Tag Archives: conservative

Book Review: He’s Not Yet Dead

After The Hangover

R. Emmet Tyrell Jr. is a storyteller. And boy does he have stories to tell.

He spent many of his formative years, philosophically, engaging with the great minds of the early conservative movement in America. And his remembrances of personal interactions with the likes of William Buckley and Henry Kissinger are rambling and yet deep.

That is the only thing wrong with Tyrell’s book, After The Hangover, and yet it is not such a wrong that I could not enjoy the experience of the trip.

After The Hangover is Tyrell’s prescription for conservative resurgences post W. He begins with reassurances that the conservative movement is not yet dead, despite what talking heads and the MSM love to say. His argument? They’ve been saying that a long time and conservatives keep coming back. In fact, in response to those claims of a conservatives having faced and failed their Waterloo in the election of President Obama, Tyrell pushes back and shows that it may be the Liberals who ought to be looking to their life support systems.

Tyrell is bitter that Liberals have taken, and been allowed to retain, the name Liberal, as the crops of Liberals going back to the 1970’s are not liberal at all in the true sense, but are a conglomeration of ideology- and issue-driven socialists. The environmentalists use green to argue for socialism, tax-and-spend Democrats use decrepit command economy theories, liberation theology African Americans find their history and their futures in Marxist ideas of heaven on earth.

And yet, he argues that it is the conservative, not the liberal, who is the happier person.

Conservatism is a temperament to delight in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This includes those parts of the pursuit that men such as John Locke discussed, the acquisition and exchange of property. Modern conservatism is a temperment, Tyrell claims, not an ideology or an anxiety. It is a love of liberty, not a misdemeanor.

The Liberal, on the other hand, holds this vast exception, among others. Temperamentally, the Liberal believes they are entitled to attain happiness, not just pursue it. And in their inability to attain that which they’ll go all wrong pursuing, they end up bitter and angry.

The reason Liberalism is still such a force is the Kultersmog. The collective smoke and debris of misinformation, inflated opinion, and the supporting armies of science and culture that work together to marginalize conservatives and obfuscate their ideas and words. If you can control the transmission of ideas and words you can control a populace. The counter to that, of course, is the internet. There is no way to control the transmission of ideas so completely as the old mainstream media did and wish they still did today.

Tyrell claims the structures of strong conservative though coupled with the increased grass-roots involvement and the uncontrolled nature of communication and media today spell the continued success of the conservative movement, and indeed it’s continued dominance and shaping of the discourse of America.

Why Conservative, Christian?

Is America a Christian Nation?

Among those brothers and sisters who claim the name of Christ as their redeemer and Lord there are as many social ideas and political persuasions as there are sequins on a glam rockers vest. Or more.

Anybody who thinks all professed Christians believe a certain way about nearly any subject, even many subjects central to the faith, is misinformed or worse. They may be correct in believe that professing Christians ought to believe certain ways, but they are sadly mistaken if they think they actually do.

Especially in recent years, as traditionally more professedly secular ideologies have come to recognize the power and persuasion of faith-based arguments, no one political party or social movement or cultural idea can claim to be leading most Christians in it’s way.

However, there are many social ideas and political ideologies that Christians ought to agree on, and at least basically agree on their importance in the grand scheme of ideas.

First, we must agree that all aspects of life are related. That words mean things, that ideas have consequences, that actions are the outward manifestations of inward ideas, though they can be easily controlled and manipulated to give a wrong impression, positive or negative. We must agree that out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. We must agree that what one does in private is the truer measure of who they are than what they claim in public. We must accept that dishonesty in one part of a life will mean that person cannot be trusted in other ways either. This doesn’t mean we only accept perfection. It means, more than anything else, that we only trust God for those things that are rightfully His to do.

Second we must agree that there are standards of right and wrong, and they are not situationally or culturally defined. When Jesus said He was the only way to the Father, He wasn’t leaving options open. If you don’t believe Jesus is the only way, you’re very welcome to call yourself anything you please, except a Christian. We use labels to mean things and allow useful and necessary classification in order to function as a normal, healthy society. Co-opting a label that has meant one thing for centuries to mean something completely different is to no ones benefit except the deceiver. And referencing to point 1, such deception in more indicative of your own heart issues than any intolerance true Christians may or may not hold.

The same goes for other truths that are defined in human nature and through the Word of God. Killing of innocents is always unjust and immoral. It doesn’t matter if you’re all in a life raft and starving and the weak ones wouldn’t survive anyways. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to live with the consequences of your actions. It doesn’t even matter if the choice was taken from you and forced upon you by evil people doing evil actions. Taking a life never expunges the memories or heals the wounds. It only adds to the pain and grief and lays actual and real and deserved blame on yourself. Abortion is murder. There is no argument that can change that plain and simple and very obvious fact. And to subscribe to and support any ideology that holds otherwise is to accept a huge burden of responsibility for the ugly truth that is our societies acceptance of this hideous and unconscionable act.

Third, we must agree that in order for God to justly judge the actions and intentions of each and every person, each and every person must be allowed the maximum use of their own abilities to do with as they please. Acting according to conviction or spite, or duplicity or compassion, or cynicism or malice or justice or pleasure, it is each and every one of our prerogative what we shall do with our own resources, got by our own hand, multiplied by our own skill, maximized by our own discipline. If the government or any other group takes from the able to distribute to the needy, they are removing that able person’s ability to show their own character and quality to God and man. And they are, more often than not, removing a powerful motivator for the needy to raise themselves up through honest and accountable charity and use of those resources they do have. A system of mutual dependency removes the onus of responsibility both from those who have and those who need.

I subscribe to conservative social and political beliefs not because I want America to return to its roots as a Christian nation. I don’t hold to my standards and ideas because I hope to create a wondrous theocracy here in the United States of America. Useful theocracies perished with the coming of Christ. At that point the theocracy moved to the heart of each and every man and woman and child. The responsibility is no longer with the nation but with the individual how they will go and who they will serve. The nation bears responsibility for maintaining an atmosphere most conducive to individual expression of their own faith, preventing such beliefs from infringing on others beliefs, and punishing where such infringment occurs. The individual bears the responsibility for using what freedom they have to serve whom they will in what manner they deem best.

The philosophies and ideas our Founding Fathers used to build such a nation were predominantly those derived from the Christian worldview. Because God does not want automatons but people who have freely and willingly chosen Him, He give to us complete choice and builds a framework, a worldview that is most conducive to such freedom while accounting for the human predilection for sin. It is the Christian government that is most conducive to all religions coexisting as peaceably as they may.

I am not Christian because I am conservative. No, political ideas can only at best be results of deeper things. I am a conservative because I am Christian. To be Christian is a deeper thing.

On Government

UPDATE: This was not from Honest Abe.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

Lax credit and easy spending policies are products of both Democrat and Republican leaderships in years past. The conservative movement has recognized the failures of this more so than their compatriots in the liberal movement. Calls for the privatization of Fannie and Freddie, two of the main contributors to the whole system of easy credit, are not likely to be heeded by the current elected leadership in Washington D.C. And Fed Chairman Bernanke believes such easy credit is the best policy, despite it’s contribution to the economic failures of the last several years.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

Political correctness is losing favor across the ideological aisles. This false equality of outcome which relies on enforced restrictions on true equality, that is, the equality of potential, has been a pernicious evil in our country. But other perniciously evil policies continue to thrive here. Policies that drag down those who have achieved in order to not unnecessarily burden those who will not achieve with that natural and good desire to become something other than the abject failures. Except that’s not right, you can only fail if you’ve started at something. Many of these haven’t started anything and therefore aren’t failures but worse. Any system that encourages people in any way to remain nothings is evil for it robs them of their humanity as surely as Nazi extermination program robbed so many of their humanity.

You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

In that iconic moment when Joe the Plumber‘s question drew out then Senator Obama‘s statement that we need to spread the wealth around, it revealed a misunderstanding of economic systems that time has not changed. If you want to grow jobs, you make it easier for companies to make and keep money. If you take what they make for your own wealth redistribution programs and to “spread it around” you hurt not just the business you wanted to stick it to, but all its employees and potential employees as well. This isn’t rocket science.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.

Ever since FDR, liberal leaders have been adept at pitting class against class. There is no inherent nobility in the individual man whose mind and heart must be won. There is only the group, the LGBT, the blacks, the whites, the lower class, the middle class, the upper class, the “them”, the “us”, the hispanics, the wage earners, the corporations, the haves, the have-nots. Targeted fiscal policy meant to assuage the ire of a particular class are unconstitutional as they do not benefit every American equally, which is a requirement of federal policy. It’s vote-buying and favor peddling. And the result is a torn and fragmented society beset by such tensions within it cannot unify to address situations without.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

The poor will always be among us. This doesn’t free us from a responsibility to assist them. Instead it requires we develop consistent and repeatable patterns of assistance with several criteria. There must be a filter that prevents moochers and freeloaders from taking resources that would be better appreciated and taken advantage of by those deserving poor. And the money for such charity must be given willingly, not taken without recourse. A rich man who does not give to charity only illumines the shallowness of his own soul. He does not deserve theft of his goods, only the scorn of society.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

This is a failure of nearly everybody in leadership in Washington D.C. and a result of an uncareful electorate who do not take real pains to determine the true character of the candidate or who believe that character doesn’t matter.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.

Just as by helping a butterfly escape it’s chrysalid prison you doom it to a short, painful life and quick, ugly death, by taking away the responsibilities of a person or natural societal group, you end up with stunted and immature people who will continue all the ills aformentioned.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

There are few things more evil than to do for someone else what they are capable of doing themselves. Particularly when they are not in dire need and what they need to accomplish is a task that would encourage or build in them traits of character not already full-fledged in their being.

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If…

A Liberal: He's offended and it's my fault.

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands everyone know it and demands legislative action!

If a black man or Hispanic is conservative, they see themselves as independent and successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders what government program is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down (the so-called Fairness Doctrine for example).

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his through the government.

If conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he’s in labor, and then sues.

If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended”.

Thanks to IronicSurrealism for this email forward.

AskMen.com has a short article about why we get offended and what we ought to do about it (Caution: AskMen.com has some small images of scantily clad women if you don’t have ad-blocking software in your browser). Here are some of their solutions, read the whole article for their explanations and more solutions:

Find a middle ground to react
Read things in context
Have a sense of humor about it
Ignore it

Boeing And The Pro-Business Government

787 Dreamliner
787 Dreamliner

Conservatives are often accused of being pro-business while Liberals consider themselves more pro-people and therefore the better of the two.

As a conservative, I accept that accusation and wear it proudly. I am pro-business.

Liberals, in their desire to be more pro-people than pro-business, though, haven’t the foggiest idea they’re actually hurting people more than helping them.

The illustration today comes from the far north-west corner of the contiguous 48, Seattle.

Boeing has just decided to not build it’s new 787 Dreamliner factory in Seattle. The taxes and regulatory environment is simply too taxing. It costs Boeing too much money to expand their operations in Seattle, and so they’ve moved to North Carolina.

In Seattle it would have taken years to navigate the permit process to build the massive new hangars. In North Carolina, it took days.

Because the government of Seattle and Washington state have failed to make it easy enough for businesses to begin, run, and maintain operations, thousands of jobs will be lost directly, or moved to North Carolina, and the myriad of dependent suppliers and small businesses which were supported by the employees of Boeing will lose most or all of their income.

So the liberal mind says “Yes! We showed that polluting monster who’s boss!”. And the conservative shakes their head.

Many people will move from Seattle to North Carolina now to continue working. These are productive and well-payed people who likely paid significant taxes on their income to Seattle and Washington state. With even less tax revenue the city and the state will have to decrease social services to the unproductive public teat slurpers.

Now that can’t make the liberals happy. So they’ll raise taxes on the poor saps left behind so they don’t have to lose any of their bought-off voting bloc.

North Carolina is directly benefiting from increased construction in the short term, and a massive influx of highly skilled jobs as well as the necessary social structures and new markets for delis and theatres and parks and playgrounds. By being pro-business North Carolina will reap the benefits of massive growth in tax revenue without even raising their tax rates.

There’s nothing pro-people about an anti-business environment.

There are caveats or qualifications to 100% business centric government that I believe are reasonable and necessary.

First, I don’t agree with any government, federal, state, or local, applying special tax breaks and exemption from processes for the purpose of attracting a single company. North Carolina has pushed through a deal that makes it easier for Boeing to operate in that state than an average business started by Joe Entrepreneur. Overall, the state is still much easier to work in than Seattle, but I believe, on principle, that the fact the state government had to scramble to build this special package should have indicated their overall regulatory and business environment isn’t quite what it ought to be for everybody.

Second, government regulation is often pro-specific-business rather than anti-general-business. Al Gore profits measurably from “green” technology. He’s put his money where his mouth is. Pro-green regulation benefits him directly as companies will work with his outfits to implement the required changes.

Regulation can also be pushed by large corporations which will still effect them, but because they are so much larger, the monetary penalty will be a much smaller percentage of the large company’s operating costs than for a small company. The small company will no longer be able to compete as the regulatory costs hit them hardest.

Regulation can also be used to stifle competition and build artificial barriers to the self-regulating abilities of the free market. Network Neutrality is an example of this. Google and other large content companies are the primary supporters and lobbyists for network neutrality. They are dependent on the infrastructure companies, such as AT&T to actually get their content to the end users, and they want to use the bludgeon of federal regulation to protect them from free market pressures brought by the carriers.

With the caveats that pro-business should mean, in an ideal world, pro-all-businesses, we find that a pro-business government environment is directly pro-people as well.

If governments realized the nature of this, there would be a race to the bottom in taxation and government leanness as states vied for the privilege of being the best for business. And the growth in business would mean more employed people, higher standard of living, and more tax revenue.

The final question is: are they willfully or ignorantly blind?

Previous articles on the free market: