Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Who's On The Right

In a recent discussion about the Alt-Right (which sounds like an "Alternative Lifestyle," doesn't it? ... not that there's anything wrong with that wink wink), I got to wondering about who is on the right. Why discuss this? Because conservatism has failed. Let's be honest. And if we're going to revive it, then we need to understand what happened to make the right so toxic so we know how to fix it. So let's start by understanding what the modern right has become. As I see it, the right breaks down as follows:

(1) Actual conservatives - not fringe

These are the good guys. They are the people who used to drive conservatism until recently. They are the people Reagan appealed to and who maintain the American belief in conservatism. They are the people who made up the Tea Party for the first few weeks before the others began pouring in:
●Ideological Conservatives: The heirs of Buckley and Reagan, who understand that conservatism cannot win if it is extreme or tries to grab all it wants at once. They are patriotic, support limited government, support law and order, and generally like traditional values. I suspect this is most of you. PROS: Brainy. CONS: Lack empathy for humanity.

●Rational Libertarians: These are people who like limited government, but also accept the need for government in more than just a couple areas of life. They are not beset by conspiracy theories. They aren't pot heads. I get the sense a lot of these think of themselves as conservatives but don't like the moralizing of the GOP. PROS: Often have brilliant ideas. CONS: Not good at selling their beliefs to non-believers.

●Rational Religious Conservatives/Traditionalists: These are people who think the country was running fine before liberals messed with it and they would like to see a society which includes a greater push for personal responsibility but don't want to see a repressive government impose that upon society. They want the right to practice their religion as they see fit without government interference. Where they differ from the Religious Right, however, is that these people aren't trying to use the government to force their own theology on everyone else. PROS: Decent people. CONS: Often misled by charlatans.

●Non-ideological People with generic American values: These are average people who pay no attention to the political system, but support the GOP because they believe in a series of values that generally align with the GOP -- opposition to freeloading, strong military, law and order, low taxes, less regulation. These are not generally ideologues or extremists and they don't buy into the GOP's platform of pet peeves, but they do identify themselves as conservatives. This is easily the largest group of "conservative" voters. PROS: Massive numbers. CONS: Won't help control the party.

(2) The Near Fringe
●Grumpy Cons/Nostalgia Cons: This groups also could be called "anti-liberals," which describes them perfectly. They don't have much in the way of ideology except that they oppose everything liberals want, and they do so on the basis of nostalgia or a general opposition to change. These guys aren't quite ideological conservatives and they aren't quite fringe either. The biggest problem with these people is that they reinforce the stereotype that conservatives are living in the past and don't understand America. PROS: Better than they seem. CONS: Negative outlook depresses support.

● Neocons: In a way, calling the Neocons "fringe" is a little unfair because no one thinks of them that way because they claim to be moderates who strive to be practical rather than ideologically hidebound. But that's not really accurate. What these people are is a group of military hawks who want to use the US's power to reshape the world in our image. They also make a fetish of expertise, believing that experts can run the world better than those dirty masses of bigots and retards called the American public. They are, basically, the military adventurer wing of the cronies. I would actually put Hillary in this camp, believe it or not. PROS: N/A. CONS: Disloyal, mistake prone, will throw conservatism under bus to cover up mistakes.

(3) Single Issue Obsessives - The Original Fringe (pre-2010)
●The Religious Right: The Religious Right was the original GOP fringe (after the John Birchers were expelled in the 1950's). They are obsessed with forcing the rest of America to accept their religious views. This began as trying to force prayer into public schools, forcing schools to teach Creationism, banning abortion and outlawing gays. They sideline with book banning, trying to ban pornography, stopping Muslims, stopping atheists, and stopping other Christians who don't share their views. These people account for almost all of the caricature of the GOP, until recently. PROS: Control the southern states. CONS: Angry obsessives who give conservatism a hateful image.

(4) The Post-2010 Nutjob Fringe

This group is relatively new to the right. They moved in when the country elected a black man and then the Tea Party movement became their vehicle for attacking conservatism and replacing it... like pod people. They are the people who became Talk Radio conservatives or "genoooine conservatives." They are not conservative.
●Racists/White Socialists: These are people who see the word "American" as meaning white, English speaking "conservative" males. However, their definition of "conservative" basically equates to "someone who agrees with me." They actually favor socialism, but only for whites, and their biggest issues are minorities and foreigners who get benefits and crimes committed by brown people. Hello Ann Coulter! These are the people who invented the word "cuckservative" which tells us more about them than anyone else. Oh and women scare them. PROS: N/A. CONS: Obvious.

●Strongmen/Militia/Survivalist Types: These militia types form their own private armies in the hinterlands of various states. They like to bring automatic weapons to places like Starbucks. They support ranchers who steal public land and racists who get into standoffs with the police. They make their nests at websites that use words like "False Flag" and "sheepdog theory." They argue for the elimination of government on the belief that society will come crawling to them for protection from the ensuing chaos. This is sexual dysfunction as ideology. It's a jerk-off fantasy. PROS: N/A. CONS: Obvious.

●Paranoid Libertarians: "The Fed wired my teeth so the CIA can watch me in the bathroom!!!" These people were largely confined to the world of Ron Paul in the past, but now use the Tea Party as a bullhorn. They are economically ignorant, but believe they know things no one else does because they believe every anti-American conspiracy theory they can find. They are a mess of contradictions, but their over-riding principle seems to be that the government shouldn't have done whatever it did to piss them off, e.g. charge me with animal cruelty, support my ex-wife in the divorce, stop me from masturbating on my lawn, or arrest me for buying meth. These people are insane and use politics to prove they are more sane than evEryOne elSe!!!!! PROS: N/A. CONS: They are excellent liars and they excel at infiltrating organizations by sounding rational at first.
I see that as the list of people currently claiming the right as home. When I look at this list, it strikes me that sometimes less is more. In this case, conservatives need to drive the three freakshow types from the GOP. I would do that by selecting women and minorities for a large number of leadership positions and by shouting down their issues. I would also recommend stripping the Religious Right and the Neocons of their influence. I would do this by inserting a neutral abortion provision in the party platform, endorsing gay marriage, and including a provision against foreign adventuring. The Grumpy Cons aren't a problem, just don't pander to their negativity... get younger and more attuned to the culture.

As for the rest, I think conservatives need to refocus the party by coming up with an agenda that uses conservative ideology to address the issues that concern the non-ideological people with typical American values, while using the rational libertarians and the rational religious conservatives as a check on the lack of empathy conservatives often display.



Kit said...

I should point out the post-2010 nut job fringe folks sort of seem to blend together at times.

ArgentGale said...

Excellent breakdown and solutions... I got a good chuckle out of the Survivalist and Paranoid Libertarian sections in particular. The big question is, though, how exactly do we get these ideas the attention they need to take off?

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, There definitely is some overlap. As with sins, idiocy tends to come in clumps. But these seem to be the main groups.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Daniel!

Here's the problem as I see it, right now. First, most conservatives are stuck seeing the conservative world through the eyes of the 1980's. That means they believe the three pillars garbage -- which was always meant to form alliances with other political groups rather than creating an appealing ideology. Worse, they believe that the public falls into those three groups, when they don't. They believe in all the institutions of conservatism like the magazines and talk radio as their "voice" -- when these people are their enemies. And they believe politics is a debating society where the only enemy is liberals.

Secondly, they remain stuck in this style of thinking where pure conservative ideology sells itself and doesn't need an appealing agenda.

Third, they are scared of change and aren't willing to gamble that the public will support them if they dump the a-hole faction.

Fourth, too many are safe in their districts under the current arrangement.

And fifth, the current impulse is to withdraw and turn conservatism into a tiny club that abandons the field to these other groups in the name of intellectual purity rather than rebuilding with a different audience.

How do we fix that? Interesting question. Ironically, Trump may help by neutering the Religious Right and pissing off the freaks. But he'll never finish the jobs unfortunately. What it really takes will be some people like Ryan and Rubio and the governors like Kasich and Perry and others to retake the party using a different agenda than the national agenda.

What would really help would be if some place like National Review woke up to this.

Kit said...

I would quibble slightly with neoconservatives. I actually think they serve a good purpose and they were vital to conservatism's growth in the late-60s and 1970s.

Kit said...

Anyway, it's almost as if there should be a book on this...

One titled Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)

Kit said...

By conservative columnist Matt Lewis, available at Amazon.com for $14.99 on the kindle and $17.91 in hardcover.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, if anyone has a good name to replace "conservatism," please let us know.

EPorvaznik said...

Patriotism? Sucka-PCs need not apply.

kender said...

I don't agree with the definitions. You're all over the map. I can agree with parts of several of them. For instance, what you see as a lack of empathy I see as a desire for accountability and a willingness to let people fail.

I'm not part of the religious right but I realize humanity needs religion because we need a moral code based outside of ourselves, otherwise we are able to justify any behavior.

Now you say we should select a lot of women and minorities for leadership positions. How about if we choose the people with the best ideas and who are most capable to bring people together and not base leadership qualification on skin color or genitalia? Because I think things like this should be based on merit and not the above mentioned qualifiers. Isn't that how the left goes it? Gender and race?

As for endorsing a neutral abortion position? What would that be? And how aboutr government get out of marriage altogether?

And we don't need guys like Ryan. Ryan got the gavel and handed the administration basically a blank check to fund everything they wished to do. We're at a point of unsustainable debt. Something has to give.

tryanmax said...

I have to take slight issue with the notion that ideological conservatives lack empathy. It's true that a popular refrain among this group is "facts don't care about your feelings." In fact, this is a favorite line of Ben Shapiro, who is sort of a pipsqueak trying to walk in Buckley's shoes. In all likelihood, Buckley probably said much the same thing at some point, although it would have been in his characteristically elevated vernacular. (I swear, the man's breakfast must've been bacon, eggs and a thesaurus, every day.)

However, Buckley also pointed out that, "a people whose feelings are hurt withdraw from a sense of kinship, which is what makes societies cohere." The ideological conservative recognizes that there is a time and a place for feelings and irrational gestures. This is what makes him a lover of pomp and ceremony, ritual and memorial. If anyone, it is the ideological conservative who desires to celebrate and to mourn as a nation.

Likewise, if the ideological conservative is to be what he is, then he is bound to point out that there are times when people cannot be ruled by their emotions. But the conservative hardly gets the opportunity to make this point anymore, except for after the fact. Any time there is an emotional outburst in the nation, while the rest of us are still sizing it up, someone swoops in from the left to pander and cave and criticize conservatives as callous for not jerking a knee.

EPorvaznik said...

Oh, and Richard Grenell for VP!

EPorvaznik said...

Tough love also counts as empathy for humanity.

tryanmax said...

On replacing the term "conservative," I don't think it can be done consciously. My dream term would be for conservatives to re-appropriate "liberal" in some fashion--or possibly outright. Unfortunately, "constitutionalist" bears too many connotations of tricorned militiamen. A second choice for me would be something along the lines of an "openness" movement which attaches the concept of "open source" collaboration to governmental policy.

But the best chance for a new label to resonate with the public comes from it attaching to the movement organically, maybe off some turn of phrase or evocative vocabulary from a speech made by a popular figure within the movement.

AndrewPrice said...

kender, What you say is exactly what's wrong with "conservatism" today. You can't turn a flaw into a virtue just by pretending it's a matter of principle. The lack of empathy problem is about both not knowing what matters to people and how to sell our ideas to them. Opposition to the religious right is not opposition to religion. A neutral position on abortion is what the public has already chosen, which is why activists are so upset they can't sway the public. Getting the government out of marriage, while a great idea, is impossible to achieve at this point.. it's a nonstarter and you don't waste political capital on nonstarters. You've missed the point on women and minorities. I never said unqualified. And your attack on Ryan is so awash in hyperbole thinking that it is nonsense.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I think the Neocons were brought on board to make insiders more comfortable with conservatism. These days though, I think they do more harm than good.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, What I've seen from ideological conservatives over the years is an ivory-tower effect. They get so wrapped up in theories and minutiae, that they lose touch with average people. They both lack the ability to identify issues that aren't already the subject of research papers and they talk to the public like professors speaking about aggregates. They don't get why something as simple as Bill Clinton playing a saxophone on a late-night television show mattered because it's not something that matters to them.

A lasting political party needs the ability to grasp what the public is thinking and how to influence them. Conservatism has failed badly on both points since Lee Atwater and Reagan.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, Tough love would count, but many of the people who practice it tend to be practicing sadism rather than tough love.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. Sadly, the two best terms would be libertarian or classical liberal. Unfortunately, libertarian has a meaning -- libertine weirdos, and classical liberal is too close to liberal and would be confusing.

EPorvaznik said...

Eh, apparently not everyone's lucky enough to have proper training. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Yep.

kender said...

Andrew, empathy has nothing to do with selling ideas. And knowing what matters to others is not the point. It doesn't matter to others what matters to you. What matters is are you free to pursue what matters to you. That's the crux of conservatism. And that's what we should be selling. Conservatism lets you decide what matters to you.

As for my comments on Ryan, they weren't hyperbole at all. Ryan's congress funded everything obama wanted funded. Your dismissive comment about my comment about ryan is what's wrong with conservatism today. You can't ignore a flaw and pretend it doesn't exist.

As for the public's neutral position on abortion, this is a sad symptom of the actual problem in this country. John Adams said "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

We are no longer a moral and religious people. The closest we get to religion as a country is American Idol and the Oscars. We worship in movie theaters and in front of televisions, making Gods of celebrities and pop culture is the trappings of our church. We worry more about who is using what bathroom while praising depravity, instilling in our children hollow ethics and shallow values.

In America today if you get on your knees for God, you suck, but if you get on your knees to suck, you're a god.

We don't lack empathy. We just harbor a deep desire for the Justice of seeing people get what they deserve.

Koshcat said...

Kender's post is a great example of someone I agree with while at the same time drives me crazy. Yes, I would prefer a government that worried about spending too much money. Yes, I wish we could have a less emotional discussions about abortion, gay marriage, death penalty. Yes, I wish people understood and respected the constitution better. Yes, I wish people would pay more attention to their own families and friends and care less about the Kardashians.

The problem I have is Kender and others like him is they make the perfect the enemy of the good. Neither Ryan or Obama really have much control over how much the government spends because most of it is locked up in entitlement spending. If congress closed its doors and Obama went on a 3 month vacation, entitlement spending would continue and continue to grow. It is a huge problem that cannot be fixed by a simple vote. It will take significant, bipartisan legislation and support from a president which is very difficult to accomplish. But, because Ryan hasn't fixed it immediately he is now brandished as a sell out, which is pure bullshit. Most people are moral but they don't like being beaten over the head with it. Most people are libertarian about abortion, gay marriage, etc.; they tend to think it is wrong but also don't feel it is their place to judge or get into someone else's business.

Koshcat said...

I looked up the synonyms for conservative, which means cautious, moderate, tending to preserve the status quo. The list is about 1/2 negative.

traditional, timid, reactionary, middle-of-the-road, firm, right, constant, redneck, steady, quiet, fuddy-duddy, stable, bourgeois, conventional, die-hard, fearful, guarded, hard hat, illiberal, inflexible, obstinate, orthodox, right-wing, sober, unchangeable, unchanging, unimaginative, controlled, hidebound, traditionalistic, uncreative, unprogressive, Tory, old guard, fogyish, holding to, in a rut, not extreme, old line, right of center, undaring, white bread.

Some of it seems contradictory such as reactionary and constant.

AndrewPrice said...

kender, Empathy is how we learn to relate to people who are not us. So yeah, it does.

Your comments on Ryan are idiotic. You must throw a lot of tantrums if you don't see why.

As for the rest of your stuff, that's idiotic too. You do realize that your little sect of morality isn't accepted by the public, never has been, and isn't even close to what Jesus taught, right?

kender said...

Little sect of morality? And yet you bring Jesus into it. I was told you were sharp. I believe I was misled.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, Guys like kender live in bubbles. And while some of the things they say sound reasonable, they really aren't when you break them down. They essentially translate into "Everyone must be like me or they are wrong!"

On defining the word conservative, that is the problem. The word itself has a negative connotation. It comes across as "staid", "out of touch" and "un-accepting of change." It really would be better if we could find a better word to start with that spoke to freedom, liberty, charitable, happiness or something similar... something that implies things that appeal to Americans.

AndrewPrice said...

Yes, your little sect of morality. You do understand that America is a awash in religions, right? And there isn't a single religion in this country that represents anything close to a majority of the public. And all those religions all have different views on what is moral and what isn't. So when you try to claim that America isn't moral because Americans don't believe what you do, you're just betraying the fact you live in a bubble with no understanding of how small that bubble is.

kender said...

I never said anything about any religion. I just said Man needs a moral code based outside of Man. Sadly the only people who seem to have one and live by it is ISIS and their cohorts and perhaps ultra orthodox Jews...and maybe the mormons.

You're reading things into my words I didn't say. America not being moral has nothing to do with believing as I do, it has everything to do with them just not being moral. Either you have principles you live by or you don't. Apparently you've surrendered to the path of least resistance, as so many have, and have decided to go along to get along. Way to cave.

AndrewPrice said...

kender, You said this: "humanity needs religion because we need a moral code based outside of ourselves, otherwise we are able to justify any behavior." And then your comments are peppered with references to God.

kender said...

Yes, just Religion. We're awash in them, as you said. And isn't it amazing that the majority of the public doesn't identify with any of them but humanism? I stand by what I said. When Man makes the moral code you know what you get? A million slaughtered unborn children, 6 millions Jews gassed and baked and who knows how many killed as enemies of the state in all those communists countries.

AndrewPrice said...

It's just so gosh darn cute how clever you are.

Anyways, I'm about done with your tired arguments, but I will say this. Your silly line about "surrendering to the path of least resistance", again shows how out of touch you are with reality. You really can't conceive of the fact that your little made up moral code isn't the right one, can you? What's more, it shows how judgemental you are, which is another fatal flaw of you and your fellow travelers. Indeed, your attitude is the type that will get people to turn away from you even if you are right... which you aren't.

So go away.

kender said...

Principles are beliefs you hold, even when it's not in your self-interest.

AndrewPrice said...

I am aware of what principles are. I also know that (1) just because you hold a principle doesn't mean it's right - hence, the need for constant re-examination, something fringers cannot do, (2) not all of your beliefs should rise to the level of principle, something fringers again don't understand, (3) sometimes, one principle needs to wait as you win people's trust with others, (4) sometimes, to achieve your principles requires incrementalism, i.e. you will never get everything you want at once, you have to prove it works step by step, and (5) doing things like selling your ideas to the public is not the same as abandoning your principles.

Good lessons for you there.

tryanmax said...

The word itself has a negative connotation. It comes across as "staid", "out of touch" and "un-accepting of change."

Additionally, the word invites critics to apply old-world understandings to its usage. Most scholars of historical and international politics agree that American conservatism is most properly understood as a branch of liberalism. Essentially, there is no conservatism in America, that ended in 1776. The main branch of American conservatism is that which holds that our national founding documents are great standards of liberalism and ought therefore to be observed and preserved. Even when regarding social or religious conservatism, one must appreciate that those conventions arose in a climate of free thinking, exchange and associations. Which is perhaps why illiberal liberals desire to shut such freedoms down.

AndrewPrice said...

You know, it's interesting. The more I think about it, for fringers, the word "principle" is the new shout-down word. It's like "commie" or "heretic" or "racist" were in the past. It is a word meant to declare and end to the debate by declaring the other person to be something unacceptable: "I have called this a matter of principle and anything you say against me now are the words of a heretic."

As an ironic aside, I find it funny that people who love to claim they would rather die on principle than blah blah blah have chosen Trump as their vehicle. The man is incapable of having principles, as is evidenced by his backtracking already on everything he promised to do the enemies of his followers.

kender said...

Principles are different than beliefs. Beliefs are personal, sometimes un-provable. Principles are fundamental truths arrived at by a chain of reasoning and logic. If you can't offer a reasonable, logical defense of a position it is a belief, not a principle.

It is sad that a desire for Liberty is now considered fringe.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've always found that interesting too that in the rest of the world, American conservatism equates to "liberalism."

Unfortunately, taking the word "liberal" back isn't possible because of the negative connotations decades of leftist behavior have attached to it. They essentially moved into an intellectual mansion of a word and turned it into a crack house.

kender said...

By proper definition I am actually a classical liberal. And you think I'm for trump? As I said before. I believe I was misled about you.

AndrewPrice said...

kender, You are like the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to seeing the closed-minded flawed logic of fringe politics. This ==> It is sad that a desire for Liberty is now considered fringe <== is another grand example.

No one here is opposed to liberty or considers it fringe. In fact, we are much more pro-liberty than you fringers who want to impose your own beliefs on everyone else and attack us for lacking moral courage because we don't subscribe to your beliefs.

Principles are beliefs, not truths. In fact, they are rules of conduct premised on beliefs one has as to certain things bringing better results than another rule. If they were truths, they would be facts.

AndrewPrice said...

I don't believe you're a classical liberal. I think you're a fringe libertarian with a deist religious system who likes to lob insults because you think it shows you're smart.

kender said...

I'm not a deist of any sort. I Don't want to impose my beliefs on anyone else. We just shouldn't have to pay for the beliefs of others. I'm for smaller federal government. Much, much smaller. Much lower taxes, much less federal regulation. People should be able to succeed, and this next bits the important part, or fail on their own. Every single problem in society could be alleviated by more personal responsibility on the parts of the citizenry and less propping up failure on the part of the government.

If you have principles you stand by them because you can logically defend your stance. It all goes back to the basic Natural Laws.

And I've not insulted you, unless you feel my belief that I was misled about you is an insult. Do you feel that way?

AndrewPrice said...

kender, Read your comments. They are packed with snide and condescending jibes from the very beginning. People with a genuine interest in debate don't talk that way.

As for the rest, of course you stand by your principles. That's why they become principles. They are things you believe in deeply. But again, no one here is saying anyone should abandon their principles. What we are saying is that the right needs to drop the people who fetishize "principle" and demand 100% compliance with all their views no matter what. We need a strategy to win people back over on the issues that matter to them. Then we can go about trying to get our principles in place again.

If you want to succeed in getting your principles in place in our system, then you need to recognize that the public does not share most principles conservatives have and that we need to win over their trust little by little. Each inch you get from them which you can then show them improves their lives is another inch they will give you. Little by little, you move the mile you need. But saying, "Give a mile or give me death" is a guaranteed loser of a strategy. Unfortunately, that loser strategy has become a point of pride on the right.

As an aside, the problem with "Natural Laws," is that many of the things called natural laws aren't. Times change and with it the reasons for many of the things called "natural laws" vanish or morph. A handful remain clearly true, i.e. freedom is superior, but many others fall apart.

tryanmax said...

I actually consider it something of a good thing that both conservative and liberal have been tarnished as terms. On one hand, conservative just doesn't apply in America's history or politics. On the other hand, no AmericInn can rightly call oneself a liberal to the exclusivity of others. It is inertia that has allowed both words to persist in politics, harkening back to a time when the distinctions between the parties were minimal. Now that American politics are more divided, it's high time some new terminology were applied to both sides.

kender said...

No, there are just 3 natural laws. You can see them acted out in nature all the time. And again, I'm not demanding people follow my beliefs. I believe in personal responsibility. I just don't think we should have to pay for the people who don't.

kender said...

tryanmax, do you really think the distinction between parties is not minimal?

AndrewPrice said...

Whether or not they are minimal depends on how you look at them. If you look at what they claim to fight for and who their supporters are, then they are the polar opposites on those issues. If you look at how they tend to act, then they are rather similar.

I'm curious what these three natural laws are? Most people define them by citing traditional moral principles, which leaves the whole issue rather broad. Conservative legal scholars often reference God and the constitution when defining natural laws.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think liberals are better at PR, but they quickly ruin all they touch with their conduct. Conservatives suck at PR, but our views generally lead to a better word... which liberals then take credit for because conservatives suck at PR.

EPorvaznik said...

I can see where Kender’s possibly coming from (and if I’m wrong, K-Mac, please let me know), as we’ve become beyond frustrated with our (fairly) newly elected Tea Party movement politicians seemingly and actually acquiescing to the opposition’s whims and decrees. Granted, I’m frustrated, too, notably because it’s maddening to have to deal with a President and other Democrats who won’t budge an inch in the name of compromise, but I’m also more willing to play the incremental long game, get more personal responsibility- and smaller government-minded members into the system so they can rise up and replace the likes of McCain, McConnell, etc. when they inevitably retire, or, more likely considering their years in office, spontaneously combust. With that in mind, still enough and always will be Reagan-esque to keep finding candidates with whom I can agree 80% of the time. My responsibility to keep their feet to the fire if they stray.

kender said...

Your Three Highest Natural Rights.

You have Natural Rights. Simply being born has conferred these rights to you as a free human. You cannot have these rights taken from you unless you consent. Nobody bestowed them on you as a kindness or a consideration. You didn't win them in a raffle. They are yours, as is your life and they are actually more important than your life as without them your life would be meaningless. Without these rights you are the property of someone else. Maybe not A person but at least the state would own you.

These rights belong to all of us. This is what makes them more valuable than a life. A life lost in defense of our Rights is a life well lived. A life lived without these rights is a life wasted.

What follows is The Three Basic Rights of Man.

The first is the right to live. Basically it's hunt or starve. In the modern world "hunt" doesn't mean literal hunting, it means securing those resources you need to survive. In this day and age we do that by being productive and earning money to trade for what we need and desire.

The second right you have is the use of that property you acquire as you see fit. Basically it's where the fruits of your labor come into play. Nobody has a right to the fruits of your labor, i.e. the money you earn. It is yours, earned by you to use as you see fit. Taking money from those who have earned it to give to those who have not is not charity, it is theft, no matter how you slice it.

The third basic natural right is the right to defend your life and property from those who would take them from you without your consent. Since the first and most vital property you own is yourself your right of self defense is highest among these rights, even though I have listed it as third.

Along with these Rights come Responsibilities.

First you are personally responsible to care for your needs first and foremost. You know when you fly somewhere and the stewardess (yes, I'm a sexist, shut up and make a sammich if you don't like it) tells you in the event of a loss of cabin pressure put on your mask first then your kids mask? This responsibility is why. If you aren't able to care for yourself how can you care for someone else?

Secondly you are personally responsible for those you bring into the world and/or decide to care for, which means they are your kids, you feed them. A lack of planning on your part is not an emergency on my part. Clean up your own damned mess.

Finally, you have a personal responsibility to have a moral code that allows you to live in harmony with your fellow humans. Don't steal. Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't kill. Just because you can say "well, there's no law against it" doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Why do you think we've got so many laws? Because people apparently feel the need to act so stupidly, so poorly and so amorally that laws are now needed to cover every possible action you can take.

I could expand on this, I am sure, but this simple primer should be enough to give most folks who can think even a little a basic understanding of how they should act and what's wrong with the world today. Of course, this means most liberals who stumble across this will read it and cock their head to the side like a confused lil puppy and then yell RACIST! but hey, if they weren't so predictable we'd never be able to hit 'em hard with truths like these.

tryanmax said...

do you really think the distinction between parties is not minimal?

Oh, come now, kender. If you're not feigning dullness, then I feel truly sorry for you.

Clearly I'm contrasting today with an earlier point before conservative and liberal became synonymous with Republican and Democrat. In the post-WWII years, both parties boasted of having liberal and conservative factions. Even in the late 1960s, when the parties started consciously referring to themselves as either conservative or liberal to the exclusion of the other, there was more ideological crossover than now.

So yes, I really do think the distinction between the parties is not minimal, because it can be and has been less.

Koshcat said...

Ooooh, this is fun!

First, the reason the tea party elected officials "failed" is because they really had no idea how the system worked (or didn't work if you prefer to look at it that way). If you respect the constitution, it purposefully slows the process down. If your party has control of both houses and the presidency you can speed it up but it usually makes a mess like the crap passed 2009-2010. However, electing these members has slowed the wildfire from that democratic orgy. It is just very difficult to walk it back without compromise. Neither Obama or the GOP will compromise on ACA, therefore it just continues to smolder along.

I'll get to the 3 natural rights later.

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