Conservative Political Commentary

...anti-socialist, anti-globalist, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Thursday, May 28, 2009

If We Build It, They Will Come

Do the views of Colin Powell represent the Republican Party’s best way to future success? Is the party too narrow and exclusive?

Colin Powell is by any measure a distinguished American who, I think, has earned the right to be heard and his opinions considered. But his political prescriptions for the GOP are not the way to victory over the Democrats, especially if we follow his example and campaign for and vote for their Presidential candidate. Powell’s Republican credentials are subject to serious doubt as a result of his support for Obama, despite his claims to the contrary. The party is said to be too narrow in its outreach to various groups, but the GOP should base its appeal on what is best for America, not simply what best serves some group.

The future of the GOP, I believe, will be decided not by what interest groups or demographics the party tries to appeal to, but by the party’s ability to effectively support candidates who articulate conservative beliefs and then advance the cause after they are elected. Conservatives have a different view of the functions of government and public officials from that of liberals.

The liberal tendency is to rule over us to the point of oppression, for our own good, of course, controlling as many aspects of our lives as possible, from auto mileage to toilet tank size, and so on. Conservatives have several basic principles, none of which include micro-managing people’s daily activities or private companies, let alone nationalizing them. Conservatives would be more likely to privatize some things the government already tries to run. This is a distinction that is too often lost or overlooked, simply because we’ve been conditioned over a number of years to accept a far bigger role for the federal government than the Constitution permits or practical benefit warrants.

What the GOP needs is not so much a house-cleaning as some effective conservative leadership. “Moderate” Republicans might be happier as Democrats, but they’re not likely to leave the party in significant numbers. Meanwhile, conservatives must develop a stronger presence somehow, and figure out how to voice strong opposition to the truly destructive policies of the current administration.

If Republicans can’t strongly criticize the philosophy, policies, and actions of the President and the opposing party in Congress and elsewhere, what good are they serving? Despite the pronouncements of some “experts,” people will respond to clear, principled arguments of conservatism because conservatism reflects the beliefs of most of the American people (especially those outside of Washington, D.C.) to a substantial degree. Some Democrats will listen. Issues are plentiful and votes in great numbers are out there to be earned by politicians whose efforts are guided by principles instead of and polls and focus groups.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Reflections

There are lots of things you can do on Memorial Day. You can get together with family and friends to (as the Coneheads say), “char some mammal flesh’” and “consume mass quantities.” Or watch TCM’s war-movie marathon or some other TV event, maybe even attend some Memorial Day ceremony. Lots of folks have family reunions around this time. A three-day weekend is always nice.

Whatever you’re doing, I hope you can take time to give some thought to the meaning of this holiday and what it is that we are observing: honoring the men and women who have died defending our freedom. The sacrifices that have been made to preserve us a free nation have been frequent and great. Many of the best and the brightest have been lost to their families and to our country in exchange for the freedom and safety we too often take for granted. And don’t forget those fighters who are still fighting, and those who fought in the past and survived the battles, often with grievous wounds. They deserve our gratitude, respect, and prayers, and so do their families.

God help us to never forget that a price must be paid for liberty. It is not automatic and it is not free. Our free nation is the great exception to the rule of tyranny which has always dominated this world historically and geographically. To live in America is a great blessing.

The pacifists are well motivated, but greatly mistaken. We would do well to remember the following (attributed to Ernest Hemingway): “There are several things worse than war, and they all come with defeat.”

Have a happy and thoughtful Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Has Obama Done for You Lately?

1. An Astronomical Budget
It involves multiple trillions of dollars that can probably never be repaid, and will leave debt for generations to come. More to come over the next few years.
Inflation is sure to result, which will make the dollar much less valuable.
He adds insult to injury by requesting token budget cuts in Cabinet departments.
He says this kind of spending can’t be sustained, setting stage for massive tax
increases.
This whole business insanely defies the laws of economics and suggests that Obama
is deliberately trying the wreck the American economy to the point that socialism
can be introduced across the board due to the “crisis.”

2. Takeover of Banks
Reluctance to accept TARP $ repayments
Requesting authority to seize any financial firm
Massive “bailouts”

3. Takeover of Auto Manufacturers
Large “bailout” “loans”
Cheating creditors, then chastising them for complaining
Stealing dealerships by forcing closures
Toughening already ridiculous mileage/emission standards

4. Closing Guantanamo and Calling Interrogation Techniques “Torture”
Favoring terrorists’ “rights” over American safety
Slandering Bush Administration for legitimate interrogation techniques

5. Supporting the Mis-named “Employee Free Choice Act”
Taking away secret-ballot elections about union representation
Encouraging union thuggery through “home visits”
Supporting forced unionization, through NLRB appointments and other means

6. Apparently Wanting To Be Close Buddies with Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez

7. Apologizing for and Criticizing America

8. Trying To Appear Caring About Pro-Life Americans and Wanting Dialog, But
Promptly Taking Extreme Pro-Abortion Positions at Every Opportunity


9. Telling Students Not To Try To Succeed in the Business World, But To “Give Back” by Working for Government or Non-Profits.
Against “self interest,” the basis of a free market economy
This was an Obama theme during the campaign.

10. Energy Policy is Cap and Trade, Higher Taxes, No Emphasis on Domestic
Drilling and Refining or Nuclear Power

Obama himself said cap and trade would “bankrupt” anyone who builds a coal- powered plant, and would necessarily cause electricity rates to “skyrocket” (his words). Under cap and trade, requirements would be tightened every year

11. Emphasizes “Early Education” Starting at Pre-School Levels.
This would provide an earlier start on leftist indoctrination, to be continued throughout a person’s “education” process.
This is an anti-family government intrusion on family life

12. Mention of “Domestic Security Force” Raises Concerns About Intimidation of Dissenters (using ACORN?)

13. Moving Census Bureau from Commerce Department to White House, Thereby
Politicizing It for Democrats’ Benefit.


14. Seeking Ways To Silence Talk Radio

15. History of Investigating and Trying To Destroy People Who Challenge Him on Political Issues

16. Through Phony “Healthcare” Concerns, Planning To Tax Popular Products and Dictate Menus and Eating Habits

17. Last, but Certainly Not Least, “Universal” Healthcare, with Government
in Charge of Diagnosis, Treatment, Records, and Virtually All Aspects of Healthcare

This will result in extreme tax increases, health care rationing, especially for older people, and deep degradation of American healthcare. Even after years of experience, British and Canadian systems are extremely inefficient and practice severe rationing, and, of course, massive taxation.

The above-listed items and others illustrate Obama’s lack of concern for the Constitution and his determination to dictate in as many ways as possible the daily life activities of the American people. He is quickly moving America in a socialist-fascist direction. With his celebrity-type popularity and support in all branches of government, with little in the way of checks and balances, he has been able to move quickly to start these initiatives, and the Republicans seem disorganized.

However, public dissatisfaction is growing, and as more people are harmed by these policies, effective conservative opposition will emerge. Republican leaders have plenty of issues on which to go after Obama. They need public support and they will need to demonstrate courage and conviction. The GOP is supposed to be the party of free markets, individual liberty, limited government, low taxes, and strong national defense.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where Is the GOP Headed?

It seems that each day we read more about how the Republican Party is in disarray, it’s leaderless, or else the leader is Rush Limbaugh or Dick Cheney. Also the Republicans are advised to embrace a “big tent” approach, appeal more to this or that ethnic group, interest group or other demographic. And how conservatism is holding the party back.

Mostly this analysis and advice comes from the Party’s bitter enemies the Democrats and the mainstream media. Apparently the party should disavow Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, and find a spokesman like John McCain only more in line with Obama’s policies. Like Colin Powell, who I understand still claims to be a Republican? Puh-leeze! If the Republican Party follows this kind of advice, it will fade into history sooner than later.

Some Republicans, we are told, are privately concerned about Dick Cheney’s boldness in speaking out to defend Bush Administration anti-terror policies and question Obama’s approaches. But Cheney is, in my opinion correct in his statements and also wise and courageous. If Republicans are embarrassed by conservatism, and opposition to Obama, let them follow Specter and become Democrats. The “moderate” (liberal) Republicans do the party more harm than good and the GOP would be better off without them. Then the party could more effectively articulate a conservative message and many voters, who will soon be very tired of Obama, will be convinced. If the Republican Party will affirm conservatism and a pro-life position, they will have an excellent chance of success.

Only a conservative and articulate Republican Party (not a third party) has any real chance of saving this country from socialism and preventing the Obama Administration from becoming a full-fledged fascist dictatorship, for that is the process that is in place, slowed only by whatever opposition can be mustered.

I believe the Tea Parties were the start of something significant. God bless Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Cheney, and all the real conservatives. Some just need to find their voice.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Urgent Warning About Gardasil

Please watch the Health Sciences Institute video, which reveals facts about side effects and deaths related to Gardasil, a "cervical cancer vaccine." Some states are considering legislation to mandate this vaccine as a condition for attending school. It is designed to be given to girls as young as nine years of age. As the video explains, it does more harm than good.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Warren G. Harding? Return to Normalcy!

I posted a picture of President Warren G. Harding, along with his slogan “return to normalcy,” because I think that most Americans will soon want our country to return to normalcy and away from the freedom-crushing, fiscally irresponsible and socialistic policies of Barack Obama. The U.S. was tired of the overbearing government activism, intrusions, and curtailment of freedom that was experienced under Woodrow Wilson’s administration and Harding was a welcome relief.

Historians have generally not been kind to Harding, although some have attempted to show that not all the criticism was deserved, and that he (or his administration, at least), in fact, accomplished some quite positive things. Harding was nominated as a dark-horse compromise candidate to break a convention deadlock. Calvin Coolidge was chosen as his running mate.

President Harding is most often remembered for the scandals that some of his appointees got involved in, such as the Teapot Dome bribery scandal, and some others. Harding remarked that he could deal with his enemies, it was his friends who caused him the most trouble. Some had to serve jail time. Harding apparently had several weaknesses that impaired his work as president. He was a good speaker and able to get along well with people, even those in rival factions of his party, but he was not, it seems, a strong leader or visionary. Also, despite his charm and good appearance, and a true liking for people, he had some moral failures leading to extramarital affairs. Most of the political and personal scandals were unknown to the public until after his death, and may very well have contributed to his death. He took office in 1921 and died in 1923, supposedly of a heart attack or stroke, following food poisoning and pneumonia, although no autopsy was permitted.

Probably he thought that America needed a respite not only from World War I, but from the dictatorial rule of Wilson. Under Woodrow Wilson, during the War, it was made illegal to criticize the government or the war effort. Publications that were suspect could have their postal permits withdrawn by a simple government decision. Thugs were empowered to bully people who didn’t seem to conform enough. And business interests grew weary of government controls and taxes they considered too high.

Harding addressed these issues. He had some able and upright men in his cabinet, not just crooks and self-serving cronies. Herbert Hoover, Andrew Mellon, and Charles Evans Hughes made important contributions as Cabinet officers.

Harding helped make sure that America was not going to join the League of Nations, Wilson’s dream project. Wilson was adamant that no compromise was possible on this, although historians believe he could have negotiated a successful conclusion. Harding, along with his successor Calvin Coolidge, led America through an important transition from wartime, through an economic downturn and toward a period of prosperity.

Under Harding, taxes were lowered, protective tariffs were increased, aid was given to Russia (under Hoover’s supervision) that reportedly saved ten million lives, a treaty limiting naval armaments was approved, which saved a great deal of money, and various reforms were implemented.

Some trivia: Harding was the first president to ride to his inauguration in an automobile. The presidential campaign of 1920 was the first to be covered by radio. Harding was the first president to visit Alaska. And he was the first president elected as a sitting U.S. senator. Also, his presidential election victory was by the largest margin up to that time. It is reported that he ran against the retiring Wilson and mostly ignored his Democratic opponent James Cox. He campaigned from his front porch and attracted many people to his home town, including Hollywood celebrities.

We will need (and already do need) a “return to normalcy” from Obamaism, but I hope that a leader more effective than the unfortunate Harding will emerge, someone more like Ronald Reagan, a conservative person of principle with strong political and communication skills, and not an advocate of Liberalism Lite or Slower Socialism.

Some have rated Harding, unjustly I think, as the worst U.S. president. For me, that honor (among presidents who have completed their time in office) goes to Jimmy Carter. He at least proved his ineffectiveness over a full term.

(See Harding biographies at answers.com)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

OK, it's an unpaid commercial, but well worth watching:



Putting aside politics for the moment, here are some thoughts for Mother's Day, in the form of a Christian message to men. I have found these principles very helpful over the years, although I've had failures at times.

HUSBANDS, HONOR YOUR WIVES

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25 (NASB)

1. Realize that motherhood is a greatly demanding job, not at all less difficult, and generally much more so, than your own, whether your wife works outside the home or not.

2. Be creative in providing your part of rearing your children, and in relieving your wife of some of her burden.

3. Realize that failure to understand and help your wife to be a good mother is a failure as a husband and father.

4. Get together on discipline and don't resolve your differences in front of the children.

5. Provide spiritual leadership for your family. Don't expect anyone else to do it if you won't. God will hold you accountable. Teaching your family about Jesus Christ is not only your privilege, but your responsibility. Help them to understand the Gospel. First, be sure you understand it yourself.

6. Never think of parenthood as anything less than a primary responsibility.

7. Rejoice with your wife and children in their successes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Obama Explains the Effects of Cap and Trade



What are two effects Obama says cap and trade would have?
1. A huge sum would be charged that would bankrupt anyone building a coal-powered plant.
2. Electricity rates would skyrocket.

Got it?

Where does this leave the coal industry? Also, when energy rates go up, many other prices also go up. Obama would make this program permanent with stricter requirements each year.

All this would raise costs, raise taxes, and impose more controls in the name of fighting "climate change," a non-existent "crisis" about which, even if climate is changing, which it naturally does over time, nothing can be done anyway. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. But this plan is another step toward wrecking the American economy. Think the financial meltdown has been bad? We've yet to see the impact of Obama's plans for that. This is equally destructive if not worse. How many businesses will close or leave America if this plan comes into effect? Probably a lot. If we think of our economy as a building, cap and trade is a wrecking ball.

Cap and trade is supposed to provide billions for "investment" in alternative energy sources. Wind and solar power industries will develop as entrepreneurs (capitalists!) see a profit potential and are willing to invest in them. Right now these things, as far as massive energy production is concerned, are a pipe dream that's going to cost billions, and with government in charge, the payoff is doubtful, and far away at best.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Does Obama Like the Constitution?



Obama complains that the Warren court did not break free from the constraints of the Constitution to redistribute wealth. But not to worry, he can take care of it through legislation!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Milton Friedman was one of the greatest economists, and possibly the greatest economist, of our time. He was a staunch advocate of free markets and a foe of government interference. He wrote prolifically and also won numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976. He was a teacher and researcher and member of several economics organizations. His theories have had a profound effect on government policies, against the influence of Keynesian theory.

He warned of the drift toward socialism and believed there was a less than 50-50 chance of avoiding it, but he would not give up the fight. See the Video Bar below for Milton Friedman interviews and statements. He was a tireless champion of freedom and demonstrated the superiority of free-market capitalism over other economic forms. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information on the web about Milton Friedman. No student of economics can afford to ignore him.

Some quotes (quoted at answers.com):
"The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
"Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."
"There's no such thing as a free lunch."