Government

George Washington on Political Parties, Expansion of Government

I wonder what George Washington would think if he were alive today and reflected on the lives shed to build this nation and this new government and his precious Constitution?

Below is his advice, and also a caveat with respect to borrowing and credit. It would appear if we had heeded his advice, our country would not be facing the crisis which have now afflicted us......

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property. I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations.

Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty. Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change 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. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who shouldlabor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. 

Growing the Failure

In his inaugural address, President Obama said we should not worry about the size of government, but about whether we're spending money on things that work... 

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And yet, in the few months since taking office, President Obama has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up companies that were not working.  When, exactly, will the answer be "no"? 

O'Donnell: Entitlements are Socialist

If you can make it through the puerile and prurient ravings of David Shuster, sitting in for the normally oh-so-(mentally)-balanced Keith Olbermann, you find this nugget at 5:50 into the 8-minute-long stream of sexual jokes:

Lawrence O'Donnell, "[Medicare and Social Security] are well-working Socialist programs within the American government.  There's absolutely no other description of them."

Nice to hear a liberal admit this instead of trying to pretend these programs are anything but government taking from some to give to others.

The Next Right Policy: Reviving the Economy Through Free Market Principles

Two days ago, Jon Henke posed the question, "What policy should Republicans be advocating and pursuing to limit government and regain popular support?"

With Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress proposing new bailouts and a significant amount of additional government spending to create jobs and restore the economy, Republicans have a phenomenal chance to reinforce our earnest belief in limited government.  I propose a simple policy that will allow us to both "limit government and regain popular support": Republicans must fight Democratic efforts to build a nanny state to solve the economic woes. Instead, our policy should be offering solutions to revive the economy that are rooted in free market principles.

Indeed, Thomas Sowell points out that government intervention may actually be harmful to the economy:

Even in the case of the Great Depression of the 1930s, increasing numbers of economists and historians who have looked back at that era have concluded that, on net balance, government intervention prolonged the Great Depression.

I recently had a unique chance to discuss the economy with renowned economist and monetary policy expert Dr. Allan Meltzer (which you can read at length here).  Meltzer and other leading economists have observed that the big problem plaguing the economy is the housing crisis, and that the government's efforts to breathe life into the economy have neglected this issue.  Meltzer proposes a free market solution to the housing crisis that could be immensely effective as a step toward getting the economy back on track:

To address the housing problem, Congress and the administration should take actions that increase the current demand for housing. For a limited time, say up to the end of 2009, allow buyers to use the value of their down-payment (or some part of it) as a tax deduction. Or, reduce the tax rate for qualified buyers who purchase a house between now and January 2010. Or do both. Give the benefit to all home buyers, including those buying a second or third house.

The bottom line is that the battle of free markets versus government control is one Republicans can – and should – win.  Dr. Meltzer noted that he often says, "Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin."  Yes, the free market will inevitably fail on occasion – and Republicans, as champions of capitalism, must pursue a policy that ensures that the free market is given the chance to fix itself as it has many times before.  If Republicans can identify innovative free market solutions to the economic woes like the proposals outlined by Dr. Meltzer, we can help ensure limited government while making real progress toward economic recovery.

Idea re: Emergency Insurance

Let's change FEMA’s (and similar disaster response agencies’) regulations as follows:

1.   People can receive help from them no more than three times in their lifetime and
2.   No one may receive assistance more than once per type of disaster within a ten year period.

For example: if a person lives in a hurricane prone area and their house is destroyed by a hurricane (or related disaster such as a tornado or flooding caused by a hurricane), they can receive help to restore their lives to some semblance of order. However, they may not receive any more hurricane-related bailouts for the next 10 years.

Why is this a good idea?

Because right now we are subsidizing people who think it is a good idea to build their house in areas which are prone to natural disasters on a regular basis and everyone who does not live in such areas is paying for them to do so.

We help them, year after year after year, to rebuild in the exact same damn spot they did before. This is insanity.

By removing the incentive which allows them to spread their risk among everyone else, we will begin the process of forcing people make truer assessments of the amount of risk they are willing to take on than they are currently doing.

The positive results? 

  1. People will move away from areas prone to certain natural disasters or
  2. Have to buy proper insurance to ameliorate the risk they are voluntarily taking.
  3. Also cost to everyone else will go down as the government stops forcing them to pay for someone else’s willful disregard of reality.
  4. "Worst-disaster ever" will be used less frequently as fewer people are at risk to harm.
The trade-off? 
  1. Areas like South Florida would see a drop in population or
  2. Their inhabitants would see a rise in the cost of living commensurate with the true risk they are taking to indulge their preference to live in the area.
This new policy would also apply to places like Tornado Alley in the Great Plains, flood-prone areas like New Orleans, California and its earthquakes, etc.
 
Thoughts?

 

Three Ways Republicans Can Win Back the Youth Vote

We simply cannot afford to lose a generation of young voters to the Democrats. As a follow-up to my first post from a few days back, I’d like to propose some specific changes that would better serve the Republican Party in recapturing the youth vote.

Establish a Young Voter Outreach arm of the Republican National Committee

We need to fight tooth and nail to bring young voters back to the Republican Party. Yes, the Young Republican National Federation and College Republican National Committee exist. The problem is that neither of these organizations actively serve to “sell” the Republican Party to young voters – rather, their purpose is to engage young voters who are already affiliated with the GOP. Thus, the Young Voter Outreach arm would serve to accomplish this, demonstrating to young voters that the Republican Party actually cares about winning their vote and is not just the party of older generations.

This arm of the RNC must be overseen by – surprise – a Republican under the age of 30. It would be responsible for working with the RNC’s eCampaign folks to launch new, state-of-the-art websites, blogs, and other online projects that are designed specifically to appeal to young voters who are not necessarily Republicans. One of the goals of these projects should be to serve to answer crucial questions like, “Why is the Republican Party’s platform the right one for me as a young voter?” or “Why should I, as a young voter, be alarmed about the Democrats’ plan to [insert bad policy here – redistribute the wealth, raise taxes, etc.]?”

But there’s more. As a Party, we need to begin building and then maintaining a strong base of young, up-and-coming Republicans, who in the near future can begin running for the U.S. House and Senate. These young candidates will help allow us to pursue a 435 district strategy while bringing new, fresh faces to the table. Therefore, the Young Voter Outreach arm would be responsible for identifying and recruiting these folks, but more importantly, it would encourage them to begin running for local offices and provide training sessions to show them how to run for an office and win.

Differentiate from Democrats Through Ideals of Limited Government

Over the next two years, the Democrats will look to expand government in many ways. As I noted in my first column, many young voters are decidedly libertarian, and thus they’ll frown on these changes – a circumstance that Republicans, as the party of free-markets and personal liberty, can capitalize upon.

Despite this, young voters are going to find it difficult to support the Republican Party if it remains the party that condones government intervention in such issues as gay marriage or the behavior of two consenting adults in their own bedroom. These socially conservative issues may be important to voters in the other generations, but in the eyes of many of my peers, government has no place in getting involved in these matters. Indeed, the Republican Party’s continued support of government involvement in these issues continues to reinforce the notion to many young voters that the GOP is the party of the older generations.

Clearly, some sort of common ground needs to be reached if the Republican Party wishes to appeal to the young voting bloc while not losing social conservatives. In terms of policy, what could this balance look like? On issues such as gay marriage, Republicans could advocate the voters in each state making their own statewide decision. Specifically, California’s Proposition 8 is a phenomenal example of how the voters – rather than the government – can determine their state’s position on this sort of issue. Abortion, however, is a slightly different animal. If you believe (as I do) that life begins at conception, then abortion is, quite simply, the infringement of another human being’s right to life. Since the federal government is charged with protecting people’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Republicans can fairly argue that it is the federal government’s responsibility to fight to limit abortion.

Taking this all into account, a forward-looking, pro-young voter platform statement for the Republican Party of the future should look something like this:

The Republican Party is the party of individual freedom, limited government, and personal choice. At the federal level, we will fight to reduce the size of government and make it more accountable to the people who fund it. We will fight to protect every human being’s God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And at the statewide level, we will work with the citizens to protect and preserve the traditional values upon which this great nation was built.

Rethink Our Branding and Organizational Identity

This one’s so simple, yet we cannot underestimate its importance: the fact is that a huge part of what drew young voters to Barack Obama was his hip, corporate-like branding and identity. Some might argue that this is shallow, but I strongly disagree. Instead, this is the reality of effective marketing. Indeed, it is the same reason that some brands flourish and while others fail miserably. Marketing is one of the most critical topics in the business world, and Barack Obama has taught us that it can be equally as significant in politics.

Just look at a side-by-side of the two candidate’s logos. Obama’s “O” logo probably has near 100% brand recognition – you don’t need the “Obama ‘08″ below it to know what it represents. On the other hand, if you took away McCain-Palin and left only the star at the top with the two lines extending out from it, would anyone have a clue what it represents? Nope.

Further, Obama’s simplistic yet impeccably memorable slogan of “hope” and “change” were consistent and didn’t change in the slightest since he entered the race. McCain didn’t maintain such a consistent message, and unfortunately, his “Country First” slogan that was implemented near the end of the race does not have the appeal of “hope” and “change.”

Fortunately, the Democratic Party itself does not have a branding or identity advantage over the Republican Party. This creates a unique opening for the GOP to take the initiative. Redesign the RNC’s logo and GOP.com to reflect the trends of Web 2.0. Find a unifying, clear-cut message for the party that carries wide-spread appeal. And most importantly, offer resources so that our candidates as well as our state and local parties can do the same.

Conclusion

The changes that I’ve identified in this post are necessary for the Republican Party to transform itself as the party of the future. A huge component that will be necessary to accomplishing this is the GOP’s ability to attract younger, fresh faces – the people who are this country’s future. Ultimately, the changes I propose all add up to one overreaching goal: to transform the Republican Party into one that represents all generations and embodies the core principles that make this nation so great.

This entry is cross-posted at NextGenGOP.

Recognizing the Lessons of the Ron Paul Revolution

Crossposted at NextGenGOP.com.

A few hours ago, I received an e-mail from a Ron Paul supporter, and although the majority of the e-mail was rather condescending, the author makes an important statement that I do believe merits exploration:

You guys [at NextGenGOP] are … ignoring Ron Paul … and his contribution to gathering sincere and dedicated enthusiasm in American politics.

Indeed, the author is correct – our contributors have not really discussed the Ron Paul Revolution, despite the fact that there are a number of crucial lessons for the Republican Party to learn from his successes. Thus, without further ado, I will take this post to thoroughly explore this matter.

To his credit, Ron Paul’s campaign demonstrated that Republicans can indeed keep up with Democrats in the era of Web 2.0, particularly in the areas of grassroots organization and fundraising. In addition, his campaign won the hearts of many young voters in a way quite similar to that of President-elect Obama. This begs two critical questions: how did Ron Paul manage to accomplish these significant feats despite being widely regarded as a “fringe candidate,” and more importantly, what lessons must the Republican Party take from his success?

Ron Paul’s Successes

Let us begin by looking at the many successes of the Paul campaign, and how his performance compares to that of the two most significant candidates of the cycle: John McCain and Barack Obama.

  1. Ron Paul energized his supporters, resulting in an incredible outpouring of enthusiasm for his candidacy despite being supported by an extremely small percentage of voters. McCain’s campaign created a short burst of energy during his selection of Sarah Palin and the convention, but it proceeded to fizzle out as time passed. Obama’s campaign continuously energized its supporters, resulting in unbelievably massive crowds at his campaign events. A Gallup poll from October 2008 confirms this phenomenon, clearly indicating the enthusiasm gap that Democrats had over Republicans.
  2. Ron Paul effectively used the Internet to organize his grassroots efforts. Relying on existing infrastructures like Meetup.com – where he was able to recruit over 86,600 members in 1,150 groups that planned and held over 51,000 offline campaign events – the Paul campaign had enormous success in this arena. McCain’s website had its own network called McCainSpace, but at many levels it was not especially groundbreaking, and in contrast to the online outreach by Obama and Paul, it seemed to be used fairly lightly by supporters. In contrast, Barack Obama successfully built an incredible network at my.barackobama.com by bringing on Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Ask almost any Obama supporter, and they’ll tell you that they used Obama’s online tools in one way or another. What’s unique about Ron Paul’s success, however, is that his campaign didn’t spend enormous resources building its own tools. Instead, it successfully took advantage of tools that already existed and thus was able to build an incredibly comprehensive national grassroots network without having to spend a significant amount of its own money.
  3. Ron Paul’s ability to raise funds online is unparalleled in the Republican Party. Indeed, for the final quarter of 2007, Ron Paul outraised all of the other Republican Presidential candidates. McCain’s fundraising was generally unexceptional, and his strategic error in choosing to take public funding will almost certainly never happen again. And of course, we all know that Obama was a fundraising juggernaut, particularly online.
  4. Ron Paul strongly appealed to young voters. Exit polls for early primary states like NH, MI, SC, and FL show that a disproportionately large percentage of younger voters pulled the lever for Ron Paul (in many cases, roughly twice the percentage of votes he received from other age groups). As we know from the exit polling of the general election, these young voters overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama over John McCain: CNN pegs Obama’s advantage at 66% - 32%.

How Ron Paul’s Successes Came to Fruition

At the most basic level, it was Ron Paul’s common-sense and decidedly libertarian platform that created so much interest in his campaign. While some of his positions, such as his staunch opposition to the Iraq war, stand in stark contrast to the Republican agenda, the fact is that the core of his message is quite in line with the traditional Republican message: reducing the federal government’s size and cutting its spending.

What made Ron Paul distinct, however, was his passion and commitment to accomplishing this. If you had to identify the single most important policy issue in a hypothetical Paul administration, it would unquestionably be reduction of government. Unfortunately, you cannot unequivocally say the same about any of the other Republican candidates, and certainly not of John McCain (read: McCain-Feingold, among other things).

Ron Paul’s steadfast and unwavering commitment to his limited government principles brought a huge influx of dedicated supporters to his campaign. The resulting enthusiasm among these supporters translated into impeccable successes.

Lessons for the Republican Party

  1. Democrats aren’t the only ones who can fully take advantage of the Internet, both in donations and in building a grassroots organization. Indeed, you don’t even necessarily need to build new tools to win the battle online. That said, in order to see Ron Paul-like success, there are two crucial components that must exist. First, you must have enthusiastic supporters who are not only willing but excited to help the organization. Second, you must be willing to allow online tools to step into areas that have traditionally been controlled internally, such as grassroots organization.
  2. We cannot underestimate the importance of our ideals of smaller, less expensive government – and our candidates’ commitment to these ideals. To paraphrase a McCain stump line, Republicans were elected due to their promises to change Washington, but instead they let Washington change them. As a result, the voters turned to Democrats in 2006 and 2008, at least in part because they simply don’t trust us to keep our word. In 2010 and beyond, we need to run candidates who have a proven commitment to these principles – perhaps signing off on a Contract with America 2.0 similar to what I’ve previously suggested – and in doing so we will generate an incredible amount of enthusiasm for our candidates.
  3. Successfully using the Internet saves money. A lot of money. Of the major Presidential candidates, Ron Paul’s campaign devoted by far the smallest percentage of its budget to paying staffers. One of the most important reasons for this is simple: by successfully using the Internet to build the grassroots backbone of the campaign, there was considerably less need to pay staffers to organize outreach efforts. Yes, the sheer notion of such a decentralized campaign may be unsettling to those who are used to running traditional campaigns. However, Web 2.0 is shaking up the foundations of many traditional infrastructures with resounding success. If we want to survive in this new era, we need to allow it to shake up our organizations, too. Just imagine if John McCain had been able to slash his campaign’s payrolls by just 15% due to such decentralization – in fiscal year 2007 alone (well before McCain was the presumptive nominee), McCain would have been able to save $2.3 million.
  4. Republicans can win back the younger voting bloc. My experience has been that the vast majority of my peers – voters age 18-29 – fundamentally agree that they want the government in their lives as little as possible. The Republican Party is the party of individual freedoms and liberties, and if we can manage to resecure the public’s faith in this, we can win back young voters.

The bottom line is that we simply cannot afford to discount Ron Paul as a “fringe candidate” whose successes hold no lessons of value for the Republican Party. Instead, we must to adapt these successes into the new Republican Party. Viva la revolución!

Editorial: Russia and Democratic Neglect

One of the biggest issues with this Russian/Georgian conflict is the fact that there is a lack of verifiable information. One minute you hear that the conflict has ended and the fighting has stopped the very next, you hear that the fighting is still happening, and that the Russians are not honoring the cease-fire agreement. It is all rather confusing, and it makes for a very frustrated blogger. Because the last thing a blogger wants to be, is wrong.

However, more than that is the lack of the Main Stream Media’s ability to look at this entire conflict in a historical context. Many are pointing to the actions of Ronald Reagan for dissolving the Soviet Union Empire, as being the cause of this conflict. I happen to disagree with that notion. I believe personally that it was the foolish actions of President Harry Truman, that is the cause of this conflict or shall I say the harvest of seeds planted by Harry Truman’s actions.

On December 7, 1941, the empire of Japan attacked the United States naval base in Oahu, Hawaii. This act of brazen hostility brought the United States of America into World War II, despite President Franklin Roosevelt’s pledge to remain neutral in the ever-growing conflict. As history would show, The United States fought the war and finally Hitler was defeated, and Japan surrendered. However, the method used to end the war, is in my opinion the underlying cause of this conflict.

It is a known fact that the United States soundly defeated Hitler by fighting them on the ground and air, using conventional weapons. However, we stopped the war, and to end the conflict with Japan, we used atomic weapons. This I feel was a tragic mistake. This is because Truman was a different kind of a Democrat than Roosevelt. Roosevelt was an “old line” Democrat, who saw the Communist threat, knew what the Communist doctrine was truly about, the repression of freedom and he stood to defeat it. No matter how long it took.

However, Truman was another matter entirely. President Truman represented the “new line” of Democrats who felt that war was unneeded and that peace was a better path. This was a precursor to the “peacenik” Democrats of the sixties. This was evident when President Truman gave his infamous “Military Industrial Complex” speech, at the end of his term. * - See below, please.  With Hitler out of the way, Truman, feeling the ever-increasing pressure to end the war and return the country to pre-war status, devised a plan to end the conflict with Japan.

While using the Atomic bomb might have been an effective means of ending a war, its impact and stain upon the United States would be long ranging, to this very day, is to be considered a very poor decision by the United States. On many websites in Japan, including those in English, denounce America as being brutal for dropping the bomb. However, those who had friends and relatives that died at Pearl Harbor felt that Japan got what it deserved.

It is in the opinion of this writer, that the United States should have fought the war, all the way to Russia, until communism was soundly defeated. Furthermore, The United States of America, should have never dropped the atomic bomb on the empire of Japan, but rather, should have fought that war on the ground, until Japan surrendered. This would have resulted in the total defeat of communism. However, as we all know, this never happened.

Because of this obtuse neglect, the United States of America began a “Cold War” with the empire of the Soviet Union that lasted until a Conservative President, a real conservative President, whom came on the scene in the eighties to plant the seeds that would eventually bring down the soviet empire. However, as we have seen here in the last few days, Russia is not a free and democratic society; it is simply a police state, without the outright communism.

Putin, a man who is sympathetic toward the old soviet empire, filled to the brim with communist doctrine, is wagging his finger in the face of the United States and making a mockery of the supposed democracy in the European continent. This is the harvest of the neglect of the Democratic Party of the forties.

* Update: Oops! I blew it, Truman did NOT give the military-industrial complex speech, Dwight Eisenhower did. My bad. I blew it, I should have checked. :roll: But my point about the Democrats and the cold war as it relates to Russia still stands.

John McCain: Tax Warrior

Crossposted at Right Minds

Conservatives don’t always agree. Many neocons don’t really care about the concerns of social conservatives, and some social conservatives would be just as happy to see America leave Iraq. The libertarian wing of the party, in many cases, is indifferent to either side; instead, they promote dismantling massive federal programs that are probably here to stay.
 
One thing all these groups agree upon, however, is the need for lower taxes. It is pretty much universally recognized on the Right that taxes are a necessary evil—that they kill initiative, stunt economic growth, and give the government far too much power over our lives. And fortunately, the Republican Party has nominated a man who is committed to slashing taxes across the board.
 
John McCain got the reputation as something of a supporter of high tax rates due to his opposition to the Bush tax cuts. His opposition to these cuts was inexcusable and weird—he now claims that he opposed them because the GOP wasn’t cutting spending enough, but at the time, his justification was the same “all the tax cuts are going to the rich” screed that the Democrats employed both then and now. Now, however, McCain has flip-flopped on the issue and now supports Bush’s tax cuts—and a lot more.
 
I don’t know what changed McCain’s mind, but he now supports a radically altered tax plan, and his proposals are very, very good. McCain supports cutting taxes on gasoline (which won’t cut fuel prices at all, but is better than letting our money get consumed by the government), the middle class (by repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax), and supports doubling the personal exemption for dependants. He would raise the exemption for the estate tax to $10 million, and would cut the tax to 15%. He wants to slash the corporate tax rate by ten percent, and supports a ban on internet and cell phone taxes.
 
And McCain does not just espouse cutting tax rates—he wants to fundamentally change the tax code. He wants to mandate a 3/5 Congressional majority to enact a tax hike, which slow the ratification of new taxes. More importantly, his plan would release Americans from the current bloated tax code. The new system would involve two flat rates—you fill in your income, and subtract the percentage owed in taxes. This would end most of the needless IRS red tape. According to some polls, Americans fear an IRS audit more than a mugging—McCain’s revamped tax codes would change all that. (And if anyone wanted to employ the old tax code, that option would be available to them).
 
In 1984, the first thing Walter Mondale did upon receiving the nomination was to promise to raise taxes. Barack Obama doesn’t want to make the same mistake. So on his official website, the entire issue of taxes seems strangely invisible, like you wandered into some parallel universe where taxes are no longer an important issue. There are two mentions of taxes on Obama’s Issues page—one involves the vaguely Orwellian sounding “Making Work Pay” tax credit (which would provide tax cuts to working class families, although these cuts are a pale shadow of the cuts involved in McCain’s plan), and a simplified tax form, which basically lets the government do your taxes for you. That seems to be the substance of Obama’s tax plan.
 
Obama spends more time criticizing John McCain’s tax plan. He claims that McCain’s tax cuts are bad because they would deprive the government of too much revenue. (Like that is a bad thing). Obama ignores the fact that lower taxes often mean increased government revenue, as the money saved is usually spent or invested, which causes economic growth, and hence more tax revenues.
 
John McCain has his flaws as a candidate. He does seem to support the idea of an activist federal government, and his immigration plan is truly dreadful. But his ideas on taxes are absolutely wonderful (they seem borrowed from the Fred Thompson campaign), and he deserves a lot of credit for them. On the issue of taxes, as on so many other issues, McCain is not just acceptable—he is really, really good.

 

Conservative Government: Oxymoron?

Promoted -- we need to reclaim the idea of the web as a place for organic self-organization and self-government in contrast to the top-down philosophy of the left. -Patrick

What is the blogosphere saying?  Can we get it on the web?  How can we use this to raise money online?  

These are questions that each of us who are "online" strategists hear from our clients.  And they miss the point about the power of the Internet for political change. 

Not to beat a dead horse, but the web -- as a medium, as a place -- plays a crucial role in politicking today, and we can foresee it playing an ever-increasing role throughout the 21st century.  It is key part of the solution to the right's woes, but it plays a minimal role in the problem.  The problem, as Alex Castellanos, veteran media strategist identifies in a National Review column, is that Republicans can't communicate a core principle (singular). 

Read on.

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