Oh well, I guess I should be glad that a Vox editor spared me of all the footnotes, references, and annotations that she had in the original draft of the article…

        …I won’t indulge this stupidity any further.

        I will just note once again that these Identity Politics children’s games appeal to the intellectually weak and superficial. It lets them pretend they’re talking about Real Issues, like the Big Kids do, while continuing to talk about the most insipidly simple and silly crap imaginable.

        I don’t write like that because, well, its just not me any longer…I used to. Some times I wish I still did. These people on the left are some times so astoundingly stupid that a string of obscenities is all that comes to mind…

      • Amazona June 12, 2015 / 10:02 am

        I think a lot of this is because their positions are based exclusively on feelings, and are deficient on thought processes.

        As I have said here before, I was once a Liberal, and I remember why I was a Liberal. It did not require any thought whatsoever, and it was a shortcut to the Higher Moral Ground. All I had to do was FEEL the right things about war, hunger, poverty, and mean people, and shazaam, without doing a single thing I was better than people who did not agree with me. Because the dichotomy presented by the Left is that if I feel it is a tragedy for children to be hungry, and that is linked by politicians with expanding the federal government to feed hungry children, anyone who disagrees with the expansion of federal power and authority is really FOR making children suffer.

        The Left had all sorts of feel-good issues to attract idealistic but intellectually lazy young people like me, and one of them was the meme that women had to be respected, that there was something inherently wrong if not downright EVIL in assuming that if a woman had a sexual history, for example, that meant she could not be raped. That whole respect for women thing really resonated with me, so I had a knee-jerk emotion-based approval of Dems, and part of that of course was loathing for the Others, the evil Republicans and their evil ways and their disdain for the little people and so on. It was all part of the same package, but for me what got me in the door was the attitude of respect for women.

        I was, otherwise, totally uninvolved in anything political. But then along came Bill Clinton. Without knowing a thing about the man, or his politics, I saw him on TV and the first thing I thought was that he was like every creepy lounge lizard who tried to put his hand up my skirt when I was working my way through college by being a cocktail waitress. But it didn’t matter to me. It did come back to me, though, when the sex scandals started to come up. I remember thinking “Uh-oh, I wonder how NOW and those feminist groups are going to react at finding out their hero is a predator”. But what these hard-core feminists, with all their posturing about respecting all women, believing women when they say they have been assaulted, not dragging a woman’s sexual history into her assault claims, did was a 180 so fast it made my head spin. Without a second thought they spun around to line up behind the accused predator, and the one thing that forced me to look at facts instead of being led around by my emotions was the theme from the “feminists”—-“Paula Jones is too ugly to rape”. That door slammed when I heard that, and it locked for good when the other attacks on Clinton’s accusers started to pile up.

        That is when I made a conscious decision to find out facts, and to make sure that from that point on I would make actual DECISIONS—-that is, conscious choices based on my analysis of facts—–and not just be an emotion-ruled puppet. I moved from being what I still refer to as an “unexamined Liberal” to a thoughtful Conservative. My history does give me a lot of insight into why I WAS a Liberal, and when I see and hear other Liberals opining the same spoon-fed theories that once sucked me in I can see the same pattern repeating itself.

        Being a Liberal is easy. You don’t have to think—-you are actually encouraged NOT to think. You are told what you think, you are told who to support, you are told who to hate, and all of this is rewarded by being told you are better than the Other. You don’t have to give up anything to hold the Higher Moral Ground, you just have to have the right FEELINGS. You don’t have to go out and help feed the hungry, you just have to support taking money away from other people and handing it over to a government agency which is supposed to use it to feed the hungry. You never have to think because as long as you stay in the bubble there are no conflicting ideas to confuse you and if you stray outside the bubble those conflicting ideas are automatically rejected—–with great scorn—-because they come from the tainted source of the Other. You are given categories, and told what to think about any category, which means you don’t have to think or evaluate.

        Being a Conservative is a lot harder. For one thing, you have to think to qualify. You have to study, to pay attention to the history of the country, to the Constitution, to how our government is or is not working. Because Conservatives have arrived at their Conservative points of view from different perspectives, on different journeys, we don’t always agree with each other, so there is constant challenge to our ideas from Conservatives who might see things a little differently. We are the same only in our commitment to following the Constitution as it was written, not as it is convenient or “interpreted” by people who are trying to justify things that are simply not part of it. Beyond that point, some are Christians and some are not. Some think we should have government-funded charity (though it has to be at the state or local level) and some think charity should be the function of individuals and private sources, such as churches and foundations. This is the foundation for the old saying that the GOP was a “big tent”—its walls were the Constitution, but inside those walls were a lot of people with a lot of different ideas, sometimes united only by the understanding that those ideas and ideals and goals were probably not within the scope of the federal government.

      • Cluster June 12, 2015 / 10:19 am

        Good post. And how many times have we heard Obama proclaim – “it’s the right thing to do”, or “it’s who we are”? And that sentence right there is exactly what you’re talking about. It is positioned to mean that by opposing what Obama wants to do must be the wrong thing to do without any examination of the details or worse yet, the results. As I said, progressives emote much more than they think.

      • rustybrown2014 June 12, 2015 / 4:22 pm

        I have a young daughter and I’ve been chided for saying “you guys” to her and her friends. Not by my daughter but one of her friends. I just rolled my eyes and told her to give me a break. Anybody older than 8 who thinks this is a big deal aught to have their heads examined.

      • Cluster June 12, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        🙂 Agreed

  7. Amazona June 12, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    One thing to remember is that Liberalism/Progressivism/Whatever Label The Left Thinks Will Sound Best depends on no competition with their ideology. It is about complete control. Sure, it doesn’t start that way—it starts with a little erosion here, into the sovereignty of the states, a little there into the structure and authority of the family, a little more into the influence of religion and God as a higher authority than the State, some more incursion into the concept of personal responsibility and redefining independence as leaning on the government for more and more.

    So we see schools overtly undermining the authority and status of the family, making decisions for children that have always been and should still be the rightful area of parental decisions—-encouraging young people to turn to school officials if they have problems is one example, the approval of school officials going so far as to take pregnant young girls to other states to have abortions without the knowledge or consent of their parents is another. Trying to block parents from establishing and maintaining charter schools so they have something to say about how their children are educated, not allowing voucher systems which would allow parents to use the tax money set aside for education to be used for private schools, forcing Leftist-oriented social engineering schemes like Common Core onto students even when parents object, imposing ridiculous political correctness on schools so students are not allowed to read Huckleberry Finn but are required to read pornography because it is “important to understand the mind of a pedophile” and so on—these are all incremental erosions of parental authority as well as expansions of control over what our young people are taught.

    The attacks on Christianity are now so blatant and widespread we can’t even keep up with them, while a religion which is ardently and often even violently anti-Christian is treated with reverence and respect and its teachings and holidays and prayers are becoming part of our educational systems and social structures while representations of Christianity such as highway crosses marking the sites of traffic fatalities, and even the use of colored lights at Christmas—even the use of the WORD “Christmas”—-are banned. Not just banned, but excoriated and denigrated. It is now acceptable to scorn belief in a Higher Power as mere “superstition” and to engage in open ridicule not just of religion but of people of faith.

    The primary sources of authority in our culture have always been the family, religion, and schools. The Left has been waging a quiet war on the family and on religion, only recently escalating it into open conflict, while taking over the schools so what they teach supports Leftist agendas. The idea of a free press, always considered essential to a successful democratic republic, has become a joke, with the press now the Complicit Agenda Media, gleefully participating in undermining anything related to Conservatism while presenting Liberal stories and ideas as established fact.

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