Tag Archives: Mark Steyn

Post-Election Navel Gazing

Voted! via gfscookie
Voted! via gfscookie

First, I do not believe either the candidate (Romney) or his Veep pick (Ryan) are the issue. Around mid-August we heard that his sons had told the political operatives running his campaign to stop trying to hide their father, and the revealed Romney was a sight to see. It was at that point that people began getting excited. Unfortunately, by that point it was also probably too late.

For the campaign itself, more of the blame lies with the man-handlers of the Republican party leadership who have these archaic and too-careful views of what does and does not sell here in America. The Republican party leadership needs to be up-ended, shaken out, and taken in fresh. I don’t necessarily mean taken in Conservative. I mean fresh, new, people who are honest and real, whatever they believe. The breadth of viewpoints is important, as it guarantees a wide range of ideas and solutions and a generally higher level of brilliance than the tired and decrepit losers we have now.

Romney himself did admirably against heavy odds. He remained a gentleman and a man of honor who obviously loved his wife, was obviously capable of the job he sought, and held himself above the fray in a way that was inspiring and Presidential without being haughty or snooty. Ryan was an inspired pick that I couldn’t have hoped for. He didn’t have the political finesse of the seasoned Biden, but he generally remembered what city he was in, and didn’t have a knack for saying the most inappropriate thing at the most inopportune moment. And he was a capable individual to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Second, there are two obvious trains of thought coming out of this election for Conservatives. The “it’s all over, the country has shifted, and we have to get used to being the opposition party that is shafted and ignored for the rest of our lives”, and the “hey, it’s just an election, yea this one sucked particularly badly, but there’s always tomorrow and we just have a bigger job than we thought we did yesterday”.

I tend to subscribe to the latter argument rather than the former, but I recognize some of the serious implications of those who are making the former. The people of America chose the path of Greece, of the PIGS of Europe, of endless debt, with the bigger issue that there are few who are willing or even capable of bailing us out. And that’s not all. From a friend of mine:

Four years ago, if I was the type of person who believed birth control was wrong, I could simply not use it. Now I am legally obligated to pay for other people to do so.

Four years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to for me to refuse to provide my professional services in support of an event with which I disagreed. Now, doing so might get me sued.

Four years ago, the government was not in the business of engaging in character assassination of private citizens. Now the full weight of the Presidential bully pulpit has been leveraged to attack Rush Limbaugh, Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson, and others by name. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader, in violation of Senate rules, took to the floor of the chamber and gave what was essentially a campaign speech, accusing the other party’s candidate of committing felony tax fraud without a shred of evidence. The nation, collectively, shrugged.

Four years ago, I lived in a country which had just overwhelmingly elected a black man to the White House for the first time and was joyously celebrating another step closer to Martin Luther King Jr’s dream that we might all one day be judged not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. This morning I woke up in a country where the hashtag #fuckwhitepeople was trending on Twitter.

There’s more where that came from. Go read the whole thing. It’s sobering and lays out very clearly some of the more momentous changes we’ve just seen.

But I also don’t give up hope. I’m an optimist. Sue me.

A comment left by a self-identified Canadian offers some hope:

Can I offer you folks some perspective from a Canadian viewpoint?

Up here in Canuckistan we had virtually unrivaled Liberal rule for decades, and conservatives could see no hope of any end to it. The public, we feared, would always vote for more free goodies and handouts. Yet today we have a Conservative government, while the all-powerful Liberals have been reduced to a pitiful rump.

As Mark Steyn says, Progressives are fond of telling you that the “tide has turned”, but they never take into account that the tide that comes in goes out again. Food for thought.

In other words, life goes on. We lost big. There are many good reasons we lost. It does us good to consider them thoughtfully, and then, rather than dwelling on them, dwell instead on what it’ll take to fix them, prevent them.

In the run-up to the election, as we conservatives gained excitement over what we thought were good numbers pointing to a probable win, we talked a lot on Facebook and Twitter. But we mostly engaged with other conservatives, people of like mind. It was as much an echo chamber in the depths of conservatism as it is in the hallowed halls of academia, the media, and extreme leftists. Did we go out and engage with our friends, as they say it, IRL? Did we communicate with the young people the enormity of the fiscal mess? Did we counter the claims made by the despicable Villagairosa that Republicans want to end the Voting Rights Act (which we passed in the first place over the screams of the racist Democrats and their KKK supporters)? Did we show just how stupid the idea that conservatives want to role back rights of anybody is?

Which brings up a final point. Even though we have hope, we also have work. We have been successfully demonized. Significant numbers of women have been convinced that Republicans are not only against government paying for their contraceptives, but that we are also against them voting. Significant numbers of black Americans now think Republicans do not want them participating in civic duties and the rights of the citizenry. These are lies, and you and I know they are. But there are mouthbreathers in the media who have made these claims (I’m look at you “Tingles” Matthews) and hacks in politics (I’m looking at you “Ignore my city’s issues” Villagairosa) who make these claims without anybody standing up and calling them on the horrible things they are saying.

We need to stand up and actively counter these and other lies about us. Too many liberals and leftists think we are a tiny minority, and perhaps we are, but allowing them to go their whole lives without meeting a competent, friendly, happy conservative who knows what they believes, is reasonable and rational, just makes our task harder. Talk politics at work, but in a way that is constructive, with lots of give and take. If you have to start by letting them do most of the talking, the long game makes that worthwhile.

Ask leading questions on your social feed. Don’t necessarily come out with a party-line answer, but try and lead people around thinking about issues in a conservative fashion.

We know conservative values are popular. The huge success of the Lord of the Rings and Batman franchises, just to name two, indicate that it is an intense attractive philosophy.

We just have to show it work in the real world too. And then we need to live our lives as embodiments of conservative principles, and show by our success and happiness and fulfillment, the joy of our lives, that we, truly, have the better way of life.

Also, read Andrew Klavan’s take on what we have to do now.

Today’s Interesting Stuff: October 23rd, 2009

Burning KnightSexual Shamelessness

Andrew Klavan on PJTV has an excellent video skewering our culture’s libertine sexual shamelessness. Klavan tends to fall on the libertarian side of things, but I have to agree with the gist of his arguments here. After successfully lampooning Letterman and Polansky, showing them for the shameful cad and the predator they are, respectively, Klavan points out the real result of sexual shamelessness:

A world without sexual shame soon becomes a world not, unfortunately, of endless physical pleasure, but of unrestrained predators, victims without recourse, and children without hope or support.

But why read my description? See it for yourself (Caution: this does deal with mature topics and current events and uses some slight innuendo):

Why can’t we have more men in the media spotlight of the caliber of Paul Newman?

Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?

Psychology and an increased understanding of human nature and design supports the fact that the best relationships, sexual or otherwise, always occur when there is the most trust. When there is not an expectation and trust in fidelity, in honest and open communication, in the primacy of this relationship before others in a natural and acceptable order of hierarchy, there cannot be true intimacy.

In other words: the more we know, the more we can trust what we’ve always known.

Experiencing wonderful intimacy inside my marriage with the wonderful and amazing Grace, I can only feel sorry for those who deceive themselves and cheat themselves out of the wonderful possibilities.

ACORNs Still Falling

ACORN claimed the reporting duo who brought the monstrous organization to it’s knees last month would never release the tape from their encounter in Philadelphia. The MSM carried their water, as usual.

And yet. And yet. And yet…

This video was not necessary for the slaying of the ACORN dragon. It was necessary for the further delegitimatizing of the MSM. ACORN is already discredited, defeated, and, short of some miraculous event, dead for all intents and purposes. But the MSM was caught with their pants down, their hands in the cookie jar, and with egg on their face in this video.

In Bill Whittle’s assessment of the original take down, he likened the assault on ACORN to a battle where the scrappy underdog takes out the monolithic giant using feints and parries to draw him into a vulnerable position, and then destroying him.

This latest video is yet another blow to an enemy already weakened and yet too full of it’s own self, too invested in it’s own lies, and too spiteful to recognize their own death knell.

See how the mighty have fallen.

In Other News

Mark Steyn points out that when Rush Limbaugh does not say something racist, he’s a racist and ought to be vilified and and run out of town on a rail, but when Anita Dunn, the President’s Media Czar, says something insane and dangerous to free people everywhere, it’s a non-story.

Rush Limbaugh’s remarks are “divisive”; Anita Dunn’s are entirely normal. But don’t worry, the new Fairness Doctrine will take care of the problem.

Read Limbaugh Bad, Mao Good.

Cal Thomas, in World Magazine writes:

The administration’s primary beef appears to be that Fox is doing the job the broadcast networks and big newspapers should be doing were they not still deeply in the tank for this president and his policies.

Read “Radio Free America”.

Neil Simpson, always a reasoned and reasonable man ready and willing to do verbal ambassadorship with those with illogical or incorrect views, is dealing with a fresh source of readers and their questions (let’s see if he picks up a hint from the choice of words above…):

The moral: Look to the reasons behind the beliefs.  If you have good reason to question the motives of the person in question, that is different.

Read this week’s Roundup.

Wintery Knight, spoiling for a good debate, points out the transcript of Hugh Hewitt’s (the best talk show host, period.) radio debate with Richard Dawkins. The good bits:

HH: Well, you repeatedly use the analogy of a detective at a crime scene throughout The Greatest Show On Earth. But detectives simply can’t dismiss evidence they don’t want to see. There’s a lot of evidence for the miracles, in terms of eyewitness…

RD: No, there isn’t. What there is, is written stories which were written decades after the alleged events were supposed to happen. No historian would take that seriously.

HH: Well, that’s why I’m conflicted, because in your book, you talk about the Latin teacher who is stymied at every turn, and yet Latin teachers routinely rely on things like Tacitus and Pliny, and histories that were written centuries after the events in which they are recording occur.

RD: There’s massive archaeological evidence, there’s massive evidence of all kinds. It’s just not comparable. No…if you talk to any ancient historian of the period, they will agree that it is not good historical evidence.

HH: Oh, that’s simply not true. Dr. Mark Roberts, double PhD and undergraduate at Harvard, has written a very persuasive book upon this. I mean, that’s an astounding statement. Are you unfamiliar with him?

RD: All right, then there may be some, but a very large number of ancient historians would say…

HH: Well, you just said there were none. So there are some that you are choosing not to confront.

RD: You sound like a lawyer.

HH: I am a lawyer.

Read Wintery Knights analysis.