conservative

Going Forward

 Going forward, I think that conservatives (and the GOP, assuming it remains the home of conservatives) should stress a message straight out of Douthat & Salam's Grand New Party, but I think the overarching theme should be as follows:

 

1. Efficient, Effective, and Ethical Government

Unfortunately for many libertarian-conservatives, the “government is the problem” message does not sell right now to many working class Americans, who have become the bedrock of our party.  Because of the economic morass (yes, I know the CRA and the Fed are mostly to blame, but that's not the impression the man on the street has), these voters seek stability and security. Instead, conservatives should focus on grooming candidates and assisting incumbents in crafting a message of efficient, effective government, much like Gov. Mitch Daniels has done here in Indiana. Privatization of certain aspects (the Indiana Toll Road is now run under contract by a private firm) is fine, but there are certain things (e.g. disaster recovery) that voters expect government to do well.

The bedrock voters of our coalition will also expect elected officials to be thrifty (we were not when in charge of Congress and the White House) and honest (Abramoff?), just as they are with their own finances.  Without a doubt, politics is never an unmessy game, but we have to stress to our incumbents and candidates that a lack of ethics will cost them at the ballot box.  If they lack a moral compass, then at least self-interest should do the trick.

While defense hawks will hate to hear this, I also would advocate a move away from a Wilsonian-Roosveltian-Trumanesque-Bushesque foreign policy to one more in line with the thinking of the late Sen. Robert Taft from Ohio and Pres. John Quincy Adams: America “goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”  Dovetailing with an earlier point on thrift, wars are also expensive, and – as the Iraq War has shows – are usually way more expensive than the government believes they will be.  Moreover, while our core voters are immensely patriotic, the voters on the fringe of our voting coalition (which we need to win elections) simply do not have the stomach for combat that drags on more than one election cycle.  Finally, there is no question that the Iraq war energized our ideological opponents.  

 

2. Strong Families

Again, our core constituency values children and domestic life; they are the counterpoise to the bohemian-loving persons depicted in the musical Rent, the television show Friends, and the residents of urbane America.  It is indeed telling the San Francisco has more pets than it does children.  We must ensure that our candidates and incumbents stress their support for family life.

On social issues, our incumbents must support the right to life and greater strictures on abortion; our strongest footsoldiers (myself included) will “check out” if conservatives do not fight for the unborn.  The partial-birth abortion ban model is a perfect model: go after procedures that even many moderates will agree with.  A key example is a requirement that a woman be given an ultrasound before agreeing to an abortion; this issue can be couched in terms of “providing women with all requisite information” before she makes a decision.  In reality, it also increases the costs of abortion providers as well.

I certainly also think that a wage subsidy for intact families – as advocated by Douthat – is a good idea.  Pres. Reagan’s Earned Income Tax Credit – for the first time since LBJ’s programs – actually rewarded work.  A wage subsidy for working class families that rewards a husband and wife’s faithfulness will certainly be welcome by our core constituency.  Indeed, such was the goal of the maternalists during FDR’s New Deal: to strengthen family life.

 

3.  Job Creation

Finally, our candidates and incumbents must be focused on job creation.  Our core constituency is not indolent; it wants to work.  Our candidates should be attempting to make arrangements such as job-sharing and telecommuting easier.  Moreover, they should be focusing on infrastructure: do we need things like an inter-urban railway to obtain access to good jobs for our working class families?  The goal is not so much to make government the driving engine of job creation but instead an agent to smooth the pathway that our core constituency needs to access good jobs. 

Education reform is essential to prepare our kids for the future.  While vouchers are an excellent idea, our core constituency seems concerned that they will de-fund the good public schools in their communities.  Instead, why not encourage the formation of charter schools in every school district?  The charters simply don’t have the red tape that the standard school has to deal with; this allows for more innovation.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention energy independence: E85, geothermal, solar, and nuclear power can wean us off foreign petroleum, which will allow us to disentangle ourselves from the Middle East.  The industries will also employ many of our core voters.  Moreover, the energy industry can provide a potent environment retort to the environmentalist Left; while the liberals talk about global warming and legislating, our candidates and incumbents can be seen as actually doing something for the environment and the country.

 

Many libertarian conservatives will object to some of these ideas and argue that they are merely distillations of Huckabee-style Christian democracy.  I welcome their criticism and hope to apply it usefully.  Others will argue that in advocating such government intervention, the very idea of conservatism is debased.  When I use the term “conservative,” however, I am not using it in an economic way per se.  By “conservative” I mean that I wish to conserve the important values of our core voters, that being the enjoyment of domestic life and a great work ethic.  I care very little about the values and enjoyment of the neo-bohemians in New York, LA, Chicago, or Miami.  I care a lot about the values and joy experienced by the voters of Bargersville (Indiana), Delta Township (Michigan), and Greenville (SC).

Was it ever cool to be conservative?

I'm native Northern Californian - East Bay native in fact. This is not so common around here and  I'm proud of it. What I'm not so proud about is that I've always felt I was in the proverbial political closet living here.

As a child, I couldn't give a care about what was going on out 'there'. For me, it was all about hopscotch and sleep overs. It all changed as I became a teenager and started to really have my own opinions. My earliest recollection of not fitting in was New Year's Eve 1979. My best friends wanted to listen to Deep Purple and all I wanted to hear was disco - but I bit my tongue and said nothing. It wasn't cool to like disco anymore. Here in the Bay Area, you had to like heavy metal.

This went all all throughout my high school and college days. Friends would want to people watch at the airport and I wanted to grab and bite and watch a movie. The analogies could go on and on. But I was smart enough to know that in my circles, I was the minority and unless I wanted to stick out like a sore thumb, I should just shut up and go with the flow. So I did. Little follower I was.

Until one day, I realized that my parents, who never foisted upon me their political belief system, were kinda smart people. My dad grew up dirt poor in Pennsylvania (my Mom's side of the family is where I get my deep bay area roots). He joined the Navy, landed in SF at some point, met and married my Mom and immediately started a family. Dad became a salesman for blind and handicapped products door to door. Then got a more stable job as a meat cutter at Safeway. Worked his butt off to get a 2-year degree so he could join the Fire Dept. Which he did. And he also started a side business doing small landscape projects. So between the fire dept, the meat cutting job and his own small landscape business, he was able to provide a pretty decent middle class home for his wife and 3 kids. God bless him and his desire to be the best he could be - no excuses and no handouts.

So one day I wake up and realize he's been the inspiration behind my hard work ethic. I thank him and we dialog as adults. It helped me to realize that all along, I knew the path I would always take and always wanted to take was perhaps the less popular. See, here in the East Bay of SF, it's very popular to be liberal. And if you're not, you better not say a word. In fact, you better just shup up and go with the flow. But I won't. And I haven't.

This election year, I did something I am still nervous about. I've been sporting a McCain-Palin bumper sticker. I keep waiting to get into a verbal altercation or see my car keyed. So far so good, but I do back my car into stalls to be safe.

So folks, I know I'm not alone - and I know it seems so much more popular to be liberal, and that I cannot recall a time in my hometown where being conservative was the cool thing, but when exactly did it become a requirement by so many to conform to the homogenous ways of your local society?

Michelle Bachmann and the Politics of Division

I write this article neither as a Liberal nor as a Conservative. I write this article as an American. I write this as a Caucasian American who holds to a set of Moderate to Right-Libertarian political views.   I write this as someone who is quote worried about the direction our Nation is taking. I write this as someone who is heartsick over the deep divisions in the world of politics.

 For the first time, since I have been Blogging, I feel the need to speak out against those who hold similar political views as mine. I am referring to the comments that were made by Rep. Michelle Bachmann. Rep. Michelle Bachmann on an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball said that there were persons in the United States Congress, who held to Anti-American views.  She also said that these people should be investigated.

Before I get into why I disapprove of this, let me make some things clear. Contrary to popular belief, my Politics is not as far right as some. In fact, I tend to lean towards the center on some issues. I am a moderate on many issues. Although, when it comes to our Military, My disdain of the Islam Religion, Our Nations Constitution, and a few other things, I am much to the right of some. However, on other issues, I tend to be more of a Libertarian. For example, I do not believe that it is the Governments right to tell a woman what to do with her body. 

Now personally on a personal level, I object to Abortion on grounds that it is murder, this is because I am a Christian and I believe that life begins at conception. Nevertheless, on a Political Level, I believe that the United States Government does not have the right to dictate to woman what she can and cannot do with her body. Furthermore, I do not believe that the State Government should dictate to a woman what she can and cannot do to her own body.  

This is because I believe in personal freedom. I also reject the Conservative Christian idea of turning America into a Theocracy.  I also believe in a full wall of separation of Church and State.  However, just as well, I believe the woman should be given all the alternatives to terminating a pregnancy, however, if she decides to do so, that is between her and God. Let God be the judge of that woman. I reject the browbeating that the far right gives to those who decide to perform such an action. That sort of abject nonsense goes against the very core freedoms in our Constitution.  Those that cannot separate between the political and spiritual realms should not involve themselves in politics at all.  

Now do my personal political views of mine make me Anti-American? I think the sane and logical answer to that would be no. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I have little or no use for the far left. I will spare you the reasons for that. I will simply say that I did not leave the Democrat Party, it left me, long ago, especially during this election cycle. However, for me to sit here and write that Democrats were Anti-Americans would be a lesson in abject foolishness.  Frankly, Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s comments yesterday did nothing to raise the level of political discourse in this country whatsoever.  Rep. Michelle Bachmann was essentially doing a poor imitation of Ann Coulter or at worst channeling Joseph McCarthy. I am fully aware that it was written recently that Joseph McCarthy was correct on some matters; it, in fact, was the destructive behavior of Senator McCarthy that ruined his career.    

It is this writer’s opinion that channeling Senator Joseph McCarthy in this desperate hour would be a total and unequivocal disaster to the Republican Party’s cause.  It is not lost upon me that the political landscape of the Democratic Party has changed a great deal in the last eight years, Mrs. Katrina Vanden Heuvel ‘s response to the remarks being a perfect example of this. However, the channeling of McCarthyism will do nothing to further the Conservative cause. In fact, it will alienate more than it will help.

Splitbrains for McCain

Splitbrain” Conservatives are people who are aware that research with split-brain patients has yielded discoveries that thoroughly validate the Conservative view of Mankind and thoroughly repudiate the Liberal view.

The emerging reality is that we are programmed to be tribal territorial animals ... to compulsively form tribes and to war with one another for dominance. This has always been an observable (but emphatically denied) reality, but split-brain research has uncovered and documented the existence of a brain function that enables us to be instinct-driven tribal territorial animals yet totally unaware of the instincts influencing our behavior.

It has been demonstrated, repeatedly and convincingly, that the left-brain's “Interpreter” function automatically generates conscious (and implicitly believed) explanations for any actions we perform or feelings we experience that are not consciously motivated. Thus whenever we lash out at opponents in response to our tribal programming, we implicitly believe that we did so, not instinctively, but for consciously decided upon reasons.

The plaintive question, “Why can't we all just live in peace,” and the bewilderment that throughout our history we have always warred rather than living in peace, is now answerable: “We war because we are programmed to form tribes and contend with one another, and remembering our history will not prevent it unless and until we understand the underlying tribal species programming driving it.”

Until then, the only “Peace” possible is a Pax Romana or a Pax Americana, where one tribe is dominant enough to quell all others, and we can only pray that the dominant tribe remains an America rather than a Russia, China, or Iran.

I encourage all Conservatives to become aware of the incredible significance of what is being learned about how our brain unconsciously influences our behavior, and shamelessly recommend my book, Man by Nature: The Hidden Programming Controlling Human Behavior, as a starting point.

 

Obama Tried To Stall Troop Withdrawal From Iraq

 

 

The New York Post published an opinion piece by Amir Taheri where he reveals that fact that while in Iraq, Obama tried to pursuade the Iraqi Officials to delay an agreement on a withdrawal of the US military.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that Obama made his demand for delay during his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington."

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion."

"However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open." Zebari says.

Though Obama claims the US presence is "illegal," he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the "weakened Bush administration," Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate.

While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date." They declined.

So, there you have it folks, Obama, who I have heard a hundred times while campaigning say he would begin the withdrawal of US Troops from Iraq immediately if he is elected, was trying to delay an agreement on troop withdrawals until after the elections.

The reason why is clear, If Obama wins, he will look like the hero by having troop withdrawal agreements drawn up while he is President. If Obama loses it will look like the Bush Administration wasn't able to form an agreement with Iraq for troop withdrawals and it will also pressure McCain to allow congress to become involved in the talks.

It backfired. Not only does he not convince Iraqi officials, but he fails to convince the leaders of the US Military in Iraq as well. Apparently Obama fails to recognize that President George W. Bush is the Commander in Chief of the US Military, General Petraeus would have to consult President Bush before he could agree to anything Obama suggested. But such is it with an unqualified candidate who is not ready to be Commander in Chief, he does not even understand the chain of command.

Apparently Obama is concerned with the death of US Military personnel, so concerned that he is willing to attempt to pursuade Iraqi Officials and US Military leaders to delay withdrawal talks until after the US elections. Meanwhile, any US troops who are killed during the delay can just be blamed on the Bush adminstration.

It will be interesting to see if we hear anything from the Ant-America left (Code Pinko, Not in Our Name, ANSWER, Democrats.com) on this delay tactic. I can almost guarantee you could hear a pin drop during their silence.

This is hypocrisy in it's purest form. Hopefully, the American Public is beginning to get the picture of this empty suit candidate.

 

J.R. on Vacation: Flight Attendants Thank The Soldiers

 

Hey Folks,

J.R. here reporting from Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina where Mrs. J.R. and I are vacationing. I have been trying to sneak peeks at the Republican Convention and following a lot of it on You Tube. Weather is great here.

Anyway, the reason why I am posting a blog today is because of a very heartening experience we had on our flight here from Charlotte. Both Mrs. J.R. and I were seated toward the rear of the plane. We overheard a conversation between a female flight attendant and a soldier just back from Iraq. She was asking him how things over there were going. The soldier explained that things have going much better and that there were many provinces in Iraq that were now in control of the Iraqi Military. The soldier stated that the Iraqi people were cooperating more with the US Military helping them weed the terrorists out of their neighborhoods. He was relating a very positive outlook on the progress we have made in Iraq,

The female flight attendant seemd surprised to hear his remarks. She told the soldier that this is not what the news media is reporting here in this country. She thanked him for his service.

A couple of moments later a male flight attendant, who looked like Patrick Stewart,(no kidding he looked just like Jon Luc Picard} walked back and was speaking with the soldier and the female flight attendant.

Shortly thereafter, as our flight landed and we waited to depart the aircraft the male flight attendant was doing his routine welcome to Wilmington, N.C. speech and as he was finishing he asked the passangers to allow him to indulge in a bit of editorial license and then acknowledged the soldiers who were on the plane in civilian clothing and asked the passangers to join him in thanking our brave men and women in uniform for serving their country and to thank the families for their sacrifice as well. He went on to acknowledge that he also served in the military when he was younger.

When he was through, the passangers in the plane erupted in applause.

As Mrs. J.R. and I were departing the aircraft I stopped and shook his hand and thanked him for acknowledging the troops and for his service to our country as well.

It's nice to see that there are people who support the troops and aren't afraid to stand up and say so.

 

Michael Savage needs to take a chill pill on Palin

 Michael Savage needs to take a chill pill.

I’m breaking up with Michael Savage and it’s over a woman.
 
I believe it’s necessary for me to write about this to show others how passionate and confident I am about Sarah Palin.
 
I will tell you more about how I really feel about Sarah Palin in my next show Mr.L’s Tavern 20, that will air this September the 10th, 9:30pm Est on CHIMPSY RADIO and re-airing specially for 9/11/2008. All the hosts on Chimpsy Radio will broadcast new shows in observance of 9/11.
 
 
I’ve been listening to Michael Savage for years now. I don’t agree with him on everything but I do on most things.  I’ve defended him when he was fighting CAIR and even defended him when he was lynched for his autism comments.
 
Savage published a new book on Monday of last week and I ordered two of them immediately. By the following Monday, I demanded a refund and a stop order.
 
Why did I do this? Why do I feel this way?
 
I thought his commentary on Sarah Palin went over the line. It was something that I would expect at Daily Kos and not his show or website. The rumors that have surrounded Palin have been just that and probably created by organizations like MoveOn.org and Media Matters who have single-handedly tried to ruin Savage’s career.
 
So far he’s devoted two shows with harsh criticism of this fine and accomplished woman based on a hypothetical.  That’s right, Michael Savage has sided with the “mid-stream media” (as he has dubbed them) by using hyperbole to push the notion that McCain will drop dead in his first days in office.  Pretty ridiculous. Pretty cheap.
 
And if that happened, Palin could turn around and pick an elder statesmen for her Vice President.  After all, isn’t that what Barack Obama has done already?
 
Also, we are voting for the top of the ticket are we not?
 
Savage’s comments about Palin were also extremely insulting. Every time that he’s referred to her it’s been as “this woman” or that her only experience was “pushing a sled”. When in fact, she’s not just “this woman” she’s a governor. 
 
I would also like to point out that, as far as this election goes, Savage has been wrong most of the time. He said Barack Obama would never get this far. He predicted that Obama would pick Hillary as his running mate to create a juggernaut ticket. Didn’t happen. Finally, last summer he declared McCain was washed up and finished. Nope.
 
What was funniest to me was when he began to run down the list of others McCain should’ve picked. Kay Bailey Hutchinson was one. Four months ago, I heard him devote 40 mins to trashing Hutchinson and called her a Rhino over some bill that she helped pass. Next, was his so called favorite Mitt Romney. Funny, I didn’t hear him say a peep about Mitt Romney when John McCain was still deciding.  
 
Palin is a true conservative. For two years now, Savage has been blowing out his vocal chords about getting a true conservative to run with McCain. So now you’ve got one. So shut your mouth. 
 
Also, Palin IS energy. As Savage once said, “the GOP/conservative party is like a dying cancer patient.” If that’s true, Sarah Palin is the chemo it desperately needed.
 
Savage has stated that we need “strong experienced leaders” for these troubled times to stand up to strong men like Putin who hunt Tiger and Bear in the wild. I will say it again, at the TOP of the GOP ticket stands a strong and more experienced McCain than the top of the left ticket with Obama.
 
I think Palin would somehow impress Putin. I think he would see her as a strong woman who’s not afraid to take off the pant suit and strap on the gun and, possibly, go hunt with him.
 
I’ll probably still listen Savage. I will defend continue his right to speak his peace. But enough is enough.

 

What’s fair…..is fair….

Well, seeing the left is going crazy over rumors about Sarah Palin.

I figured I would start a counter rumor, or just simply ask a simple question.

How do we know that Obama’s “so-called” daughters are even his? Would Barry even agree to an DNA test? It is to wonder.

I mean, the African-American culture is not exactly known for it’s martial faithfulness. If Larry Sinclair is to be believed, Barry got around, maybe Michelle did too.

It is a fair question, but if one asks it, ol’ Bambi Aka the Obamassiah will say, “My family is off limits”. and his bots will attack your site. But yet, the Liberals can make up lies about Sarah Palin.

Such an oddball World we live in.

Crossposted @ Political Byline

A Conservative Blueprint for Health Care

Ryan Ellis is the Tax Policy Director at Americans for Tax Reform

The liberals are setting us up for a tax increase, and they’re using health care to do it.  They want to double federal taxes as a percent of the economy from roughly 20% today to 40% over the next half-century.  Most of these new taxes would go toward socialized medicine.

That’s their game plan—what’s ours? 

Let’s start with principles, and move toward policy goals.

Principle 1: Conservative health care reform should neither raise taxes nor increase the size of government.  You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but trust me that it isn’t.

Principle 2: Health insurance should have nothing to do with your job unless you want it to.  In any event, health insurance should be 100% portable.

Principle 3: Shopping for health care should look more like currently shopping for prescription drugs, dental, vision, and cosmetic surgery, and less like going to the hospital or getting a checkup.  The former is price transparent and market-responsive.  The latter is bureaucratic and doesn’t work

So what’s in the conservative package?  Thankfully, someone has already put that together—the Health Care Freedom Coalition (full disclosure—ATR is a charter member).

This is quite literally the free market package of health care reforms.  It doesn’t raise taxes—it cuts them.  It doesn’t grow the size of government—it shrinks it.  It doesn’t curtail the consumer—it liberates him.  If this plan were passed, the size of government wouldn’t just stay at 20% of GDP—it would shrink to 10% over time.

So here’s the question: what do you think of the policy list?  Anything missing?  Anything which should be tossed?  Anything need tweaking?  Unless we get positively engaged in the details of the healthcare debate, the Left (who knows this stuff far better than most of us) will eat our lunch.

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