Marco is gaining in the polls and in my opinion he is exactly what this country needs. A young, committed conservative who can articulate conservative positions with the fluency and humor Reagan did, and who can galvanize the millennials and bring them into the conservative fold. I know many are hesitant because he is young and a first term Senator, a brand of which Obama destroyed, but Rubio is smarter than Obama and much more practical. I implore everyone to give him a second look, beginning with his excellent analysis of last nights speech:
There is much heart ache out here in GOP Establishment-land about Trump, and I’m sure a lot among the Democrat Establishment about Sanders (though Team Hillary is still acting like her nomination is a coronation and no one need pay attention to Sanders…the GOP is being helpful by releasing videos of the massive Progressive crowds Sanders is drawing; which is encouraging, as it is actually a pretty clever move by the GOP. First time for everything, right?). But who in heck is Jeremy Corbyn, you ask?
I admit that until today I had never heard of him – he’s a candidate for the leadership of Britain’s Labour Party. Generally, when a party gets crushed at the polls in Britain, the losing side then finds a new person to lead to them victory (or, another crushing defeat…but, that isn’t the plan, at any rate). As Labour was blown out of the water a couple months back, they are casting about for someone to restore their party fortunes. Most of the people vying for the post are conventional Labour Party politicians…but Jeremy Corbyn, a backbencher of no great fame, tossed his hat into the ring…and recent polling shows him favored by 53% of Labour voters. So frightened is the Labour Establishment at this, that they even got former Labour PM Tony Blair to pen an op-ed pleading for Labour voters not to vote Corbyn. Blair warns that voting for Corbyn won’t just lead to another Labour defeat, but to the possible extinction of the party!
To be sure, I think that Blair is on to something. Corbyn isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Progressive, folks. His parents were involved on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war, so Corbyn is a Brit version of our “red diaper babies”. Corbyn, himself, is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Socialist Campaign Group and the Stop the War Coalition (which war? Don’t ask – just assume if you want to kill a bad guy, they’re against it). Corbyn wants to nationalize Britain’s railways, provide a “living wage” for everyone, backs animal rights, may favor turning the Falklands over to Argentina, wants to ban the importation of foie gras, and appears to join any group out there with a leftwing cause. This guys is a far left fanatic. But, he’s also a rebel – very often voting against his own party and his Parliamentary expense account is the lowest among all 650 members of Britain’s House of Commons. He’s a kook leftist – but he’s an honest one, my friends. And he looks poised to take leadership of the Labour Party (though we’ll see if the Establishment can squash his bid). Corbyn as leader of Labour would be the perfect opponent for the rather squishy, Establishment types of the Tory party. They’d love to run against him – all they’d have to do is quote him and roll up a 100 seat majority, so you can see why Blair is worried, as are all Establishment types on the left.
I bring this up because these phenomena – a huckster zillionaire, an out-of-touch Boomer socialist, a far left fanatic in Britain – are symptoms of a general rebellion growing against the Establishment. I read today that Sanders drew 29,000 people to a rally. Donald Trump does seem to have faded a bit in the polls, but he’s still riding high. True, in America it is still the silly season of politics. We’re a long way from the first primary ballots and we should all recall that in 2011 a lot of people rode high for a moment, only to flame out before the election even got rolling. But there is a palpable anger and frustration out there. People are sick to death of politics as usual – and especially for the American right, the politics as usual which means we just help the liberals get what they want. The first sign of rebellion in Britain was also on the right, by the way: in the form of the United Kingdom Independence Party – which has risen mostly out of British frustration with the Tories. And if you think our electoral system is hosed, you should see Britain’s – the UKIP got 2.4 million more votes than the Scottish National Party, yet the SNP wound up with 56 seats, UKIP with 1! But, still, the bottom line is that anger with politics as usual boosted UKIP votes by nearly 3 million over their 2010 number. The people are tired – the left want’s genuine leftism; the right wants genuine conservatism. No one wants a left which is actually a bunch of crony-capitalists, nor does anyone want a right which is also crony-capitalist, with a dash of just preserving leftwing policy failures. Left and right I think people want candidates who will fight for what the people believe in. To have it out in a genuine, head-to-head contest which will decide what course the nation will take.
I think we’ll just see more of this as time goes on – and unless the GOP Establishment wakes up, there will be an American version of the UKIP by no later than the 2024 election, with a strong possibility it’ll show up in 2020…and it’ll take out of the GOP, immediately, a couple score House members and a few Senators, likely enough to deny the GOP a Congressional majority. For the Democrats, I see a complete take over by the far left – they really can’t stop it, if the leftwing base really tries. After all, what Democrat can fight against someone shouting the slogans the Democrat Establishment cooked up to gin up their base for 2012? But it can happen that the far left splits from the Democrat party and sets up a Social Democrat Party in time for 2020 or 2024.
Hold on to your hats, folks – it is about to get very interesting.
The MSMers, true to form, are asking all the GOP candidates this question. They haven’t quite got around to asking Hillary, even though she’s the only candidate on either side who did, indeed, vote for the Iraq War. As to why they are asking the question: battle space preparation. They know the Democrats can’t realistically run on Obama’s record, so might as well try to get the issue being Bush, again.
The question is phrased along the lines of, “knowing what we now know, would you have authorized the Iraq war?”. All of the GOP candidates are answering it wrong – mostly by trying to answer it. The proper response to the question is to dismiss it as absurd – because it is absurd. It would be like Asking FDR in the run up to the 1944 election, “knowing what you now know, would you have allowed the Navy to kick it on Sundays rather than having at least half the fleet at sea at any given time?”. Of course the answer is, “I would have had the fleet at battle stations at all times!”. But its a stupid question, all the same. When the decision to invade Iraq was made, we didn’t know what we now know – and a good deal of what we now know is only known because we invaded Iraq. Had we decided not to invade Iraq, a whole series of different issues would confront us today.
The proper way to respond to the question is to state that one doesn’t know what decision he or she would have made at the time, not being privy to every bit of information provided to the President who made the actual decision, with the full support of the American people and the Congress, including Hillary Clinton…but that if any decision comes up about whether or not to use force, it will be made with all due care. To answer “yes” makes you look thick headed, to answer “no” is to presume to impossible knowledge…and to, incidentally, insult every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine who served in Iraq…and especially those who were killed or wounded. It is telling them that their sacrifice was in vain.
Republicans really got to get smart about this – the MSM is going to do nothing but try to destroy Republicans. Every question should be taken in that sense – what bad answer is the MSM trying to get out of me? Will what I say make me look bad to LIV? As 90% of MSM questions are absurd, partisan hackery, the best response is to be dismissive of 90% of their questions and just use any opportunity to speak as a chance to condemn Obama and the eventual Democrat nominee for their 8 years of failure…and then move immediately into talking points about how you’re doing to fix the failures. Don’t play the MSM game – the are just Democrats with by lines and they are out to get you.
Dear Speaker Boehner:
There is nothing I’d like better than to keep the United States House of Representatives in *conservative* hands.
Regarding that issue, we wholeheartedly agree.
In that spirit, could you kindly resign your tenure as Speaker of the House?
Under your leadership, Obamacare is still the law of the land. Those responsible for allowing four Americans to be murdered in Benghazi are yet to be held accountable. The Constitutional abuses of the IRS scandal, the “Fast & Furious” federal gun-running scandal, and NSA scandals continue to go un-investigated, and Obama continues to be held unaccountable. Under your ‘leadership,’ the Republicans in the House of Representatives have done nothing to hold the Obama administration accountable for their overreach and malfeasance and assaults on our Constitutional liberties. You supposedly practiced brinkmanship when Obama forced a government shutdown, but then acted like you owned it, and ran with your tail between your legs. It’s been “go along to get along” ever since.
And now you want to cave and give special treatment to those scofflaws who ignore our immigration laws.
Your team put up a nice graphic on Facebook today in response to President Obama’s “I have a pen” comment, to which you replied, “We have the Constitution.”
However, as much as you hold up the Constitution and parade it around like a golden calf, you have displayed no real intention of upholding it. As your actions and inaction have clearly demonstrated, to you, the Constitution is nothing more than window-dressing in a photo-op.
Speaker Boehner, you have on many occasions taken a solemn oath and promise to uphold the Constitution.
After taking those solemn oaths, on multiple occasions, you have demonstrated that your promises are as empty as must be your conscience.
If you really believe that the Constitution must be kept in conservative hands, I call upon you to resign your office as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Whether or not your constituency in the 8th District of Ohio continues to re-elect you to as their representative in Congress is their business.
The office you hold as Speaker, however, is *our* business. You have lost the trust and confidence of those of us in the Republican Party.
You have lost the trust of the nation.
Time for you to resign, Mr. Speaker.
Turns out that we can rely on just 19 Senators – though I understand a couple of the GOPers who went against Cruz had genuine reasons for so doing. Let’s call it 21 Senators who actually care about the fate of the nation…we need just 30 more to have a majority in the Senate. To work in 2014 to increase our numbers.
That said, the battle is clearly joined – the Ruling Class wants one thing, the American people quite another. Obama is simply too proud and too stupid to give ground. His Democrats are too corrupt to give up their place. The RINOs are too stupid and corrupt to give up theirs. Fine and dandy. We know where we are and what we need to do. This, by the way, is not a call for abandoning the GOP…the vote in the Senate today does not, in my view, show the true strength of our side in the overall GOP. I think we hold a majority of GOPers and GOP-leaning Independents…we just have some dinosaurs in the Senate which make it appear we’re weaker than we are. I think we can fully take over the GOP and turn it in to the party of small business, the middle class and the working poor – a more populist and libertarian party which yet understands the vital necessity of preserving the old morality. Perhaps I’m wrong and we’ll eventually have to go Third Party, but we shall see…we’ll know by the end of the 2016 cycle. If the GOP Establishment gets us another “moderate” nominee then we’ll know the GOP is done for.
Have at it on this issue, or any other which comes to mind.
There is a strong and valid argument to be made against our political consulting class – and at CPAC, a lot was said against them. From NRO’s The Corner:
Here at CPAC, it’s evident that in the aftermath of the devastating November election conservatives are turning not on the losing candidates — Mitt Romney, for one, was warmly received – but on the people who ran their campaigns. With an eye to 2014 elections, some conservatives and tea partiers are pushing a new solution: Down with the consultants.
In an interview with NRO, Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, blasted the professional political class, decrying “any consultant who thinks that they can come into a state and say, ‘this is who you need to have as your representative and we’re going to make sure that person is elected.’”
“That is the antithesis of what we’ve been talking about in this whole entire movement,” she said. “We want limited government. That means we don’t want Washington, D.C., making laws that limit how we live our lives, and we sure don’t want people from Washington, D.C. — consultants — telling us who is going to represent us.”
The rage reached its height during a panel on Thursday entitled “Should We Shoot All the Consultants Now?” During the discussion, Democratic pollster Pat Caddell ranted against campaign consultants, saying, “they’re in the business in the lining of their pockets and preserving their power.”…
Which is very true, but not the whole story. Professional campaign consultants can have a very important role to play – how to jump through the legal hoops; how to fund raise; how to get the message out through traditional and new media. But the problem is that consultants have taken over what the campaigns say and where they say it. They are telling the candidates to not spend time or money in some areas because they are strongly Democrat; they are telling the candidates to stay away from this or that issue because it will result in negative press. What they don’t understand is that the reason some areas are strongly Democrat is partially because the GOP hasn’t done any campaigning in there. What they don’t understand is that the sort of statements which might cause an MSM firestorm to erupt are precisely the sort of things which fire up the base and convince a doubting electorate that, just maybe, this candidate isn’t a tool of the Ruling Class.
My view is that last year Romney should have headed for Pennsylvania in the flush aftermath of the first debate – Obama and the Democrats were rocked on their heels and a sudden splurge in that State (as well as other blue States which elect GOP governors/senators) would have thrown them in to panic – and people in a panic make gigantic mistakes. When gasoline prices in Los Angeles hit $5 a gallon, Romney should have done a campaign rally in front of a Los Angeles gas station. These actions would not necessarily be with a mind towards winning California or Pennsylvania – but of firing up the base (including the base in States where we won’t win – because that generates donations and volunteers who can work in other States); of going in to their backyard and planting our flag; of showing the nation that we’re in it to win the whole ball of wax. I ask: if Romney had done such things, would he have gotten fewer votes? I doubt it. Still might have lost – but it would have been closer…and certainly a more fun, energizing and even if lost a successful campaign…because we would have sown seeds in areas where the GOP has been absent for decades.
As I said in the immediate aftermath of our loss, we have to start getting in to the blue areas – and professional campaign consultants simply will not allow that. And so the consultants have to be shoved aside and kept to what they are good at: fund raising, hoop jumping, etc. The campaign, itself, has to be the product of the candidate and his more ardent supporters. Let’s face some facts here, boys and girls: as long as we resign California and New York to the Democrats, we’re always going to have a hard time winning the White House. And do pay attention – Democrats have started to work on turning Texas blue. Say it can’t be done? Just watch them – and even if it doesn’t work, its going to force us to spend time and effort locking down part of our electoral base. We simply must do it to them, as well.
As we head towards 2014 and 2016, all rule books must be thrown out. Everything must be on the table – no corner of the Great Republic must be signed off to the Democrats. Don’t play it safe – in fact, play it as dangerous as possible. Tens of millions of people didn’t vote in 2012…lets go get them, and bury liberalism forever.
Before I continue addressing your points, one more word about truth, because I suspect I’m somewhat unique in the way I approach truth, certainly, I would venture, compared to most people you know. It’s been my experience that the vast majority of people who involve themselves in political or philosophical debate tend to seek out information that supports their point of view and/or refutes their adversary’s point of view. Even I fall into that trap occasionally, as I suspect it’s human nature to not want to admit you’re wrong and someone else is right, which, in fact, dovetails with your original comments about how divided we are. My first reaction, however, is often to see if I can find concrete proof that my opponent is right. A good example of this was last year when you were uber-critical of Glenn Beck’s off-hand comment (which I had not heard first hand) on his radio show that the youth camp in Norway sounded like a Hitler Youth Camp. The first thing I did was find a sound clip, or transcript (don’t remember which) of what he said to see if you were correct. You were — he did say that. He didn’t really expand on it, however, and it appeared that it was just an isolated, reactionary comment, one in which your reaction was certainly understandable, given the circumstances of the mass murder there. Next I tried to find an article that analyzed the comment in an unbiased way, or, better yet, an explanation from Beck on why he would make such a comment in the first place. I never found any evidence of the latter, and the first 5 or 10 pages of a Google search all resulted in variations of or quotes from the same article (quite common when the Leftist blogosphere goes apoplectic over something a Conservative says or does), insinuating that Beck was an idiot and a monster for even making the comment. Eventually I did come across a foreign news service article that said while Beck’s comment may have been crass and insensitive it wasn’t that far off the mark. Now does that justify the mass killing that took place there? Of course not. I think sometimes everyone says things without thinking — I know I have.
One of the things that has always puzzled me about laws, legislation and the rights granted by the Constitution is why do rights, seemingly granted under the Constitution have to subsequently be “granted” through extra legislation? Voting Rights legislation, Civil Rights legislation, Right of Women to Vote being primary examples of my concern in this area.
I think you need to differentiate between natural rights vs. legislated rights. Natural rights have to do with “unalienable” rights that you’re born with. Religious people often refer to them as “God-given rights”, but even atheists are born with the same “natural” rights, and these are spelled out in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, aptly named “The Bill of Rights”. The Constitution tasks Congress with protecting those rights and prohibits the enactment of any legislation that would infringe on those rights. This is where I fundamentally disagree with Obama. He finds fault with the Constitution because he views it as an expression of “negative liberties”, ie. what the government cannot do to you, but doesn’t spell out what the government must do on your behalf. The main reason our federal government has grown so large and out of control with a corresponding exponential increase in debt, is that the government has increasingly involved itself in aspects of our lives that were never intended. The concept at the crux of the great American experiment — man governing himself, was that the power and scope of the central government needed to be about one notch above anarchy, and that most power would rest as close as possible to the people at the state and local level, and even with the people themselves. I think escaping that paradigm was probably what Obama meant the week before the 2008 election, when he said, “we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” What did you think when you heard that, and were you were excited or apprehensive?
Interestingly, there was no right to “vote” guaranteed in the Constitution, and initially only free men who owned property could vote. That eliminated virtually all women and people of color, until Congress decided that everyone, regardless of gender or color, should be allowed to vote. But Congress didn’t create a new right; it expanded an existing right to include everyone. The rationale for why it took a constitutional amendment to allow 18-year-olds to vote is also interesting:
It also seems strange to me that rights granted to individuals have now been granted to Corporations… What is that about? Citizens United being a primary example of the latest travesty in this arena.
It seemed strange to me too, until a started researching the decision. From everything I’ve read, the main justification was that Corporations are entities made up of people, just as labor unions are entities made up of people, and yet, in terms of political clout, they were not equal. Citizens United was, in the end, about leveling the playing field. So, while I understand the rationale behind the decision, I don’t agree with it. My personal feeling is that neither corporations nor unions should be allowed to dump massive amounts of money into political campaigns, and certainly not without majority support of shareholders and union members.
Are these terms spelled out somewhere in the document or an Amendment? And if so, why can’t these be adjusted by the “will of the people” to remain viable in today’s culture of lobbyists and special interests?
As the SC has struck down previous attempts to legislate term limits, it appears it IS going to take a constitutional amendment. The problem with that is that constitutional amendments can only originate in Congress or at a constitutional convention, neither of which appears to be likely to happen any time soon. And, actually, a Constitutional Convention would be a horrible idea, as it would open up the Constitution for all sorts of radical changes by whichever side gained control of the Convention. Unless we get to a point where a majority in Congress puts the good of the country over their own personal self-interest, they will never legislate to diminish their own power.
Interesting that you use the word “agnostic” in terms of social issues. I’d only considered it in terms of religious views. Personally, I find the area of abortion a personal one and one that gets legislated strictly on behalf of religious moral views. I may not agree with the concept of abortion personally and, if there is truly separation of church and state then why are religious morals driving this issue? Seems the separation isn’t working as intended.
Agnostic may have been the wrong word. Perhaps “indifferent” would be more descriptive. There has never been a constitutional separation of church and state. The concept originated in a personal letter from Jefferson to, IIRC, a Baptist minister, and has evolved over nearly 2 centuries to mean that everyone has a right to not be exposed to anything religious (except, strangely enough, anything Muslim) in the public arena. I’m not a particularly religious person, at least not in terms of belonging to an organized religion — haven’t attended church regularly in over 30 years, but I’m not offended by public displays of faith, regardless of whose faith it is. The primary dynamic that brought people to this country in the 17th and 18th centuries was religious freedom.
And for gay marriage, just what is the basis for the furor? Who cares? Who would be harmed if this “right” were granted? Why does the right have to be granted at all? Why is the government meddling in the personal lives of its citizens? Again, I blame the religious extremists for continuing to pursue this vendetta. If love is universal and blind, who are these people to denigrate love between people of the same sex when love between a man and a woman is fraught with problems and such a high divorce rate? Heterosexual couples are in no position to speak about what is right for others at all.
We’ve had numerous discussions on the blog about homosexual marriage. Personally, I’ve resolved myself to the fact it will eventually become as universally accepted as inter-racial marriage has. I don’t view the two the same, but many people do, particularly people in their 40’s or younger. Much of that has to do, IMO, with how the issue has been advanced in our educational system, as well as how the media, particularly the entertainment media, has worked hand in hand with the activist component of the homosexual community to ram the homosexual agenda down everyone’s throats at an ever-increasing pace.
The term “gay marriage” has more, I believe, to do with acceptance of the gay lifestyle as normal than it has to do with marriage per se. Interestingly, most Conservatives I know (myself included) support civil unions for homosexuals that allow for all the legal advantages of normal married heterosexual couples. What we object to is the hijacking of a many thousands-of-years-old term that denotes the best way to raise succeeding generations, something that, absent outside help, married couples of the same sex are biologically incapable of accomplishing. Once the definition has been changed, what’s to prevent it from continuing to evolve to accommodate all sorts of variations — 3 men, 2 men and one woman, father and daughter, mother and son, and so on? All sorts of abnormal relationships could be made normal by simply continuing to re-define the word marriage.
In the end, this is an issue that will be resolved, IMO, not by convincing those opposed to it to change their minds, but by the attrition of those who oppose it. If it stops with the marriage of two people of the same sex, it may well become a permanent component of our society at large. If it continues to evolve into marriage between anything and anyone, then I suspect it will eventually go the way of prohibition: a noble experiment with unforeseen and drastic unintended consequences. Bottom line; I look at it just as I look at most controversial issues: how does it benefit civilization as a whole? And I don’t think a convincing argument can be made that there is any significant benefit to the advancement of civilization.
Final note: I don’t know if there will be a part 4. It kind of depends on his next response.
Wow, a lot of food for thought, and not something I have time to address all at once.
Yeah, I’m aware of the pitfalls of the Internet. As I said, I write for a blog, so I also visit other blogs and opinion sites, both Left and Right (Huffington Post and National Review, for example). I just use opinion sites to gauge what other people are saying. It’s not often I link to such sites to make a point unless it’s to highlight an interesting point that someone else has made. Sites like Truth or Fiction, FactCheck.org and Snopes are fine for debunking erroneous information, but when I’m looking for the truth about something (the absolute truth, not someones version of it) I try to find original writings and original audio or video, both of which are not difficult to find if you know where and how to look.
There was a concerted effort on the part of Progressives beginning in the 30’s to re-write a lot of history, particularly political history, a largely underground movement originating with a handful of foundations (Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller, etc.) I used to have an excellent hour and a half video interview archived with a prominent statesman who was recruited back in the 30’s to be an integral part of the effort, but I can’t seem to find it. That was a couple computers back. The interview was done in the early 80’s, and the gentleman died shortly after the interview. Fascinating stuff — if I find it, I’ll forward a link, as it explains a lot. Anyway, history continues to be distorted to advance political goals. If you’ve looked at an elementary or high school history book lately, you know what I mean. But the distortion today has gone way beyond re-writing history to blatant efforts by the likes of a major network like NBC editing audio, video and 911 calls to advance an agenda or make someone look bad — or keep someone from looking bad.
WRT the Constitution, I hold the entire document, including the 27 amendments, inviolate. The amendments aren’t footnotes, they’re permanent changes to the document to reflect changing times. The entire document forms the rules by which we govern ourselves, or at least that was the original plan. The rules are either rigid, but with a formal means of amendment or we have no rule of law. America has been the greatest experiment in self-government in the history of the planet, but, beginning a century ago, when original interpretation gave way to case law and precedent, the whole thing began to go off the rails, to the point that, today a large portion of what the federal government does is not constitutional according to original intent. Now, that said, the evolution of the Constitution during the Progressive era is so much toothpaste that can’t be put back in the tube, although, theoretically, I guess, it’s possible for case law and precedent to swing the pendulum back the other way. It’s probably not going to happen absent some kind of societal upheaval or economic collapse, and many people smarter than I am think we are getting very close to just such an event. Although I agree with the building consensus among many economists and historians that an economic collapse is more likely than an insurrection, it’s not something I obsess about, as it’s totally beyond my control, and I learned a long time ago not to dwell on things beyond my control — just be the best I can be on any given day, treat others as I’d like to be treated, hope that I don’t screw up too often, and when I do, learn from it so I don’t make the same mistake again.
Today’s politicians simply ignore the Constitution most of the time — several have even admitted as much publicly. I don’t consider myself a constitutional scholar by any stretch of the imagination either, but I have put in a lot of study, attended a 2-day constitutional workshop sponsored by the Indiana Constitution Society in Indianapolis a couple years ago, and I’ve collaborated on several blog articles on different aspects of the Constitution. I have lots of Constitution-related resources archived, including a fully searchable file of the Federalist Papers, as well as the writings of Blackstone and Vatel. If you’re interested in understanding and learning more about the Constitution, the Federalist Papers are an excellent resource, because they explain, in the Founders own words, the rationale behind why the Constitution says what it says — a sort of reading between the lines of the Constitution, if you will. The original Federalist Papers are pretty heavy reading, but they were compiled into a book re-written in modern English a year or two ago. Once I’m retired (hopefully soon) I’m thinking of taking the free constitutional courses (101 & 102) offered by Hillsdale College on-line. Several of the people in my email forum have taken them, and have given them glowing reviews.
In college I had a major in Business Administration with a minor in Economics, and only an hour or two short of a dual minor in history, so this stuff has always fascinated me. I have always (well, for at least the last 20 years or so) attempted to have informed opinions. I think if everyone took that attitude, the world would be a whole lot better place. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and, as you noted, some opinions stink. A good, historical example of informed vs. uninformed would be: “Washington was not a religious man” (uninformed opinion based on what someone else has written about Washington). “Washington prayed to and referenced God regularly, both publicly and privately.” (informed opinion, backed up by Washington’s own words and writings).
More of my response in Part 3
For the last few weeks I’ve been engaged in an interesting email conversation with a Liberal who happens to be the husband of an old girlfriend of mine from high school. She is a self-described “knee-jerk Liberal”, and detests discussing politics because, I suspect, she’s is unable to defend her “knee-jerk” positions. Her husband, OTOH, approached me a while back, lamenting the fact that we have become such a hopelessly divided nation, and wanting to know if I had any thoughts on the subject. I said I thought the biggest problem is that each side has some misperceptions of what the other side believes, which, more often than not, prevents any attempts to find common ground; misperceptions that are often exacerbated by an agenda-driven media in an effort to further divide us. I suggested we engage in a one on one discussion on the condition that we keep it civil. Upon his agreement to give it a try, I led off with the following:
Splendid. I’ve never been accused of being an ideologue, and I detest confrontational arguments that almost always end up in name-calling. I look at political debate, first and foremost, as a learning and mind-expanding experience, rather than a win or lose situation, and, as a result, my thinking on a number of issues has changed over the years. I have neither tolerance nor respect for people who lie or distort the facts to score political points. For most of my life I was an unexamined Republican until this marvelous thing called the Internet came along, and I was able to not only question everything I heard, read and saw, but was able to at least attempt to search for the truth. That the truth doesn’t have an agenda and doesn’t need a majority to prevail has become somewhat of my personal motto, and that’s the lens through which I try to examine every issue.
I view the Constitution as a contract between the government and the people by whose consent the government exists, not perfect, but better than any other governing document ever produced. To anyone who says the Constitution is a living document that needs to change with the whims of the times by legislation, executive order or judicial fiat, I ask, would you work for me with a “living” employment contract, or borrow money from me with a “living” loan contract, or play poker with me using “living” rules? I have yet to get a yes to those questions — from anyone.
On social issues, I’m pretty much an agnostic. Neither the Constitution, nor any of the Founders in any of their writings addressed a need for the federal government to be involved in social issues, and I regret that issues like abortion and gay marriage are allowed to play such a predominant role in national politics.
Hopefully that gives you some idea of where I’m coming from. What drives how you look at politics?
His response was not really what I expected, and, although he denies being a Liberal at the end, he voted for Obama — twice, an admission of sorts that he supports an uber-liberal agenda. Continue reading
I got this idea from a member of the BlogsforVictory Google Group. I’ve redacted details that would give the answer away.
WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts—which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue—were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter—indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.
An alternative model for conservatives is [redacted]. President from [redacted], [Redacted] sustained a budget surplus and left office with a smaller budget than the one he inherited. Over the same period, America experienced a proliferation of jobs, a dramatic increase in the standard of living, higher wages, and three to four percent annual economic growth. And the key to this was [redacted] penchant for saying “no.” If Reagan was the Great Communicator, [redacted] was the Great Refrainer.
Following [redacted], the federal debt stood ten times higher than before the [redacted], and it was widely understood that the debt burden would become unbearable if interest rates rose. At the same time, the top income tax rate was over 70 percent, veterans were having trouble finding work, prices had risen while wages lagged, and workers in Seattle, New York, and Boston were talking revolution and taking to the streets. The [redacted] administration had nationalized the railroads for a time at the end of the [redacted], and had encouraged stock exchanges to shut down for a time, and Progressives were now pushing for state or even federal control of water power and electricity. The business outlook was grim, and one of the biggest underlying problems was the lack of an orderly budgeting process: Congress brought proposals to the White House willy-nilly, and they were customarily approved.
The Republican Party’s response in the [redacted] election was to campaign for smaller government and for a return to what its presidential candidate, [redacted], dubbed “normalcy”—a curtailing of government interference in the economy to create a predictable environment in which business could confidently operate. [Redacted], a Massachusetts governor who had gained a national reputation by facing down a Boston police strike—“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time,” he had declared—was chosen to be [redacted] running mate. And following their victory, [redacted] inaugural address set a different tone from that of the outgoing [redacted] administration (and from that of the Obama administration today): “No altered system,” [redacted] said, “will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.”
One of [redacted] first steps was to shepherd through Congress the Budget and Accounting Act of [redacted], under which the executive branch gained authority over and took responsibility for the budget, even to the point of being able to impound money after it was budgeted. This legislation also gave the executive branch a special budget bureau—the forerunner to today’s Office of Management and Budget—over which [redacted] named a flamboyant Brigadier General, [redacted], as director. Together they proceeded to summon department staff and their bosses to semiannual meetings at Continental Hall, where [redacted] cajoled and shamed them into making spending cuts. In addition, [redacted] pushed through a tax cut, lowering the top rate to 58 percent; and in a move toward privatization, he proposed to sell off naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming to private companies.
Is there any doubt that history repeats itself? Read the whole piece here, and pray that another [redacted] comes along soon.