Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Many of America’s seemingly benevolent programs succeed only in making people dependent

original article: Searching for Self-Reliance
May 30, 2017 by Edwin J. Feulner

When conservatives call for Congress to cut federal spending and shrink the size of government, they’re often portrayed as heartless.

On the contrary: We remember our heritage. We know there’s actually nothing “progressive” at all about the nanny state. Indeed, it’s regressive. It’s a betrayal of our history as a nation built on self-reliance.

We owe our republic, after all, to the energy and exertions of rugged individuals — pilgrims who crossed the perilous sea in frail ships to brave a wilderness, pioneers who slogged thousands of miles through hostile territory and prevailed against all odds.

They had no subsidies, no guarantees, no government help save for raw public land they painfully developed by hard labor. They shared what they had, helped one another, and took turns standing guard to protect against danger. They wanted to be free, and they build the freest country in history.

Self-reliance, Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his landmark work “Democracy in America,” was the organizing principle of American life, culture, and politics in the 19th century. Today, however, our nation seems to have reversed Tocqueville’s admiring formulation and become a nanny state in which more and more individuals depend on government to do not only what they can’t do for themselves, but far too much else.

Sure, there are plenty of hard-working Americans still around. But unlike our predecessors, many other present-day Americans show little or no interest in relying on their own mind and muscle to surmount obstacles. Since the 1930s, generations have grown up accustomed to depending on government as their first line of defense against not only serious trouble, but also the common vicissitudes of ordinary life.

Think of the chores we expect our public servants to perform with all the panache of brave first responders tackling a terrorist attack. If you lock your keys inside your car, can’t coax your cat down from a tree, or feel insulted by a surly cabdriver, what do you do? Many milquetoasts in 21st century America call 911 and demand action by some hapless fire company or overworked police department.

The nanny state has conditioned vast numbers of us to view nearly any setback as a federal case. If you can’t pay your debts, taxes or tuition; if you can’t afford health insurance, rebuild your beach house after a hurricane, or save your business from your own follies, never fear — some federal program will surely bail you out.

And you don’t have to be poor, friendless, handicapped or underprivileged to get that help. The bigger your business and the more egregious your errors, the more you can expect the feds to save you.

Americans have been sliding into dependency ever since the New Deal began federalizing everyone’s problems, and particularly since Lyndon Johnson launched his so-called “Great Society.” What fell by the wayside was the previous American way of dealing with adversity, the era when people in need turned to the civil society around them — the safety net of families, friends, churches, local doctors, and politicians.

All that changed with the proliferation of federal programs doling out benefits on an industrial scale. Federal involvement in everything from retirement (Social Security), health care (Medicare and Medicaid) and education grew by leaps and bounds, making more and more Americans dependent on faceless bureaucrats they never meet.

It all adds up to a profound loss of the self-reliance that built this country and made it great. Many of our seemingly benevolent programs succeed only in weakening people and condemning them to endless dependency.

This is why conservatives want to cut government down to size. As President Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address, “It is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work — work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride our back.”

Critics call that heartless. But to allow our present trajectory to continue unchecked is senseless. It’s time to change course — before it’s too late.

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Yes, Democrats are still responsible for slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK

I was listening to a guy talk about the unsavory history of American Democrats. An academic in the audience, also a Democrat, spoke up during the Q&A and castigated the speaker for suggesting modern Democrats are responsible for their party’s past. Elsewhere, on a forum unrelated to politics I saw a post asking (while actually suggesting) if Republicans were the party of racism.

On many occasions I’ve heard people argue in no uncertain terms that today’s Democrat party is not the same as it used to be. Democrats are a very different group of people today, the argument goes, so the modern party cannot honestly be held accountable for the evils of their predecessors.

And yet Republicans today are frequently blamed for slavery, Jim Crow, and the KKK – all of which were either defended or (in the case of Jim Crow and the KKK) invented by Democrats. If Democrats cannot be honestly held accountable for the sins of the past because the modern party is composed of different people, how can modern Republicans honestly be held accountable for the Democrats’ sins of the past?

The myth that the parties “switched sides” is constantly losing credibility, as it should. Certain arguments keep cropping up which rightly challenge that myth. As one example, consider the fact the “not a person” argument was one of the chief defenses of slavery Democrats used in the past, and it is one of the chief defenses Democrats use today to defend abortion. Democrats never stopped playing semantic games with other people’s personhood. That game switched to a different target, but the victimizing continues. Deciding who is and who is not a person, and therefore who does and who does not have rights, is one of the fundamental tools of oppression Democrats have always used.

Contrast this with the conservative position on who does and who does not have rights. If you move to the United States legally and follow our rules, and join in the social compact we all have amongst ourselves as citizens, you can enjoy the rights and benefits of citizenship. If you move to our country and choose to break our laws and intentionally avoid becoming a citizen you don’t get to enjoy the rights and benefits of citizenship. Voting is not a human right, it is a citizen right. No one is denying an immigrant their status as a person by arguing they have no right to vote (despite Democrat protestations).

Another important detail is the fact Democrats are not responsible for the vast majority of civil rights legislation passed by the U.S. government. From the war between the states through the 1950s civil rights legislation was soundly the result of Republican efforts. Remember that incident in the early 20th century when the American military was racially segregated? Yeah, that was Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, working against civil rights that had already been achieved up to that point in American history. And even for those pieces of legislation which Democrats do claim credit, we are justified in asking why should they? After all it was not Republicans who filibustered the 1964 civil rights act; that was Democrats. So why should Democrats get credit for it today?

Besides, if Democrats of today ought not be held accountable for the sins of Democrats of the past, even if you wanted to argue Democrats deserve credit for the 1964 civil rights act, why should today’s Democrats get credit for it? On the other hand, if today’s Democrats do deserve credit for the virtues of Democrats half a century ago, they likewise deserve blame for those past sins.

Another reason Democrats can still be blamed for their past sins is the myth that those slavery-defending Democrats were conservative. This is why liberals/progressives have no choice but to define conservatism as wanting to maintain the status quo and opposing change. All power seeks to preserve itself. Communists, socialists, fascists, Democrats, Republicans, and all political groups who have power want to keep it. To admit this plain fact would endanger the modern narrative. Liberals/progressives have no problem blaming modern Republicans for the sins of the past but they lose their minds if someone suggests Democrats should be held responsible for the sins of their own political party.

“Change” has always been a battle cry of tyrants, so conservatives are naturally skeptical of politicians promising change, or making promises of any kind. The liberal/progressive description of conservatism sees the political right as a group of people who want to maintain the status quo, to keep power structures as they are. But the conservative description of conservatism is quite different. In the American experiment, conservatism has always been leery of the abuse of power. That’s why, in order to “preserve” liberty, conservatives prefer to “conserve” power, to limit its concentration and avoid its over use. Conservatives are glad to test new ideas, but not to blindly jump on board just because enthusiastic (or even violent and hateful) protesters demand change. Environmental activists work in a similar fashion: seeking to preserve the environment by conserving energy, avoiding its overuse or waste (but resorting to liberal/progressive tactics in seeking to control other people in the process).

It was not conservatives of the past who defended slavery. The abolitionists were the conservatives of the day. They viewed the abuse of power in legally robbing one group of people of their humanity as a threat to everyone, naturally put us all in danger of the same abuse. Looking at the long term effects of the situation, conservatives realized if our government can dehumanize one group, it can dehumanize another. They viewed this type of power, in a free society claiming to be founded on the notion of liberty, as abuse. And the abolitionists were right. Today, prenatal people are denied all rights because they are explicitly robbed of their very humanity. (And don’t forget that other incident when progressive Germans decided to play semantic games with personhood.)

In our modern era all manner of common ideas are construed as discrimination and oppression to help reinforce the idea of blaming Republicans for the past sins of slavery. It is said foreigners who are not citizens are denied their humanity because they are not allowed to vote (which could become their right if only they would become citizens). It is said gays are denied their humanity because they are not allowed to live together, to love who they want to love, or to have a ceremony. Actually, even before government usurped the religious institution of marriage (a violation of the separation between church and state, by the way) gays were already doing all these things in the United States. No one was stopping them. There are some people who want to deny the right of gays to do any of those things, or even to live, but if I told you who they were I’d probably be accused of Islamophobia.

When conservatives want reasonable justification for redefining the right to vote or the institution of marriage we are accused of all sorts of evil things, and a lot of people believe those accusations because somehow conservatives are supposed to be responsible for slavery, so why wouldn’t Republicans do these other evil things, too? When conservatives ask why, after telling us liberals wanted government out of the bedroom, do they now demand government enter the bedroom we are supposed to simply cower and remain silent at the allegation of bigotry.

So there is political gain to be had in blaming Republicans for the past sins of Democrats. Democrats have a long track record, continuing even today, of dehumanizing others. But it is only Republicans who bear the blame for dehumanization. Misconstruing today’s issues as hate is the new norm. Anything progressives disagree with is labeled “fascism”. Then progressives act like fascists to “protest”. Silencing others, resorting to violence to do so, dehumanizing detractors, and bullying anyone fails to tote the line is fascism. It is also the history and contemporary practice of Democrats.

Yes, both political parties are quite different today as compared to what they were 150, 100, or even 50 years ago. No, the parties didn’t “switch sides”. Since Democrats continue to play the same political games they have played all along, they deserve the blame for their own sins, especially since they fraudulently claim credit for any virtues of the past.

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White guilt gave us a mock politics based on the pretense of moral authority

original article: The Exhaustion of American Liberalism
March 5, 2017 by SHELBY STEELE

The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos. Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism.

All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?

America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us.

White guilt is not actual guilt. Surely most whites are not assailed in the night by feelings of responsibility for America’s historical mistreatment of minorities. Moreover, all the actual guilt in the world would never be enough to support the hegemonic power that the mere pretense of guilt has exercised in American life for the last half-century.

White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.

It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.

When America became stigmatized in the ’60s as racist, sexist and militaristic, it wanted moral authority above all else. Subsequently the American left reconstituted itself as the keeper of America’s moral legitimacy. (Conservatism, focused on freedom and wealth, had little moral clout.) From that followed today’s markers of white guilt—political correctness, identity politics, environmental orthodoxy, the diversity cult and so on.

This was the circumstance in which innocence of America’s bigotries and dissociation from the American past became a currency of hardcore political power. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, good liberals both, pursued power by offering their candidacies as opportunities for Americans to document their innocence of the nation’s past. “I had to vote for Obama,” a rock-ribbed Republican said to me. “I couldn’t tell my grandson that I didn’t vote for the first black president.”

For this man liberalism was a moral vaccine that immunized him against stigmatization. For Mr. Obama it was raw political power in the real world, enough to lift him—unknown and untested—into the presidency. But for Mrs. Clinton, liberalism was not enough. The white guilt that lifted Mr. Obama did not carry her into office—even though her opponent was soundly stigmatized as an iconic racist and sexist.

Perhaps the Obama presidency was the culmination of the age of white guilt, so that this guiltiness has entered its denouement. There are so many public moments now in which liberalism’s old weapon of stigmatization shoots blanks—Elizabeth Warren in the Senate reading a 30-year-old letter by Coretta Scott King, hoping to stop Jeff Sessions’s appointment as attorney general. There it was with deadly predictability: a white liberal stealing moral authority from a black heroine in order to stigmatize a white male as racist. When Ms. Warren was finally told to sit, there was real mortification behind her glaring eyes.

This liberalism evolved within a society shamed by its past. But that shame has weakened now. Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all—liberal and conservative alike—know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. Bigotry exists, but it is far down on the list of problems that minorities now face. I grew up black in segregated America, where it was hard to find an open door. It’s harder now for young blacks to find a closed one.

This is the reality that made Ms. Warren’s attack on Mr. Sessions so tiresome. And it is what caused so many Democrats at President Trump’s address to Congress to look a little mortified, defiantly proud but dark with doubt. The sight of them was a profound moment in American political history.

Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965—an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.

This liberalism came into being not as an ideology but as an identity. It offered Americans moral esteem against the specter of American shame. This made for a liberalism devoted to the idea of American shamefulness. Without an ugly America to loathe, there is no automatic esteem to receive. Thus liberalism’s unrelenting current of anti-Americanism.

Let’s stipulate that, given our history, this liberalism is understandable. But American liberalism never acknowledged that it was about white esteem rather than minority accomplishment. Four thousand shootings in Chicago last year, and the mayor announces that his will be a sanctuary city. This is moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism. Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.

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A dynamic society is not perfectible – stop acting like cattle

In light of the US Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage we see the two fundamental social forces at work in the United States. These forces show us the human condition is dynamic, thus so is human society. Because society is not a static thing the idea of progress is not nearly as settled as many people would think.

The idea of progress is a very noble one, at its core. There is suffering and injustice in the world. A lot of it. ISIS is a good example of the evil that exists in the world. Indeed the desire for improvement of the human condition adds social pressure to a people to prevent its decay into a barbaric society like that of ISIS. A health society needs this desire to improve.

On the other hand, because society is dynamic and not static, we must remember that progress itself is not static. The idea that past improvements are here to stay is an assumption. There are good reasons for thinking progress is a permanent thing but there are also good reasons to doubt this assumption. It seems to me the idea of progress, while often viewed as achievement, is in practice really nothing more than trend.

In the gay marriage example, we have a group of people who are widely believed to have been oppressed. The alleged oppression prevented gay people from loving who they wanted to love and prevented them from living with who they wanted to live with. Of course neither of these forms of oppression are true in the United States, as gay people were living with and loving the people they wanted all along. Though these allegations are true in some regions of the world:

Thrown to death… for being gay

‘Kill the gays’ penalty proposed Malawi Muslim Association

UK Muslim Cleric: ’Okay to Kill Gays’

Horrific moment ISIS kill four gay men by throwing them from a roof

Iranian Gay Men To Be Hanged For Sodomy: Report

‘Gays’ and the Muslims who kill them

So Far, Media Downplaying Muslim Scholar Preaching Death for Gays in Orlando

Yes, yes, gay people have been murdered in the United States as well. In the US killing gay people is considered murder, while in many other parts of the world murdering gays is considered justice. But there are plenty of people who insist on treating the murder of gays in the US as no different from killing them elsewhere. In fact many go out of their way to argue conservatives and Christians are no different from Islamic extremists, yet would insist Muslims don’t hate gays. How are conservatives and Christians hateful homophobes no different from Muslim homophobes while Muslim homophobes are not homophobes at all? Don’t ask me. We live in a country where believing marriage is between one man and one woman is treated as equivalent to murdering gays, yet when gays are actually murdered by an Islamic extremists it is not Muslims who are to blame. Guess who is to blame:

ABC Blames Orlando Terror on Election Rhetoric and Guns in America

Anything But Islam: Media Attack Guns, Men, Christians, GOP Instead of Ideology in Terror Attack

NYT Columnist: Orlando Shows ‘How Potent’ Combination of ISIS, NRA Can Be

The View: Orlando Shooter Had No Ties to ISIS but Trump Is ‘Working With ISIS to Kill Us’

Vile Bee Prays NRA Is Plagued with Boils, Declares She Wants to Take Guns Away Post-Orlando

ThinkProgress Blames Christians For Orlando Shooting

Nets Censor Chick-fil-A’s Help in Orlando Blood Drives After Shooting

North Carolina NBC Reporter Blames Christians, Bathroom Law Advocates for Orlando

CBS Insinuates Christians ‘Promote the Kind of Violence’ in Orlando

Huffington Post Blames Orlando on Christians and Fox News Viewers

NY Times Again Blames Anti-Gay GOP, Not Radical Islam, for Orlando Massacre

The Logic Behind the Left’s Demonization of Conservatives

So we’ve got a convoluted notion of who is anti-gay and who is not but American culture tells itself redefining marriage to include same sex couples is progress, and this progress is here to stay.

That’s rather curious. In Europe in centuries past, it was one group or another of Christians who could be oppressed, abused and murdered merely for being the wrong kind of Christian. Some of those people left the old world to help forge a new world, one inherently based in a spirit of individual liberty where they could practice their beliefs freely. This idea would later be codified as the freedom of religion and made part of the law of the land. But that essential liberty is being undermined, along with a few other things.

There some fundamental problems with the way the American government dealt with the gay marriage issue. The tactics chosen to affect this type of change undermine many rights Americans currently enjoy and even some vital aspects of the government itself.

First, American society holds to a separation between church and state. This separation is widely and frequently cited as essential to the preservation of liberty. Throughout its history the United States has treated marriage as an inherently religious thing. But in 2016 the federal government usurped this religious institution, making it what a few oligarchs on the bench decided it should be. And gay activists demanded this. So much for keeping government out of the bedroom. It turns out keeping government and religion separate is only selectively important; apparently we don’t need this separation when government wants power over religion.

Second, American society holds to a separation of powers. The genius of the American experiment has several aspects, not least of which is the balance of power. In the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land, the power to make law does not rest in the hands of the President or the Supreme Court. That power is reserved for the Congress. But the Supreme Court has decided it can make law by fiat. This is not the first time SCOTUS presumed the right to make law (Roe v Wade is another).

This episode in American history show us certain things presumed permanent can easily be undone. The separation between church and state and the separation of powers are being undermined, and are done so with celebration from the political left. In the aftermath of recent mass shootings we see an overt effort to defend Muslims against imaginary acts of meanness while undermining the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms (and even question the right to self defense, another aspect of the law of the land long thought to be permanent). Some people are willing to be honest about their true intentions in supporting gun control.

You think gay marriage is a great step forward? Will you think the same if it turns out changing marriage in this way was merely a step toward banning marriage altogether as activist Masha Gessen is candid enough to admit?

You think the right to free speech is a permanent fixture of a free society? Well, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean the United States is going to remain a free society, not with politicians clamoring to change the first amendment. In the United States it used to be taken as self evident that rights do not come from government but from a higher source. Today it seems half of Americans think rights are bestowed upon us by government. Some may call this progress; I would call it regress.

When our Progressive (by that I mean radically left leaning) society pushes for its idea of liberty I cannot help but notice this also means the restriction or even elimination of other liberties often taken for granted. Liberty is an achievement, but not a permanent one. The American experiment is an historical anomaly in a world where oppression and tyranny are the norm. Not seeing tyranny for what it is, Progressives tend to fight inequality not realizing they do so by sacrificing everyone else’s liberty and are pushing American society back towards the historical norm.

In his body of work on analyzing society Russel Kirk explains ten principles of conservatism. In principle 10 he explains it like this:

The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate.

Therefore the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism. Just how much change a society requires, and what sort of change, depend upon the circumstances of an age and a nation.

Let us embrace healthy change (an admittedly subjective concept) when it is needed (also a subjective notion) and not rush to it just for the sake of change. All actions have consequences. Changes we impose on society by fiat have not been vetted and consequences will ensue, often painful and often accomplishing the opposite of what was promised. As Kirk alludes to a balance between permanence and progression let us carefully consider the change we desire and especially the methods we employ to achieve it. Whether the change we affect hits its target or misses completely there will inevitably be unforeseen consequences either way. We cannot possibly know how future generations will interpret or distort our efforts and accomplishments of today.

Change should be viewed more like a pendulum rather than a ladder. As we see in our own lifetime some things previously taken for granted have been inverted. We now allow a man to claim to be a woman. We now allow a white person to claim to be black (though for some reason we won’t allow a murderous thug to declare himself Muslim). We officially claim the freedom of religion and use it as an excuse to restrict the freedom of religion. We restrict the freedom of speech and excuse it as the avoidance of hurting someone’s feelings. The more volatile an issue is, and the more controversial the methods of dealing with it, the more likely a strong reaction will upend what was once considered stable. You can push, but you should expect others to push back.

We humans are not perfectible. And neither is society. What was once achieved can be torn down. Humanity is a dynamic thing. Real solutions are elusive. Realistically we should expect to deal with the problems of life by finding trade offs rather than sweeping solutions. In this election season we would do well to remember every promise a politician makes has an underlying cost, a cost often obscured or ignored but will come back to bite us eventually. Don’t blindly accept what politicians and news media are selling.

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Do you really know what Democracy is?

A minor peeve of mine in American politics is the allegation that conservatives don’t know what Socialism is. Granted, conservatives attribute a lot of problems in our nation to socialism. From a more generalized perspective, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, and Fascism all hold to the ideal that society needs to be controlled by government. A standard feature of this type of thinking is that government knows best, and if anything is to be accomplished in society it can be accomplished only by government. This view can be summarized in one term: Socialist.

Contrast this with some other generalizations you find in America. To some, all sodas are called “coke” (though this trend seems to be dying away). Another common example can be found in just about every household in the nation. Do you know what this is?

bandage

If you call this a “Band-Aid” you are wrong. This is a bandage, or more specifically an adhesive bandage. “Band-Aid” is a brand name of bandage just like Coca-Cola is a brand name of carbonated beverage.

Band-Aid

Technically, to be accurate, we should simply use the term bandages. But, practically speaking, it’s okay to call all bandages “Band-Aids”. We play this semantic game in other areas of life. In politics we do the same thing with another concept: Democracy.

Technically, the United States is not a Democracy. Democracy is direct government by the people. We either show up to a meeting and offer our input, or we don’t show up and we don’t have a voice. Direct government by the people means you have to personally participate to have input into anything. That’s simply not feasible in a large nation spread over thousands of miles (though technology might change that – over 200 years after the American form of government was installed).

The logistical difficulty in Democracy is why we have elections. We elect people to represent us and our interests so we don’t have to spend our own time, every day, doing “the people’s business”. We send our representatives to meet together and handle government business on our behalf. In America we have representative Democracy. There is a word for this type of government; it’s called a Republic. (Technically, we have a constitutional republic, which ads another layer). If we’re going to be sticklers about the accuracy of the term “Socialism” we should be equally strict about the term “Democracy”. If what conservatives often call Socialism isn’t really Socialism, what modern liberals call Democracy isn’t really Democracy.

But we’re not often concerned with semantic accuracy. We can say conservatives don’t understand Socialism, but likewise we can say liberals don’t understand Democracy (especially since by “Democracy” liberals often mean government makes decisions with or without our consent). In fact, modern liberals don’t understand conservatism either, and seldom are honest enough to care to.

Liberals have a backwards understanding of many things in life. Their views on conservatism are merely par for the course. It’s very easy to find out what liberals think conservatism is since many definitions of the term and the concept are written by liberals. The trite, myopic, and intellectually dishonest liberal view of conservatism is typically something like a group of control freaks who don’t like change. Aristocracy is sometimes a term liberals might use to describe conservatism. The problem is, in the real world all political power is like this regardless of ideology.

All political power seeks to preserve itself. Which is another point where liberals are confused; they don’t know the difference between PREservative and CONservative. Power is very much like an addictive substance. That’s why, as we say, power corrupts. Communism seeks to preserve itself. Socialism seeks to preserve itself. Monarchy, aristocracy, and dictatorship all seek to preserve themselves. But preserving power is a bit different than preserving other things. For power to be preserved it must be expanded. How does power get expanded? Ironically, political power is expanded by being concentrated.

The preservation of power naturally encourages the concentration of power – gaining more power and keeping it in the hands of the few. This is something conservatives despise. Conservatives abhor aristocracy. Conservative ideology demands the dispersion of political power, not its concentration. The concentration of government power inevitably means the loss of autonomy among the people. But when they talk about this common sense fact of power, you can probably guess what liberals call conservatives: anti-government. To the modern liberal more government is good a thing. So in fact, it is liberals who want concentration of power – aristocracy. Conservatives are constantly talking about getting government out of people’s way and what they mean by this is the opposite of the concentration of power. Liberals, on the other hand, often promote the expansion and concentration of government power as the means to individual liberty. Just as an aristocracy would.

So why does conservatism demand the dispersion of power? Because conservatism recognizes, among many other things in life, that good and evil actually exist. Conservatism does not pretend all things are equal. Believe it or not, some things are better than others. Some decisions are good, and some not so good. Things in life are not all equal, which makes it very important for power to be limited. In the view that good and evil exist it is natural to resist and fight evil. Preventing it is even better; thus the impetus to prevent the concentration of power.

One of Conservatism’s prime imperatives is the avoidance of waste and abuse. In fact, liberals do actually have an example of conservatism where they are willing to be at least somewhat intellectually honest: environmentalism.

Environmentalism commonly includes the imperative to avoid wasting energy or abusing resources. That’s why we call it “conservation”. Environmentalism seeks to CONSERVE resources (avoid waste) in order to PRESERVE our environment (avoid abuse). But, unlike political conservatism, environmental conservation follows a liberal methodology of enforcement: taking liberty with other people’s rights by concentrating power in the hands of the few. Thus, where political conservatives seek to avoid the over use of power, environmentalists, and frankly all modern liberals, prefer the over use of power to compel people to do what liberals think people should do.

What environmental conservation and political conservatism share is a desire to preserve something by avoiding over use and waste of something else. Political conservatism seeks to preserve liberty by conserving political power (avoiding its abuse). But liberty can be abused as well, thus conservatism seeks to limit liberty only where it becomes destructive. Of course, these notions are quite subjective, thus not so simple to navigate.

Liberalism, on the other hand, also claims to preserve liberty by avoiding abuse. But liberalism seems to focus on limiting the abuse of liberty by means of concentrated power. Liberals take the liberty of deciding what other people need. It is not conservatives who tried to restrict sodas in order to “protect” people’s health (a measure which did not survive). It is not conservatives floating the idea of mandatory voting on the premise that we “need” to vote. It is not conservatives infringing on people’s right to defend themselves under the guise of preventing gun violence (gun control supporters easily make themselves look anti-self defense by deciding what sort of guns people need or don’t need). It is not conservatives who thought increasing government bureaucracy in healthcare or mandating health insurance was what people needed. It is not conservatives who keep regulating fossil fuels into astronomically high prices with ethanol and taxes. It is not conservatives who keep regulating tobacco products out of the marketplace while touting weed should be legalized. It is not conservatives creating and enforcing politically correct speech codes all across the country, limiting what people are permitted to say and punishing them for the slightest transgressions. It is not conservatives redefining bedrock notions upon which civilization itself is built.

A common issue where modern liberals think they really know what conservatives believe is gay marriage. But, as is typically the case, liberals are wrong. Liberals tend to believe ideas are so malleable that anyone can make any idea into anything they want. Liberals trumpet the notion of redefining things (as long as it is they who do the redefining). As mentioned above, to the modern liberal, the constitutional right to free speech has been redefined to include an ever expanding list of things people cannot say – because being free from unpleasant words is somehow better than being free to express those words (a lesson quite the opposite of one society has taught conservative Christians over the years). To the liberal, believing marriage means one man and one woman is equivalent to preventing gay people from loving or living with whom ever they wish. But this is simply not the case, as is clear for anyone willing to actually think about it for themselves. But to the liberal, as of last year, to still believe the predominant view of marriage of a mere two years ago is now bigotry. The inconvenient truth is conservatives commonly favored expanding civil unions to accommodate gay activists. Instead, liberals demanded the government usurp a religious institution to redefine marriage and pretend the new definition is what marriage really meant all along (which is in direct contradiction of the separation between church and state liberals so frequently claim is such an important aspect of a free society). The ordinary gay folk who want to live their lives in peace were not part of the militant activism, sometimes called the “gay mafia”. The militant activists were the unreasonable ones trying to push their views in everyone’s face and bully people by the force of government.

Conservatism is not about resistance to change or keeping things “the way they used to be”. Conservatives freely embrace good ideas that are well vetted. But fast, untested change automatically meets great resistance for two reasons. First, untested change means we don’t know what the consequences will be. Wanting good change is one thing; wanting any change and presuming it will be good is very different. We don’t know what consequences untested change will bring and that means change could be bad even if unintentionally so. That’s asking for trouble. Massive cultural change ought to be good and good change requires thorough consideration over time. Second, fast and untested change on a massive scale is how tyrants get into power and cement it. Shouldn’t reasonable people resist such a thing?

Even the battle against slavery was not fast, untested change. Slavery was an abuse of power and a distortion of reason and decency. It was not progressives who fought against slavery in the US; it was conservatives who wanted to end an abuse of power. Slave owners saw slavery as about property rights; abolitionists saw slavery as about human rights. The same is true of Jim Crow. By definition, Jim Crow laws were LAWS! I realize this will come as a shock for some, but it was not Republicans who made, imposed, and enforced Jim Crow; it was Democrats trying to preserve their power by abusing it. Liberals presumed the authority to take liberty with other people’s rights, further abusing power. The very notion of ending Jim Crow was inherently conservative (avoiding the abuse of power) and championed by conservative Republicans.

Likewise conservatives want to put an end to abortion, for the same reasons they wanted to put and end to slavery and Jim Crow. Preserving freedom demands conserving power, which means preventing or fighting against the abuse of power. Abortion supporters view abortion as about women’s rights; conservatives see abortion as about babies’ rights and the abuse of power over them. But, like its paradoxically open minded yet utterly intolerant definition of marriage, so too is the liberal definition of abortion absolute, fixed, and refusing to allow any differing view. But it is only the conservative view that is ridiculed for being absolute or fixed, as if insisting a child in the womb is a person is somehow an unscientific or absurd idea. It is not conservatives who are in the habit of playing semantic games which deny other people’s humanity.

The modern liberal perspective of freedom often results in restricting what people are allowed to do or say or even believe and it does so by demanding more power concentrated in the hands of government. But there a couple noted exceptions, of course: abortion and entertainment (recreational drugs, sexual experimentation, etc.). The calls for “choice” or the “right to control one’s own body” trump all other considerations only in these areas – choice and autonomy are flatly ignored in almost every other aspect of life for liberals. For liberalism, dealing with problems typically requires more government programs and more laws – preferably from the FEDERAL level. To conservatives, this looks like a totalitarian approach. The conservative perspective of freedom is meant to restrict the harm unfettered power or unfettered liberty can inflict on society while dispersing power from government, leaving as much liberty as possible for the individual. For conservatism, dealing with problems is best left to individuals and groups personally navigating tough decisions in a respectful way which does not infringe upon other people’s right over themselves. We recognize the sensible limit this places on one’s autonomy, what we call the “social compact”. Similarly, conservatism holds compassion (traditionally meaning to “suffer with”) is the responsibility of the individual, not the state, and that self-inflicted harm or harm inflicted on others is best dealt with by teaching each other how to make good decisions (recognizing the consequences (good and bad) of our own decisions) and having local government intervene only when necessary.

The New York Times gives us some good examples of liberals not knowing what conservatism is. Their own David Brooks is branded as the official “conservative” writer. From a thoroughly conservative perspective, Brooks is a moderate liberal on most issues, but in the modern liberal view this qualifies as “conservative”. William Saletan wrote a great piece in the NYT covering Jonathan Haidt’s argument on how liberals simply don’t know what conservatives believe and probably don’t care to. And a psychological study on “conservative” purchasing habits also shows an overwhelming liberal bias in the very premise of the study itself – a bias that misses important realizations largely because it misidentifies conservatism and even human nature.

So the next time someone talks about Democracy but uses the term incorrectly, it’s probably not worth the trouble to correct the mistake. But if some liberal hack spouts off about conservatism, if possible remind them they don’t know what they are talking about. You can use Coke, Band-Aid, and Democracy to help drive the point home.

abuse, american, bias, bullies, civil rights, conservative, culture, environment, ideology, left wing, liberalism, oppression, philosophy, progressive, right wing, separation, video

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This is what made George Washington ‘greatest man in the world’

original article: This is what made George Washington ‘greatest man in the world’
November 2, 2015 by BILL FEDERER

After the victory over the British at Yorktown, many of the Continental soldiers grew disillusioned with the new American government, as they had not been paid in years. The Continental Congress had no power to tax to raise money to pay them.

A disgruntled group of officers in New York met and formed a Newburgh Conspiracy. They plotted to march into the Capitol and force Congress to give them back pay and pensions. With some British troops still remaining on American soil, a show of disunity could have easily renewed the war.

On March 15, 1783, General George Washington surprised the conspiracy by showing up at their clandestine meeting in New York. Washington gave a short but impassioned speech, urging them to oppose anyone “who wickedly attempts to open the floodgates of civil discord and deluge our rising empire in blood.”

Taking a letter from his pocket, Washington fumbled with a pair of reading glasses, which few men had seen him wear, and said: “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”

Washington concluded his Newburgh address, May 15, 1783: “And let me conjure you, in the name of our common Country, as you value your own sacred honor … to express your utmost horror and detestation of the Man who wishes … to overturn the liberties of our Country, and who wickedly attempts to open the flood Gates of Civil discord, and deluge our rising Empire in Blood. By thus determining … you will defeat the insidious designs of our Enemies, who are compelled to resort from open force to secret Artifice. You will give one more distinguished proof of unexampled patriotism and patient virtue. … You will … afford occasion for Posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to Mankind, ‘had this day been wanting, the World had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.’”

Many present were moved to tears as they realized the sacrifice Washington had made for the opportunity of beginning a new nation completely free from the domination of a king. With this one act by George Washington, the conspiracy collapsed.

Major General David Cobb, who served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington, wrote of the Newburgh affair in 1825: “I have ever considered that the United States are indebted for their republican form of government solely to the firm and determined republicanism of George Washington at this time.”

The crisis was resolved when Robert Morris issued $800,000 in personal notes to the soldiers, and the Continental Congress gave each soldier a sum equal to five years pay in highly-speculative government bonds, which were redeemed by the new Congress in 1790. Six month later the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the war.

George Washington wrote to General Nathanael Greene, Feb. 6, 1783: “It will not be believed that such a force as Great Britain has employed for eight years in this country could be baffled in their plan of subjugating it by numbers infinitely less, composed of men oftentimes half starved; always in rags, without pay, and experiencing, at times, every species of distress which human nature is capable of undergoing.”

On Nov. 2, 1783, from his Rock Hill headquarters near Princeton, New Jersey, General George Washington issued his farewell orders: “Before the Commander in Chief takes his final leave of those he holds most dear, he wishes to indulge himself a few moments in calling to mind a slight review of the past. … The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the Armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle. …”

Washington continued: “To the Armies he has so long had the honor to Command, he can only again offer in their behalf his recommendations to their grateful country, and his prayers to the God of Armies. May ample justice be done then here, and may the choicest of Heaven’s favours, both here and thereafter, attend those who, under Divine auspices, have secured innumerable blessings for others.”

In New York, Dec. 4, 1783, in Fraunces Tavern’s Long Room, General George Washington bade a tearful farewell to his Continental Army officers: “With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.”

On Dec. 23, 1783, Washington resigned his commission, addressing Congress assembled in Annapolis, Maryland: “I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence; a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task; which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven. … Having now finished the work assigned to me, I retire from the great theatre of action; and bidding an affectionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take any leave of all the employments of public life.”

At a time when kings killed to get power and kings killed to keep power, George Washington’s decision to give up power gained worldwide attention.

Earlier in 1783, the American-born painter Benjamin West was in England painting the portrait of King George III. When the King asked what General Washington planned to do now that he had won the war, West replied: “They say he will return to his farm.”

King George exclaimed: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

american, conservative, ethics, government, history, people, war

Filed under: american, conservative, ethics, government, history, people, war

Advanced Placement Framework Is Pure Anti-American Propaganda

original article: Advanced Placement Framework Is Pure Anti-American Propaganda
August 25, 2015 by Robin Smith

It is a sorry state of affairs that American public education is not much more than propaganda. The Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) curriculum and testing has made recent news for its abandonment of facts that support America’s exceptionalism. Leftists laughably pass it off as education to “redirect the course away from rote memorization of facts and toward historical thinking skills.” But such revisionism of our nation’s past is dangerous for its future.

Only after public outcry did the College Board “revise” the APUSH framework to include a patronizing reference to “American exceptionalism.” That checked the proverbial box so as to prevent state legislatures controlled by conservative believers in America-first to refrain from the termination of taxpayer funding. The Leftist educrats have not substantively improved the APUSH curriculum or testing. Instead, they perpetuate the type of education that lives up to famed Communist and Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin, who declared, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

Keep in mind a chilling fact that makes the reversal of this “framework” critical: The American History portion will be followed by AP European History and AP U.S. Government rewrites. Unless the College Board and its committed cultists are met with impactful opposition to their efforts to destroy the best of American history, additional aspects of our children’s education will soon follow suit. The educrats will continue rewriting facts to fit their false narrative of America and its impact on the world.

The College Board makes money for each test taken by students seeking college credit for work in their junior and senior years of high school. High schools are praised and rewarded by the percentage of students that take the advanced placement coursework and participate in testing. And who foots the bill for public schools? Taxpayers.

The College Board is overseeing a complete transformation of America’s story. Far from relaying a set of facts about events that have set the course of the world, the educrats offer a new version of history that’s nothing but telling teenagers what to think, not how to think.

The financial conflict of interest alone should set Americans into action to halt the use of their hard-earned tax dollars to fund educrats. Add to that the revelations of a few AP teachers who have confronted and exposed this a pure anti-American propaganda.

Elizabeth Altham of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy, a private, Catholic K–12 college-preparatory school in Rockford, Illinois, is an award-winning master of AP History who has been faithful and effective in equipping students with the facts. Yet Altham has dared to risk the certification by the College Board in order to publicly call into question the revisionist nature of the curriculum.

Yes, another little conflict is that the College Board provides the certification to those who follow the breadcrumbs.

Altham observes that the APUSH framework has “placed inordinate emphasis upon the bad behavior of European invaders and colonists, and upon ‘trends and processes,’ while neglecting the good behavior of many of those men, and the importance of the characters and choices of individuals; also, it neglected the philosophy of government the colonists brought with them.”

The conflict for Altham, as with other good teachers, is whether to do what’s best and right or succumb to the requirements of the College Board for certification and teach a curriculum based on falsehoods and assumptions that disfigure America.

Altham is joined by Marc Anderson, who retired from the U.S. Air Force. Now a public school teacher in Pennsylvania through the “Troops to Teachers” initiative, Anderson’s infuriation at the APUSH fraud is his greatest obstacle to fulfill his duties in teaching.

Anderson, a Christian who has served on America’s frontline of defense in our Armed Forces, has unapologetically taught his students that America’s founding arose from the desire for religious liberty — pilgrims fleeing an oppressive monarchy and a state-controlled church. He teaches them our exceptional history of standing on the side of good versus evil.

But Anderson had to join other AP U.S. History teachers in a College Board course that instructed teachers to relay the narrative blaming America first, last and always for the world’s problems.

As this leftist organization, the College Board, thrives on your tax dollars to distort the image of America into an oppressive, bigoted society where success only results from greed and harm to the collective good, a national school curriculum is being written by the socialist Left. As the cry against Common Core elicits immediate anger, the control of the story of the United States of America in the hands of those whose life experiences extend no further than a faculty lounge or their local coffee house with free Wi-Fi must now be rejected and halted.

In his 1985 State of the Union Address, President Ronald Reagan gloriously declared, “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”

We’re watching the Left erect the walls of propaganda, constraining the human mind. They’re passing it off as education, but it will end the authentic progress of America in its exceptionalism and confine each to a social collective commitment to the state rather than individual liberty.

american, bias, bureaucracy, corruption, cover up, education, elitism, history, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, philosophy, progressive, propaganda, public policy, reform, relativism, scandal

Tell others about the separation between school and state.

Filed under: american, bias, bureaucracy, corruption, cover up, education, elitism, history, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, philosophy, progressive, propaganda, public policy, reform, relativism, scandal

Malcolm X: Black Democrats are ‘chumps’

Malcolm X
Excerpt from The Ballot or The Bullet
April 3, 1964
Cleveland, Ohio

american, culture, Democrats, extortion, history, left wing, liberalism, politics, progressive, racism, video

Filed under: american, culture, Democrats, extortion, history, left wing, liberalism, politics, progressive, racism, video

Immigrants explain why they love America

original article: US Immigrants From All Over the World Tell Us Exactly Why They’re Proud to Live Here
July 8, 2015 by MALLORY SHELBOURNE

To celebrate America’s birthday this year, IJReview talked to several immigrants from all over the world, who told us why they love living in the United States.

From Lebanon, to Ethiopia, to Ukraine, these U.S. immigrants explain why they are happy they left the countries where they were born to move here.

I don’t often look at comments on anything online but these, from the original article, are worth a quick read.

Those who come here legally wanting to be to become Americans quite often have a better idea of what America is than recent college grads who are born here.

I work with a doctor that legally immigrated to this country. He is a great man. He was in a refugee camp after he and his family barely got out of afganistan before the Russians came in. he is so interesting to talk to and yes he is a Muslim but he is a Muslim that loves this country. Immigrants that come here, that really want to be here, not the ones that just come for what America can give them but the ones that come because they want to be Americans and make a difference and go through the legal channels because they respect America are really very good for this country, but the ones that have no respect for our laws and steal into our country are NOT good for the United States. I have a friend on facebook, a young man from Africa who has just gotten a teaching degree in special education – he wants to come to America. I would love to help make that happen for him. So many people think I am a bigot or a racist because I am against illegal invaders coming into this country – yes I am but if someone really wants to become an American and come in legally and really be an American I am all for them coming. Just do not break our laws, have respect.

american, conservative, culture, freedom, immigration, patriotism, right wing, tolerance, video

Filed under: american, conservative, culture, freedom, immigration, patriotism, right wing, tolerance, video

Profs say US history guidelines would shortchange college-bound seniors

Profs say US history guidelines would shortchange college-bound seniors
June 16, 2015 by Maxim Lott

Dozens of historians have sent the influential College Board back to the drawing board, after determining that its U.S. history exam for university-bound high schoolers is too heavy on social politics and too light on key events in America’s past.

While the College Board can’t directly dictate what is taught in high school Advanced Placement classes, by writing the test that half a million college-bound students take each year it strongly influences the curriculum crafted by teachers. It also publishes a guide to what will be on the test, which was what raised alarms with 55 historians who signed onto a letter earlier this month criticizing the board.

“Lost in the new guidelines is the central role of the American Founders in inspiring our country,” Harvard University history professor Harvey Mansfield, who signed the letter, told FoxNews.com. “Students are not led to the idea that America is an experiment in self-government, that all its struggles and troubles, its drama and heroes, come back to its great ambition to make freedom and equality a reality.

“ … the guidelines present America as just another society, wandering, mistaken, prejudiced and boring.”

– Harvey Mansfield, Harvard history professor

“Instead of this,” Mansfield said, “the guidelines present America as just another society, wandering, mistaken, prejudiced and boring.”

The guide, released last year, fails to mention unifying figures in American history, such as Benjamin Franklin and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., even once. Instead, it focuses on divisions in America.

“Students should be able to explain how various identities, cultures and values have been preserved or changed in different contexts of U.S. history, with special attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial and ethnic identities,” reads one passage.

The curriculum also says that markets widened inequality, yet fails to mention that economic freedom caused America’s prosperity.

“The market revolution helped to widen a gap between rich and poor,” the curriculum reads. “[It] shaped emerging middle and working classes, and caused an increasing separation between home and workplace, which led to dramatic transformations in gender and in family roles and expectations.”

David Coleman, president of the College Board, has pledged to revise the guidelines, and said that the group agreed with critics that “history courses should foster a rich understanding of positive and inspiring events, individuals and ideas — and should resist a disproportionate focus on instances when Americans have failed to live up to the ideals on which our nation was founded.”

A College Board spokesman reiterated to FoxNews.com that the guide will be revised this summer.

“This new edition will clarify and encourage a balanced approach to the teaching of American history, while remaining faithful to the requirements that colleges and universities set for academic credit,” Zach Goldberg told FoxNews.com.

Historians hope to see a number of things modified in the upcoming version, noting in their letter that the current curriculum “is organized around such abstractions as ‘identity,’ ‘peopling,’ ‘work, exchange, and technology,’ and ‘human geography,’ while downplaying essential subjects.”

Without fixes, the historians wrote, “gone is the idea that history should provide a fund of compelling stories about exemplary people and events. No longer will students hear about America as a dynamic and exemplary nation, flawed in many respects, but whose citizens have striven through the years toward the more perfect realization of its professed ideals.”

american, bias, discrimination, education, fraud, history, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, reform, regulation, relativism, scandal

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