Friday, June 5, 2009

The Conservative Dilemma







Recently, I had an exchange with a very passionate Conservative (Seane-Anna, who blogs over at Poorgrrlzone), who tends to feel that if it was good for the goose (G W Bush), then it’s good for the gander (Barack Obama), in rationalizing some of the scathing attacks on ALL things Democratic and related to the Obama administration that have come from some quarters of the Right.

That is definitely NOT my own view and I cannot and do not support doing to the Obama administration, what was wrongly and often outrageously done to the G W Bush administration.

I have a number of reasons for that view, but the primary one is that we don’t have a supportive mainstream media (MSM) backing that up and providing cover for such tactics.

Conservatives had and still have a huge problem with what many in the MSM and the far-Left did to the previous administration and AGAINST America...and rightly so. The far-Left, the Moore-Gore-Soros-MSNBC Axis are without question, “enemies within the gates”.

But Conservatives are faced with a unique and challenging dilemma and that is, “How do we reach and convince a majority of that vast middle, the 60% of Americans who are largely apolitical and skeptical of all politics and political ideologies”?

Our tactics must be different than those of the far-Left because our assets and our strengths and weaknesses are different than theirs.

I’ll thank Seane-Anna (of PoorGrlZone - http://poorgrrlzone.blogspot.com/) in advance for stimulating a discussion on the dilemma that Conservatives and Conservatism currently face.

I’ve used some of Seane-Anna’s points and my responses to offer both sides of the issue. I’ve put Seane-Anna’s points in italics;
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"I think the major difference between me and you is that you have faith in the goodwill of liberals and I don't."

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Not really. I separate the far-Left from more moderate Liberals and you and some others apparently don't, and yet there’s absolutely no question that they are two separate and distinct entities.

Moreover, I look at the bigger picture. There are currently appx. 15% of Americans who self-identify as Liberals and appx. 25% of Americans who self-identify as Conservatives, some polls put that at 16% self identified Liberals and 33% self identified Conservatives, but why quibble? Suffice to say, the numbers are in that vast middle.

My numbers leave a VAST middle of about 60% of Americans who are (1) apolitical, (2) entirely self-motivated, that is "I support whatever's best for ME" and (3) while generally more traditional in their views than not, they are suspicious of ALL politics, nor wed to any specific ideology.

THOSE are the people who Conservatives have to reach. They are turned off by personal attacks and they get most if not all their information from the MSM that tends to support the far-Left. The bulk of those people were solidly with the Conservatives under Reagan and Gingrich, as well. More of them supported Bush over Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, but since then, they’ve moved away from the GOP and back toward the Democrats. They did that in the 2006 mid-term Elections and they did again in (rightly, in my view) choosing a REAL Liberal (Obama) over a half-hearted, pseudo-Liberal or “Liberal-light” (McCain) in 2008.

That creates a real challenging problem for Conservatives.Many Conservatives don't seem to recognize that fact, but the elections of 2006 and 2008 certainly seem to bear it out.

The fact is that over the past five years, the Left has done a better job of attracting more of that vast apolitical middle, or perhaps more precisely, the GOP has done a better job at driving them away. If Conservatives don't reverse that trend, they're in for a very long period in political exile.
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"All too often, we have thought that just winning elections was all that was necessary to win the culture, the hearts and minds of the American people. It wasn't, and now we're paying the price."
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That's NOT what we're paying the price for.

We're paying the price of accepting G W Bush's, Tom DeLay's and Dennis Hastert's, among other Republicans, abandoning of Newt Gingrich's and Ronald Reagan's mantle of SMALLER GOVERNMENT, lower taxes and LESS intervention.

G W Bush signed onto one of the most expensive and far-reaching pieces of business regulation (Sarbannes-Oxley a/k/a Sarb-Ox) in history and though he cut taxes, he did so to INCREASE tax revenues (which those cuts DID) and then used those revenues NOT to pay down the DEBT, but to spend more. He spent MORE (even adjusted for inflation) on reckless social spending than even LBJ did.

As to Sarb-Ox, many have called that “an overreach” that responded with a whole slew of new and expensive rules (Sarb-Ox was responsible for the “jobless recovery”) that many feel a responsible and active SEC could’ve accomplished simply by enforcing existing laws and standards. It’s the same as the post-9/11 complaint that all manner of airport hyper-security measures could’ve been avoided had only the cockpit doors on planes been reinforced as they should’ve been in the wake of numerous less lethal incidents that occurred over the previous decade.


Conservatives who still claim that "even a Rockefeller-wing Republican (a McCain or a Bush or a Dole, etc) would be infinitely better than any Democrat....are not only wrong, they erode support for real Conservative principles. There’s really nothing worse than a pseudo-Conservative, a Liberal Republican – a Trojan horse Liberal inside the Conservative tent.

Our problem wasn't "a focus on merely winning elections", it was supporting Keynesian Republicans and allowing the Rockefeller/"Moderate" wing of the GOP to set and pollute the Republican agenda and heap that blame upon Conservative and Supply Side principles.
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"JMK, this is why I adamantly disagree with your passive, let's-just-wait-for-Keynesianism-to-fail attitude."
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I never said that Conservatives can "do nothing until Keynesianism fails". We CAN and probably SHOULD organize, register protests when appropriate and even complain loudly and often, while offering reasonable, workable alternatives.

What I said is that there's NOTHING POLITICALLY that we CAN DO, with the Democrats in control of the White House, the House of Representatives and with nearly a 60 vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate – right now, THEY control the government.

The Democrats, currently run by their Left-wing, have every right (via the past two elections) and what's more EVERY INTENTION of forcing their agenda through.

The people have ALREADY SPOKEN! For better, or for worse, a sound majority of Americans SUPPORT the Democrats having that chance...to take THEIR SHOT at "fixing things". The fact that the Electorate may have wrongly blamed Conservatism for the policies of a very Keynesian G W Bush, is really immaterial, given the fact that the results are already in place.

I've said that it's tragically ironic that Conservatism was tarred by the actions of Keynesian (LIBERAL) Republicans like the Bush's, the DeLay's and the Hastert's....who while uttering a few "socially Conservative cliches" governed as ineptly, wastefully and corruptly as any Liberal Democrat.

STILL, that is what Conservatism faces right now. It's been slimed by its own biased support of GW Bush, Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert, who ALL abandoned Gingrich's and Reagan's policies!

So, now we're faced with complete Liberal control of our government. There really is NOTHING that Conservatives CAN DO POLITICALLY to derail the inevitable Leftward tilt now under way. It will almost certainly take another Carter-like implosion for that to change.

Personally, I say, so be it.....because there's NOTHING else TO SAY, since the Electorate has already spoken very clearly.

So, YES, Keynesianism MUST be allowed to be enacted (and with an overwhelmingly Democratic government, it WILL BE) and to FAIL, before ANY of that vast middle is going to switch back to the Supply Side point of view. Without a majority of that vast 60% middle, neither side can win an election.

Commentators, Bloggers and Talk radio are NOT going to stop the Liberal control of government....which is LOCKED IN until at least 2010. THAT will be our first opportunity to change course, until then, Conservatism has little to no political leverage.

And all that angry and over-the-top Conservatives CAN DO, in the interim, is to marginalize Conservatism and those who support it even more.

Conservatives HAVE TO BE smarter than their opponents. We don't have the luxury of a supportive MSM and entertainment industry.

Those who don't see that and don't accept that as our existing reality, are really no friends to Conservatism.
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"I know you don't want to accept this, but we conservatives are NOT having a respectful disagreement with people of goodwill. We are in a WAR with people who HATE us and want to DESTROY us."
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That's ONLY true of the far-Left, the appx. 3% to 5% of Americans who root against America and revile Capitalism as "innately unfair".

That is NOT even close to true for even the majority of committed LIBERALS, who merely see a greater role for government, a greater need for more social programs, universal medical coverage at taxpayer expense, etc.

While I vehemently disagree with even Moderate Liberals, I don't hate them, nor do I believe they "hate America" and they are NOT aligned in any real way with the far-Left - the Moore-Gore-Soros-MSNBC-NY Times axis.

It's both foolish and short-sighted to lump all people who disagree with Conservatives and don't care for the recent Republican rule with the far-left.

The far-left (that 3% to 5% of radicals/extremists) who revile America's "unfair market-based economy" and see America as "an Imperial power and a force for ill around the world" ARE "enemies within", NONE of the rest of the vast majority of Americans who are skeptical of Conservatism, Conservatives and Republicans fall into that group.

I’d advise my fellow Conservatives that we don't push more people in that direction by responding in anger and frustration.

Consider the murder of Dr. George Tiller of Kansas in a Church, in front of his wife, singing in the Church choir, shot dead by, ironically enough, an alleged pro-LIFE zealot.

The stooge who murdered “George Tiller the baby killer” only succeeded in making a martyr out of the late Dr. Tiller.

That’s the price of extremism – marginalization and ultimate destruction.

I hate to say this, but being non-religious myself, I’ve become more and more convinced that these so-called “Religious Conservatives” often do Conservatism a LOT more harm than good.

I can’t and won’t try to rationalize that kind of insanity, where a pseudo-religious devotee think that KILLING a physician, who provides abortion services is somehow advancing the pro-LIFE cause.

It’s not. It only tars the entire movement with that insanity and by extension, drags Conservatism down into the muck of that insanity.
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"One thing I'd really love to see is for conservatives to get back into the entertainment industry full force, producing GREAT music, movies, novels, video games, etc., that "sell" our beliefs in the "sneaky" way progressives have so successfully used to transmit their views into the hearts and minds of Americans."
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As would I Seane-Anna, but where are the Conservatives who support Conservative artists like Mr. Avilar, and other Conservative artists whom I've highlighted here on this blog?

Maybe it's true that "Conservatives don't dance", that is, they don't buy as many movie tickets, patronize the arts, etc., as much as Liberals do...perhaps that's the reason the Left dominates the arts and entertainment, just as why the Right dominates Talk Radio.

Another thing to remember is CONSERVATISM, like any belief in HUMAN LIBERTY and INDIVIDUALISM is the hard choice. Not asking anyone for anything and standing on your own two feet, accepting personal responsibility for ALL that happens to you is HARD.

Expecting others to help out, "because we're all in this together" and supporting free housing, free food, free clothing and free healthcare is EASY. Liberalism is emotionalism and as such, it’s predicated on appealing to “what feeeeels good”, and quite frankly, that often sounds very good to an awful lot of people.

It's only natural that far more people want FREE STUFF than support everyone working for and paying for their own stuff.

There are too many naive Conservatives who don't realize that fact.We're not selling/advancing something EASY or something that resonates naturally with most people, we, like America's Founders, are “selling”/advancing something that's very difficult to sell, a very hard choice that many, many people see as ultimately unfair, especially to those less able to compete.

WE'RE the ones in an "UPHILL BATTLE".

The Left is selling a worldview in which it "rains root-beer" and where "anything that feels good (even pedophilia) is fine." Free stuff and a LIBERTINE ("anything goes") morality is the EASY choice, the more tempting sounding path.We're the ones selling the "no free lunch" viewpoint.

Right now, there are fewer takers of our view than there were in the past.

So, the most basic and most important facing Conservatives today is, “How do we reach out to that vast middle”?

In anger and outrage?

No, not at all, I would not only hope, but encourage those folks to STAY LEFT if that is the path the majority of Conservatives take.

In fact, I truly believe that this is such an important issue that those Conservatives who really care about reaching that vast middle, isolate and marginalize those more bellicose and unreasonable Conservatives for the good of Conservatism itself.

We are the ones with the harder case to make and we must make that case as rationally and reasonably as we can, otherwise we risk allowing that radical few Conservatives, that I see as no more than 3% to 5% of that group, marginalizing Conservatism itself.


We have to be smarter both in how we formulate our arguments and how we approach those who disagree.

I hope you come around to seeing things a little differently....I don’t write and discuss things to CONVINCE or CONVERT, I don’t have that kind of arrogance, but merely to offer a different way of seeing things.

You mistakenly seem to believe that "the majority of Americans are on our side and strongly support freedom, property rights and individualism." In FACT, the vast majority of Americans, like the vast majority of humans, hold to no such political or ideological predilections. They'll support whatever they perceive as being in their own best interests.

WE are the ones who have the much more arduous and difficult case to make.

We forget that at our own peril.

51 comments:

Seane-Anna said...

Hey JMK! Wow! Glad our conversation inspired you to write this cool, informative post. And thank you for the shout out to my humble home on the internet. It's greatly appreciated.

And you're right, we conservatives are facing a huge dilemma. You advocate--I feel--a "passive" solution to this dilemma; I tend to be the "radical". But we can respectfully disagree with each other and keep talking. That's what I believe is NOT possible with most people on the Left. You disagree, and that's ok. After all, you're not Bonehead and neither am I, thank God!

PS

One question: just what do you think should be done with those "religious conservatives" you find so distasteful? It seems to me they are and long have been the bedrock of conservatism.

JMK said...

Happy to tout your blog Seane-Anna.

There's no such thing as a "passive approach" on ideology.

Conservatism LOST....it lost big, and if you really think about it, you'll probably agree with me, that it DESERVED to LOSE!

Tan Conservatives sway a Liberal government?

Not a chance!

The Liberals safely control the House...for now.

The Liberals have a virtual "veto-proof majority" in the Senate...for now.

And Liberals control the Executive Branch, at least until 2012.

There aren't enough Conservatives (about 25% to 33% of the population, depending upon the poll) to win a national election outright.

Conservatives were blamed for the failures of Bush's Keynesian policies.

That's how it goes.

Bush was indeed a Keynesian.

There are valuable lessons in this. One is that Conservatives CANNOT support Keynesians, even when they run as Republicans.

We're in for a pretty long period in the wilderness.

There will be absolutely NO/ZERO changes in our government until, at the earliest, January 2011!

That leaves a LOT of time for Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Holder and company to enact a LOT of legislation.

The process works!

The GOP f*^ked up and now the Liberal Democrats are in power.

They're NOT going to be swayed.

They're NOT going to back off from their agenda.

They're NOT going to compromise.

They ARE going to move this country Left.

And given the history of Keynesian policies, that WILL fail miserably...BUT, there's NOTHING that Conservatives can do politically to stop that.

That's the reality that you, I and ALL other Conservatives face.

I accept that and am even sanguine about the prospect of a return to a 1970s style economy.

I may not LIKE it, but it's GOING TO HAPPEN and there's not an election in sight until November 2010...that's a long ways away in political terms.

By then, we could be mired in a Jimmy Carter-styled morass, an "economic malaise," and Conservatism SHOULD be able to mount a come-back.

You know what could thwart that?

Extremism and Conservatives resorting to the same kind of hateful rhetoric that Liberals engaged in for the last eight years.

The MSM will help the vast majority of Americans forget about the Liberal hate-fest during the Bush years....but they won't let anyone forget any Conservative hate.

The majority of the MSM are Liberal Democrats....and they have a right to their opinions and their partisanship.

THAT'S the reality we currently face Seane-Anna.

I do believe Conservatism will rebound, BUT if you think the Left is going to let this opportunity to eviscerate as many Conservative voices as possible (probably Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage are all prime targets), you're kidding yourself.

While we don't disagree all that much ideologically, we DO seem to see reality differently and believe me, the reality I just described is the way it is...you can, as they say, take that to the bank.

I disagree that "religious Conservatives" are necessarily "the bedrock of Conservatism".

I like most of the religious people I know, but too many of them are way too dogmatic.

Life is compromise. No one gets 100% of what they want, or believe in.

Kooks like Scott Roeder and disgrace the religious community and alienate the vast majority of Americans, the majority of which, ironically enough, oppose late term/PBA.

The Scott Roeder's and their apologists aren't mere "extremists", they're people who harm the movements they claim to support, by making martyrs out of the opposition and alienating the moderate majority of Americans.

I'd advise mainstream Conservatives to ignore the most extreme voices and the uncompromising Right and run on "half a loaf" policy - ie. "NO to late term or PBA, but YES to first trimester abortion on demand".

Even the uncomprising far-Right will ultimately accept that, as there won't really be any alternative.

JMK said...

TYPO: Can Conservatives sway a Liberal government?

Josh Peck said...

Great Post. I agree with a large portion of what you're laying down here. There is a great disconnect, in my mind, between a conservative party that embraces the religious right and one that embraces freedom, logic, and science.

I find it a strange dichotomy where economic freedom is a core value, but social and scientific freedoms are not.

I would very much like to see the future Republican party be one that embraces freedom both socially and economically.

In my mind, social freedom without economic freedom is slavery just as surely as economic freedom without social freedom is.

Skunkfeathers said...

An excellent, educational exchange JMK. I occasionally fall into the "hit 'em with what they hit us with" mentality, though I can resist it most of the time.

And I agree with your take on Dubya: I contend that Dubya was plumped up by the (now) state-run media (love that term) back in '99 for one reason: they believed Gore could eat him alive in the general election.

*DOH*

I appreciated and supported Bush's response in the wake of 9/11. And I appreciated other things he did, including the tax cuts. But his trying to make nice with progressive policies and spending priorities was maddening; and his disconnect on immigration policy still baffles me.

What's done is done. And the pendulum is set to swing again, as the Democrats are in "overreach" mode, and some among them are too arrogant to see it.

Aroused voters need to be so more often, and take too much for granted in this great nation of ours. But once aroused, they will, to a fair degree, "hold the bums responsible".

And right now, the "bums" are on the Left side of the aisle.

But my word to conservatives is this: before you craft another "Contract With America", you'd better mean it, and stick to it, if you sell it. Broken contracts by the Left get media bandaids; even the perception of a broken contract by the Right gets trumpeted to the skies.

JMK said...

I think we're all tempted to hit back in the same way SF.

And I agree that G W Bush deserves accolades for finally resonding to the global jihadist threat.

The jihadists had been waging a relentless war on America and American interests since 1993, 9/11 made that impossible to ignore any longer.

He also deserves credi for cutting income tax rates across the board and the Cap Gains rate, those tax cuts GREATLY INCREASED revenues in their wake, but UNFORTUNATELY, GW used those increased revenues to increase spending rather than on cutting the National Debt.

G W sepnt MORE (even adj for inflation) on reckless social spending, than even LBJ did.

G W Bush was ultimately as Keynesian as his father was, with just one new wrinkle - he saw that tax cuts INCREASED revenes, so he used them as his tool to increase spending.

Conservatives must remember that it was George Bush Sr. who excoriated Reagan's economic policies as "Voodoo Economics".

Bush Sr. was only the 2nd post-WW II U.S. Prsident to preside over full term of uninterupted double digit Misery Indexes.

While Jimmy Carter remains the all time champ with a four year average annual Misery Index of 16.2, Bush Sr. came in with a repectable 10.2 average annual MI.

And you're right about any 2nd "Contrat With America".

When the GOP began moving away from Gingrich's policies, it also began (rightly) losing support.

Things certainly look like they could be set to break in the Conservatives favor. After 8 years of Bush's Keynesianism, the curent administration is close to admitting, what Gordon Brown did a few months ago - that "we're out of money".

Conservatives only have to look at what's happening in England, what just happened in Holland (the Right took the most recent elecions BIG) and New Zealand (SAME) to see where there opportunities lie.

That's why the outrageous, over-the-top and overheated rhetoric from some on the Right concerns me. It will ultimately only serve to alienate the vast moderate middle of America.

We NEED them.

And YES, there is still that MSM double standard in the Left's favor.

We have to be careful about how we make our arguments going forward.

JMK said...

"In my mind, social freedom without economic freedom is slavery just as surely as economic freedom without social freedom is." (Josh Peck)
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GREAT point Josh.

I tend to say, "Economic Liberty is the foundation for all other freedoms," but we need both.

The areas of inconsistency with Liberty are the areas where Conservatism's gotten into trouble.

Take the abortion issue. More than 2/3s of Amerians OPPOSE Late Term or PBA, while over 2/3s of Americans SUPPORT first trimeter abortion.

The people are wise.

They support a compromise posiion between the far-Left and far-Right, one that makes sense logically and protects both viable life AND choice...to some extent.

The Left seeks to constantly control and micro-manage people's lives, the Right should always and on virtually every issue stand against that.

Seane-Anna said...

JMK, I totally disagree with your opinion that religious conservatives aren't the bedrock of conservatism. THEY ARE!!!!

At least since Reagan, religious conservatives have consistently voted Republican because they saw that party as reflecting their own Bible-based, traditional values.

So, like it or not, you're going to have to share the conservative tent with religious people. I think you should take your own advice and not alienate them, like you tell me and other firebrands not to alienate all those apolitical, "moderate" Americans.

And yes, JMK, you ARE a "passivist" conservative. You DO say that we should sit and wait for Keynesianism to fail. If that's not passive, what is it? I know we conservatives face an uphill battle in that we have to fight not only the Left, but the MSM as well. However, much of the MSM is faltering. Some big city newspapers are at or near bankruptcy due to collapsing readership. And Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" regularly kills competing, liberal cable news shows. Many, many people are turing away from the MSM precisely because they want fair reporting and aren't getting it. And as long as we have the likes of O'Reilly and Hannity to hold the Left and their media whores to account, our battle might not be as hard as you think.

Also, JMK, you and Josh said that conservatism should be about "social freedom" as much as economic freedom. That sounds to me like you two are advocating fiscal conservativism but social liberalism, and if you are that is the antithesis to conservatism, in my book.

Conservatism does teach a kind of "social freedom" but it's social freedom tempered by personal responsibility and the moral imperatives of being CIVILIZED. I can best illustrate this on the abortion issue.

For most pro-life conservatives, abortion is NOT a freedom issue; it's a moral issue. We believe that a civilized society has a MORAL DUTY to protect the weakest and most innocent in that society. There is no one weaker or more innocent than an unborn baby. Therefore, to allow abortion is a MONUMENTAL failure to carry out that duty. It is a MONUMENTAL INJUSTICE.

Of course, to hold to the above view you must believe that the unborn are FULLY HUMAN FROM CONCEPTION. Most, if not all, pro-lifers do. And that is the most logically and scientifically tenable position. Disagree? Use your logic, JMK.

Two humans can ONLY procreate another human, and that happens at conception, not birth or viability. After that, the new human simply grows and advances through all the stages of human life until reaching a hopefully natural death.

Pro-lifers believe that all human life has an intrinsic value that exists independently of a human being's location, age, size, development, or ability to be an asset or a liability to another human being. In short, we believe in human equality in a far more fundamental way than liberals ever have.

And because we believe in that fundamental human equality we do NOT accept that there is a "social freedom" to take a human life just because it's in your way which, let's be honest, is what abortion really boils down to.

I have rambled, I know. I apologize, but I just wanted to lay out what I see as the conservative concept of "social freedom". It is NOT the amoral, anti-Biblical libertinism of liberalism. It is freedom WITHIN the framework of morality, personal responsibility, and intrinsic human value. I know you will disagree, JMK, and I'm ready. Bring it on, my friend!

JMK said...

It's NOT at all "passive" to acknowledge the TRUTH that there's NOTHING that Conservatives CAN DO to stop the current Liberal shift.

Fact is, the Democrats (controlled by their Liberal-wing) have control of all 3 Branches of government (and 80% of the MSM), which makes the above TRUTH our current reality.

They WILL press their advantage and they WILL push their agenda through. THAT'S a given.

There's NOTHING Conservtives CAN DO until 2010, at the earliest.

As for the abortion issue, the fact is that 2/3s of Americans SUPPORT abortion on demand during the 1st Trimester.

Another 2/3s OPPOSE late term or PBA.

THAT'S the logical position - UNTIL a fetus can survive OUTSIDE he womb, it is NOT a "child"...it is NOT a "viable life".

Ironically enough, and to the shame of Conseratives, especially religious Conservatives, Liberals adopt more children!

And that adds fuel to the fire of their charge, "Religious Conservatives ONLY care about children BEFORE they're born, they don't care at all AFTER."

I don't believe that's true, but I can't explain the discrepancy either.

Moreover, I think the only logical position on having children is THIS - "Brining a child into a chaotic, dysfunctional &/or unwanted/uncaring home, is tantamount to child abuse".

I am not religious at all, but I've never hated religion or religious people.

I do understand that there are people who do...and some of hem may have good reasons for their dislike of religion.

Social freedom is NOT socil liberalism. Social freedom means that we must tolerate homosexuals, we must reach some accord on the abortion issue and, to me, the BEST possible compromise is the one the vast majority of the people already seem to support - 2/3s of us SUPPORT 1st trimester abortion and 2/3s of us OPPOSE late term/PBA abortion.

Social freedom, in essence, means that we tolerate (not penalize) people for differences in background, culture or behavior that don't harm others.

How does a homosexual harm you or I?

I really couldn't care any less what other consenting adults do together.

I DO care about homosexuality being taught in schools as "a positiv alternative lifestyle", to me, it is an aberration or deviancy (it deviates from the accepted norm) that really doesn't harm others in any meaningful way. I DO care about homosexual adoption - I tend to oppose that, although my wife, who's more Conservative than not, says that gay adoption beats foster care or the prospect of no adoption at all....and she may be right, though that would have to be studied.

But social freedom is rooted in tolerance and people being, well FREE, to do as they please, so long as they don't harm others.

JMK said...

The difference between us, aside from religious views, is that I tend to make calm, reasoned and rational arguments for what I believe in and try to avoid hyperbole and personal attacks....and you don't. You feel that the Left must be treated as disrespectfully as they've treated those they disagree with.

But that plays into THEIR hands, and to THEIR advantage!

They can point to intemperate, hyperbolic Conservatives like yourself to show "Conservatives are naturally angry and mean-spirited".

That doesn't help US at all.

Defending fringe kooks like the vile Scott Roeder doesn't advance Conseratism, it defiles it.

Wishing Obama dead doesn't advance Conservatism, it defiles it. In fact, it would bring about a Biden Presidency, which could be even worse than the current administration.

Hyperbole and personal attacks don't advance Conservtism, they defile it.

And those who engage in those things are not merely "firebrands" or "proactive Conservatives" they are people who unwittingly hurt the cause they profess to believe in because they don't accept reality for what it is - with only 25% to 33% (max) of Americans identiying as Conservatives, compared to about 16% to 20% who identify as Liberals, Conservatives CANNOT regain power WITHOUT appealing to that vast apolitical middle.

Liberals KNOW and accept that and have done a better job recently at reaching out to those folks.

Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan won them over, NOT with "angry, passionate, attack mode Conservatism", but with calm, well-reasoned, rational and CAREFULLY CRAFTED aguments for their views and they resonated with that vast apolitical middle.

I don't want to dampen your passions Seane-Anna, I was young and rash once too, but the key to all this is knowing what you CAN DO and what you CAN'T.

Right now, the Democrats for better, or worse, have free reign until at least 2010.

They WILL push through most of their agenda....and I believe those policies will fail AGAIN, just as they failed under Jimmy Carter.

I want to give reasons for why others should consider Conservative views and values, you seem to want to atack Conservatism's "enemies".

My way has the possibility of making new friends, while yours promises only that we will isolate and alienate ever more independents and make those you consider "enemies" that much more intractable and determined.

We need to build consensus and that will require some hard compromises on BOTH sides.

You seem to think that eschewing consensus, might lead to some mythicl and impossible "total victory" and "unconditional surrender" of the Left.

It won't.

They won't succumb to personal attacks and aggression any more than you'd succumb to them from the Left.

There's only one reality, so there's only one workable alternative - consensus building and compromise.

That's the harder and headier path for BOTH sides.

Seane-Anna said...

Hey JMK! I knew you'd disagree, but I've got both barrels ready! Hee, hee.

On the abortion issue I will say just this. Your view that abortion should be allowed until viability because it's "tantamount to child abuse" to bring a child into "dysfunctional or chaotic" situations isn't totally logical. If you're going to support abortion based on the situation of the mother, then what difference can the baby's viability make? The mother's circumstance can, in fact, be an argument for late term abortion, which you supposedly oppose. How?

Suppose a woman has a stable life in the first half of her pregnancy, then something goes wrong in her last trimester. Maybe her husband leaves her, or she's single and loses her job. Anything could happen. Now she's in a chaotic and dysfunctional situation and, according to you, having the baby in that circumstance is child abuse. Enter George Tiller.

I think you need to rethink your position, my friend.

And your claim that liberals adopt more children is ludicrous. Where did you get that info? Yes, liberal celebrities who adopt get lots of attention, but that doesn't mean liberals across the board adopt more often than conservatives.

Conservatives, famous and ordinary, adopt.

Terry Meeuswen, co-host of Pat Robertson's show "The 700 Club", has five adopted children. Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman adopted three daughters from China. One of my favorite blogs, The Pintaro Patch, is written by a Christian woman who adopted a daughter from China. Many of the people who comment on her blog are other Christians who've also adopted from China.

Conservatives adopt. Don't let anyone tell you that they don't.

PS

I know all the above examples of conservatives who've adopted are Christian people. I wasn't implying that non-religious conservatives don't adopt. The people I cited just happen to be the ones I know about.

Seane-Anna said...

Now to your other points, JMK.

On the issue of social freedom, you spoke like a true LIBERAL. The idea of "do what ever you want so long as no one gets hurt" is the essence of social liberalism. If you want to believe that, go ahead. I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm just saying you should label your belief correctly.

And I don't share your faith in compromise. I understand why you advocate comprise, JMK, and it would be a good thing IF we were dealing with reasonable opponents. We're not.

When you advise conservatives to compromise you seem not to understand that, as well-intentioned as you are, you are advising conservatives to commit suicide, because liberals NEVER commpromise. They keep fighting until they get ALL of what they want. It may take them 10, 20, or 30 years, but they fight until they get it all. They never settle for half a loaf; they never compromise. Neither should we.

I think I know why we differ, JMK. You seem to think reaching the vast middle and fighting liberals in the halls of power are one and the same thing; I don't.

Reaching the American people with the conservative message probably should be done solely with your soft sell methods. But the liberals IN POWER, the Nancy Pelosis, Barney Franks, Michael Moores, and Georges Soroses, must be fought tooth and nail.

It's like winning WWII, JMK.

To win we had to TOTALLY DESTROY the Nazi and Japanese states, and we didn't hesitate to use every bloody means necessary to do that. However, destroying the Nazi and Japanese STATES did NOT mean destroying the German and Japanese PEOPLE. When our forces encountered German and Japanese civilians they treated them humanely. We made a distinction between the people and the states. We were at war with the states, not the people. That's what we conservatives have to do.

Those numerous, apolitical Americans are the "civilians" whose hearts and minds we need to win. The liberals IN POWER are the "states" that we need to destroy, using every bloody means necessary. Again, I know you'll disagree, JMK, so I say again, BRING IT ON!

PS

I remember reading your post on conservative artist Mr. Avilar. What was his full name again? And did he have a website? If so, would you please give the url again, JMK? Thanks!

conservative brother said...

Maybe we should spend more time exposing the mainstream media for what it is to the American people jmk. Thanks to the MSM, Limbaugh's audience is at an all time high. I'm sure many of his new listeners are first time curiousity listeners. Conservatives need to challenge people that rely on the MSM for their news. This is the Baghdad Bob Media. Let the liberals in the media say what they want about conservatives. They are going to say it whether we do anything or not. As long as we try to play by their rules, we are going to lose 10 out 10 times. When conservatives are guests on the liberal talking head shows, they should be actually challenging the network's coverage of conservatives and the ass kissing of Obama and liberals in general. I saw John Ziegler completely unhinge the hosts of MSNBC when it called them out on their obsession over Rush Limbaugh. That is what needs to be done. Liz Cheney is another perfect example.She challenged the absurd questions of liberal hosts.She didn't allow herself to be placed on the defensive, she took control and went on the offensive.This is what needs to be done.

Seane-Anna said...

Good points, Conservative Brother! You are soooooo right. If we play by the liberals' rules we'll lose 10 out of 10 times. We need to go on the offensive. That's what I can't seem to get my friend JMK to understand. Sigh.

JMK said...

“On the abortion issue I will say just this. Your view that abortion should be allowed until viability because it's "tantamount to child abuse" to bring a child into "dysfunctional or chaotic" situations isn't totally logical. If you're going to support abortion based on the situation of the mother, then what difference can the baby's viability make? The mother's circumstance can, in fact, be an argument for late term abortion, which you supposedly oppose. How?

“Suppose a woman has a stable life in the first half of her pregnancy, then something goes wrong in her last trimester. Maybe her husband leaves her, or she's single and loses her job. Anything could happen. Now she's in a chaotic and dysfunctional situation and, according to you, having the baby in that circumstance is child abuse. Enter George Tiller.

“I think you need to rethink your position, my friend.” (SA)
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Indeed, viability is an arbitrary distinction, but very similar to the arbitrary distinction you make between “innocent life” and “guilty life”, in regards to the “sanctity of life,” but it is a natural and logical compromise and one that is already supported by MOST Americans.

Again, 2/3s of Americans support 1st trimester abortion, on demand, while another 2/3s oppose late term or PBA.

There is a logical distinction between “a developping life” and “a fully developped human life.” While a developing fetus is alive and “a life”, it is not, until around the 20th week, “a viable human life.”

That seems like a reasonable compromise, and given that, at THIS TIME, since the Liberals have “already gotten everything they’ve wanted on that issue”, that WOULD certainly be an improvement for the Conservative position.

I wish there were a way to argue that “more Americans will ultimately come around to the pro-life position,” but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Yes, MORE now oppose PBA, but the huge majority that support 1st trimester abortion has remained steady.

I've always acknowledged that Roe v Wade IS bad law, just as was the decision that declared Capital Punishment unconstitutional in all fifty states, overturned in the early 1980s.

But all that overturning Roe would do, would be to return that issue to where it rightfully and Constitutionally belongs, with each individual state.

Personally, I doubt that even states like Alabama and Utah would outlaw 1st trimester abortion, if that were put to a referendum. Likewise, I doubt PBA would pass any referendum in any state either.

I think most people want to see abortion as rare as possible, but that would seem to require giving out, perhaps even mandating birth control for those chronically dependent on the state.
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“And your claim that liberals adopt more children is ludicrous. Where did you get that info? Yes, liberal celebrities who adopt get lots of attention, but that doesn't mean liberals across the board adopt more often than conservatives.”

“Conservatives, famous and ordinary, adopt...” (SA)
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I’m sure of that and while I’m skeptical about what I read about liberals adopting more, the fact is that most unwanted children are NOT adopted right now, and that means that even a smaller percentage would be adopted if abortion were made completely illegal.

What Steve Levitt and Steve Dubner say in Freakonomics, is probably true – abortion, becoming legal in 1973 was almost certainly A factor in the decrease in random violent crime rates beginning in the early 1990s. Their argument is that since poorer women have more abortions, many of the criminals that would’ve wreaked havoc since 1991 have never been born.

While it is NOT the ONLY factor, it is certainly one factor.

JMK said...

“On the issue of social freedom, you spoke like a true LIBERAL. The idea of "do what ever you want so long as no one gets hurt" is the essence of social liberalism. If you want to believe that, go ahead. I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm just saying you should label your belief correctly.” (SA)
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Actually THAT belief in social freedoms (“the freedom to do as we like, so long as we don’t harm others”) is exactly the belief endorsed by our Founding Fathers.

They and the documents they wrote espoused tolerance of different religions, different cultures, etc.

In fact, the primary problem most people have with the far-Left is that they have no regard for the Constitution and its protections of individual (social) freedoms. I should hope religious Conservatives don’t share that antipathy for the Constitution and the individual (social) freedoms it enshrines.

For instance, today, almost no one argues that people “choose to become homosexuals”.

The accepted view today, is that it is almost certainly innate or genetic in origin and possibly due to some hormonal or chemical imbalances, NOT personal choice.

And I believe that all religions preach that ONLY things that we personally choose to do are “sins”.

While I oppose “gay Marriage” on the grounds that it seems to be a backdoor assault on the 1st Amendment’s protection of religious freedom (itself a social freedom) and a way to set up anti-discrimination suits against various religious groups, etc. and possibly to even try and force Churches and Synagogues to Marry gays, I DO NOT support discriminating against gays in employment, housing, etc.

I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of Americans oppose such discrimination in housing and employment, as well.
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“Those numerous, apolitical Americans are the "civilians" whose hearts and minds we need to win.” (SA)
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On THAT we agree, where we seem to disagree is on the best method on how to accomplish that.

Conservatism is the harder sell, because self-discipline and hard work is harder than choosing free stuff.

To reach out to the vast majority of apolitical Americans, we must appeal to their self-interests, on WHY individualism and private property rights and individual (social) freedoms are both vital and in their best interests.

Coming off like scolds, while defending vile fringe kooks, like Scott Roeder (Dr. Tiller’s murderer) and wishing harm on elected Liberals is not only unconvincing, such a strategy serves only to alienate reasonable Americans and make those who engage in such things come off as “radicals” and “extremists”.

Suffice to say, that’s NOT a winning strategy!

And eventually, I'm sure you'll come to agree.
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“I remember reading your post on conservative artist Mr. Avilar. What was his full name again? And did he have a website? If so, would you please give the url again, JMK? Thanks!” (SA)
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I'd be happy to Seane-Anna!

Alvaro Alvillar is a GREAT artist.

The url to some of his work is; http://web.mac.com/studioartservices/Studio_Art_Services,_Inc./Alvaros_portfolio.html

We may disagree on a few social issues here or there, but I think we’ll ultimately agree that making only the most reasonable, well-crafted arguments in a calm and rational manner is the ONLY winning strategy for Conservatives.

Defending extreme kooks (like Roeder) and engaging in hyperbolic rhetoric only hurts our cause.

JMK said...

"We need to go on the offensive. That's what I can't seem to get my friend JMK to understand. Sigh." (SA)
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Going on the offensive is NOT the same as "going on the ATTACK!"

Liz Cheney offered polite, well-reasoned arguments for her side. She's never once personally maligned those she disagrees with, she merely rationally and skillfully makes her points...and that is both persuasive and devastating to the opposition.

Going on the offensive without being offensive is KEY, Seane-Anna.

Personal attack and sliming those one disagrees with is the easier path, usually left to dimwits.

Your better than that....and your arguments should be, as well.

Seane-Anna said...

Hey JMK! Nice discussion we're having!

I do agree that not enough adoptions are done, but I don't believe it's necessarily because there aren't enough people wanting to adopt. I believe it's because there can be obstacles to adopting for some people. Things like the cost of adoption or squeamishness about transracial adoptions. And I've heard that states have a financial incentive to keep at least some children in foster care and "unadoptable". All these things contribute to there not being as many adoptions as there could be.

Anyway, you're right that most Americans support first trimester abortion AND oppose late term abortion, and things will probably stay that way for a long time. That doesn't mean that we pro-lifers are wrong, though, and we shouldn't stop working to persuade people to our view.

And, JMK, if you think it's arbitrary to make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty well, I don't know what to say about that, my friend.

JMK said...

"Thanks to the MSM, Limbaugh's audience is at an all time high." (Tyrone)
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Absolutely right, Tyrone and that's because the far-Left's (including the folks at MSNBC & the NY Times) attack-mode delivery hurts their message as much as extremist on the Right hurt ours.

O'Reilly, Limbaugh and most other commentators, seen as "Conservative" make calm, well-reasoned arguments, while the likes of Keith Olbermann rant and rave spewing venom against those they claim to disagree with.

What's at issue here is which strategy serves us best, Seane-Anna's view of "treating them like they treat us", or the Reagan-Gingrich strategy of making calm, polite, well-resoned arguments designed to persuade.

I'm for the Reagan-Gingrich strategy, while Seane-Anna seems to be for a Conservative Keith Olbermann startegy.

Since that hasn't workd too well for MSNBC, I can't see that strategy serving Conservatism well, either.

Seane-Anna said...

Thanks for info on Mr. Alvillar, JMK. I went to his website and, unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with what I saw. Still, I'm glad Mr. Alvillar is out there. He can be an inspiration to other conservatives who are artistically inclined but don't get much encouragement from their fellow ideologists.

JMK said...

"...if you think it's arbitrary to make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty well, I don't know what to say about that, my friend." (SA)
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True "Christians" are NOT supposed to make that distinction Seane-Anna.

In fact, the Catholic Church is one of the few entities that is as morally consistent on the issue of life as I AM.

The RC Church believes that "ALL life is sacred", so it opposes all abortion, virtually all war and the death penalty in all cases.

I hold that "ALL life is NOT sacred", which is why I support at least 1st trimester abortion, most wars and Capital Punishment.

Moreover Christians are NOT allowed to "Treat others as they treat us".

That's the pagan standard.

Christ ordered his followers to "Treat others better than they treat you". He prescribed His followers to embrace (lovingly embrace) their enemies....and to "Take the mote (pole) out of one's own eye, BEFORE trying to take the splinter out of their neighbor's eye."

Obviously, at least from your own words, you don't really accept the "sanctity of all life" any more than I do, so your abortion views are not ony arbitrary, but inconsistent, as well.

That's OK, most people's are.

I'm consistent on the issue because I believe that logic demands consistency.

Still, the PRIMARY issue is the Conservative strategy going forward. As I said, I support the Reagan-Gingrich strategy of making sound, well-reasoned, calm and rational arguments designed to persuade and convince, while you seem to think embracing the likes of Scott Roeder and personally attaking Liberals is the way to go.

I believe that Conservatives NEED to embrace the Constitution and the individual freedom, limited governance, private property rights and yes, basic (social) freedoms it enshrines.

It's Conservatives who stand for personal (social) freedoms and Liberals who stand for government control.

BTW, I'm glad you asked about Alvaro Alvillar.

He really is excellent and he does support Conservative ideals, although he too, is often quite controversial and provocative.

I'm glad he and other Conservative artists have become part of this topic....it's important that Conservatives support fellow Conservatives in the arts...if we don't, who will?

Clifton B said...

Wow facinating post JMK and Seane-Anne. I tend to see a little truth in both arguements. For true conservative congressional Republicans very little can be done to stop the libs. Going for their jugular at this time is useless. It will change nothing.

However, Sean-Anne has a point. The liberals are getting nastier and nastier. Dare I say they are crossing over into evil. We simply cannot fight them with the Marquis of Queensberry rules.

I think the answer lies here in the grassroots. We simple have to start spreading the message on our own and bypass the MSM.

I wrote a post on my blog several weeks back. http://anotherblackconservative.blogspot.com/2009/04/conservatives-need-youtube.html

Basically what I suggest is that conservatives use their considerable talents to spread the true conservative message. Using YouTube and blogs you can reach millions.

JMK said...

"The liberals are getting nastier and nastier. Dare I say they are crossing over into evil. We simply cannot fight them with the Marquis of Queensberry rules." (Clifton B)
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Anger is a losing proposition fo both sides Clifton, but considerbly less so for the Left.

The MSM will excuse and even defend, or in extreme cases, simply ignore Leftist rage....Conservatives have no such cover.

Advantage on that score to the Liberals.

Couple that with the fact that when it comes to hate and sliming opponents, the Left has no equal.

The advantage for Conservatism is what Margaret Thatcher said long ago, that "Reality is Conservative."

And that's undeniably true.

Liberal policies violate economic laws and always result in hard times.

Moreover, too many Liberals have deluded themselvs into thinking (wishful thinking) that America has become more Liberal.

In fact, 2008 was a repudiation of BOTH the milqtoast McCain campaign and, by extension, the GOP's "Moderate"/Rockefeller-wing AND of a reaction to the public blaming Republicans for an economic mess that occured on their watch.

That economic cataclysm ws the result of G W Bush being as Keynesian as Richard Nixon was....just as Obama is as Keynesian, perhaps even more so, than Jimmy Carter was.

The current reality is that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumverate have unbridled control until at least 2010.

They'll enact a large part of their agenda by then.

What Conservtives MUST DO is to try NOT to extend that.

What could possiby extend that?

Conservative anger and personal attacks that'd serve to make the Left's basest accusations about the Righ seem true.

Defending radical scum like Scott Roeder and wishing harm on elected Liberals doesn't help advance Conservatism....it defiles it.

To those who can't do better than tht, I'd advise silence....it'll do far less harm.

You, Tyrone and the majority of Conservatives make arguments for Conservatism.

Seane-Anna still insists that "We have to attack the Left as vigorously as they attack us".

That's a problem, because THAT'S a fight Conservatives can't win.

As you acknowledge, the Liberal agenda WILL BE enacted, they have another 20 months to do it.

Conservtives can't stop it, we can only hope to offer reasonable lternatives when it ultimately fails.

Personal attacks and championing fringe kooks like Scott Roeder actually diminish Conservative cedibility and make it harder for our arguments to be taken seriously.

Seane-Anna said...

Hey JMK! I was starting to feel like I was getting beat up here. I'm glad Clifton and Tyrone see some validity to my point of view. Let me see if I can clear some things up for you, JMK.

First, I didn't and don't lionize Scott Roeder. I said I was glad George Tiller is dead. I am, just like I'm glad Ted Bundy is dead and I'm glad Al-Zarqawi is dead. I'm happy when the wicked meet their just end, no matter who delivers it.

JMK, you say true Christians don't make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty. Wrong. True Christians--and Jews, too--can and do make such a distinction because God Himself does.

A Bible verse that resonates with me as a pro-lifer is Proverbs 6:17which lists "hands that shed innocent blood" as one of seven things God REALLY detests. There you have God making a distinction between innocent life and guilty life, i.e. those who shed the blood of the innocent.

In the Book of Genesis, in the so-called Noahide Laws, God commands mankind to set up courts of law and mandates capital punishment for murderers.

In the New Testament Jesus did tell His followers to turn the other cheek, but that was a command to individuals, not the state. In his epistles the apostle Paul clearly teaches that the state "does not bear the sword in vain". Paul taught that the primary--only?--role of the state is to be a "terror" to evildoers. And those who kill the innocent are evildoers.

So God Himself distinguishes between the innocent and the guilty and mandates "the sword" and "terror" for the latter. And that's all I have to say about that.

Seane-Anna said...

I guess, JMK, that we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I'm a firebrand; you're a "passivist". I'm pro-life; you're not. You believe, I feel, in social liberalism, at least to some extent; I don't. You make a distinction between ordinary liberals and the far-left; I believe they're fundamentally the same, differing only in degree not kind.

Those are some pretty stark differences between us, but we can discuss and debate those differences and stay friends.

JMK, I NEVER want to treat you like I have no problem treating Bonehead and her ilk. Even though we differ in some major ways I believe your heart is in the right place. So is mine, and in the end that's all that really matters.

Peace, bro.

JMK said...

“Hey JMK! I was starting to feel like I was getting beat up here. I'm glad Clifton and Tyrone see some validity to my point of view. Let me see if I can clear some things up for you, JMK.

“First, I didn't and don't lionize Scott Roeder. I said I was glad George Tiller is dead. I am, just like I'm glad Ted Bundy is dead and I'm glad Al-Zarqawi is dead. I'm happy when the wicked meet their just end, no matter who delivers it.

“JMK, you say true Christians don't make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty. Wrong. True Christians--and Jews, too--can and do make such a distinction because God Himself does.

“A Bible verse that resonates with me as a pro-lifer is Proverbs 6:17which lists "hands that shed innocent blood" as one of seven things God REALLY detests. There you have God making a distinction between innocent life and guilty life, i.e. those who shed the blood of the innocent.”
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You’re not getting “beat up”, we merely disagree on a few issues (ironically enough, I fully support individual LIBERTY and you apparently don’t...at least not consistently) and primarily, we disagree over what is the most effective strategy for Conservatives.

I never said you “lionized” Scott Roeder, but you supported him and his viewpoint by supporting what he did (“I’m glad Tiller’s dead” = some good came out of Roeder’s murdering a doctor in Church). Nothing good came out of making a martyr out of Tiller and galvanizing the media and the pro-abortion folks around a new icon!

All Christian sects teach “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, and that refers to the judgments of man, as according to that view “we will all be judged by God”.

My own morality has always been somewhat flexible. That is I acknowledge that “good” and “bad” is almost always in the eye of the beholder. Even Hitler believed he was doing “good” and responding to the post-WW I “rape of the Rhine” (the looting of Germany after Versailles). Today, not only do radical Islamists, like Osama bin Laden believe they are “doing God’s work” millions of strict adherents of Islam do as well.

Like most moral quandaries, all of these are complex issues. The post-WW I Germans, like the Irish Catholics, persecuted in Northern Ireland, like the Arab Muslims, who’d sided with Germany and the Axis powers in TWO losing World Wars, all believe they have been wrongly punished and that their people have been robbed of their own natural resources and the opportunities the control over those things would’ve given them.

They ALL responded in what they considered “righteous anger”, and what their opponents considered “terrorism”.

It is only the “other side” that sees their view as “evil”.

To me, NONE of those struggles is really about “right” and “wrong” they were all about OUR interests versus THEIR interests...and BOTH sides do what they can and must to advance THEIR own interests.

In the Dr. Tiller murder, it is even more cut and dried.

Unfortunate as it may be, late term abortion is still legal in some 26 states, including Kansas, where Dr. Tiller lived and practiced.

Just because I oppose that practice, does not give me the right to kill someone who does. I can try and change the law, and, as many in Kansas were doing, I could find evidence that he was circumventing the legal guidelines and restrictions on that procedure and have him tried in court on those violations.

Again, just because a few people think things are moving too slowly, doesn’t give them the right to murder a person engaged in a legal action, who’s been convicted of no crime...in fact, we routinely arrest and prosecute those who take violent action against those who HAVE been convicted of crimes.

JMK said...

Ironically enough, you’ve made better arguments HERE than you often do elsewhere. You haven’t resorted to hyperbole, or personal insults or attacks...and I don’t believe that is merely because we agree more often than not.

The fact is that while over 70% of Americans are either “religious” or “somewhat religious”, the vast majority (over 80%) of those folks are “Sunday Christians” who don’t seem to take their religion all that seriously, believe in evolution, support at least first trimester abortion AND don’t want government forcing religious values and mores on the people.

Our initial disagreement, over the best strategy for Conservatives, really started with your hoping Obama died in office”.

I found that extremely counterproductive, even dangerous to Conservatism and a sign of your surrender to emotion (ironically enough, a Liberal hallmark) because reason failed you at that moment.

The GOP, which most Conservatives have supported has been complicit in its own demise. On that, the FACTS are clear:

* G W Bush governed as an economic Liberal, while “winking at” social and religious Conservatives, in effect, playing them for fools.

* G W Bush supported the Democratic agenda of “expanding homeownership opportunities to more Americans”, or perhaps that’s best put, the Democrats gleefully supported that G W Bush agenda.

Bush signed onto the 0% down FHA mortgage, allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to expand their share of the mortgage market from a whopping 25% in 2002 to a staggering near 51% by 2008, most of those new BOUGHT/GUARANTEED mortgages were of the new “subprime” variety. Even though Bush and McCain did push for oversight for Fannie and Freddie, the Bush very Keynesian administration was a very real part of the problem!

* Bush spent more, even adjusted for inflation, than even LBJ did on reckless social spending!

The Bush administration is the administration that moved us away from the Reagan-Gingrich agenda.

In many ways, the Obama administration is merely following up with more Bush policies, though on a far larger scale.

Until Conservatives realize that their own favored Party (the GOP) let THEM and worst of all, Conservatism down, they’re not going to realize the extent of the mess they’re in.

Until, or unless Conservatives realize the GOP’s culpability (especially its Rocvkefeller-wing) in the current mess, even should the next election cycles return them to power, they probably won’t return to the agenda that won over America – the Reagan-Gingrich agenda.

We’re not going to advance Conservatism by attacking the Left.

That’s a senseless, even stupid strategy and one that will guarantee the Left MORE political power and assure that Conservatism gets few converts going forward.

We can’t afford that strategy. We’ve already lost enough power, we don’t need an aggressive “in your face” approach designed to turn off most Americans.

Neither Ronald Reagan, nor Newt Gingrich were “firebrands” or “aggressive”/“in your face” Conservatives. Neither them, nor myself are “passive” Conservatives.

Like both those guys and like Jefferson and Franklin (BOTH those Founders were “non-denominational Deists” and NOT “devout Christians”), I reject the politics of religious extremism – it simply has no place in America, in my view.

We NEED to advance a consensus that the majority of Americans can get behind. Too much of the Christian Right has been offering an agenda that even the majority of religious Americans can’t get behind.

We can’t win with that.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has, operationally, de facto, been Godless and thus irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

”[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com

Recovering Republican

JLof@aol.com

Seane-Anna said...

"Ironically enough, you've made better arguments HERE than you often do elsewhere." That's because HERE I'm not dealing with idiot libtards.

Seane-Anna said...

On the religion thing, JMK. You were the one who brought up "true Christians", and claimed that they aren't supposed to make distinctions between the innocent and the guilty. You're wrong on that and I just pointed out the Biblical proof of that. I don't know what other religions teach on this subject so I didn't mention them.

Like I said, JMK, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I have no faith in your mild-mannered strategy for a conservative resurgence, but I respect the fact that that's your belief. And, of course, you have no faith in my "radical" strategy, but you respect me.

Maybe, at the end of the day, it'll take a combination of both our strategies to get the job done. I just know I HATE liberals getting away with all their visciousness. They need to be held to account and being polite won't cut it, I feel. But I really don't want to rehash that debate. I'll never convince you and you'll never convince me. We'll just respectfully disagree.

Peace, my friend.

JMK said...

“On the religion thing, JMK. You were the one who brought up "true Christians", and claimed that they aren't supposed to make distinctions between the innocent and the guilty. You're wrong on that and I just pointed out the Biblical proof of that...” (Seane-Anna)
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There is no “Biblical proof” of that Seane-Anna. "Christians" are NOT supposed to make judgments/distinctions over what constitutes “innocent life”. In fact, the Catholic Church is one of the few entities that’s as morally consistent on the issue of life as I AM.

The Catholic Church believes that "ALL life is sacred", so it opposes all abortion, virtually all war and the death penalty in all cases.

I hold that "ALL life is NOT sacred", which is why I support at least 1st trimester abortion, most wars and Capital Punishment.

Moreover Christians are NOT allowed to "Treat others as they treat us".

That's the pagan standard. Treating others the same way they treat you is an anti-Christian standard. In fact, nothing could be more virulently anti-Christian and yet most people, including the vast majority of self-professed Christians hold to that standard.

There is no argument on that, as it’s clear that Christ ordered his followers to "Treat others better than they treat you". He prescribed His followers to embrace (lovingly embrace) their enemies....and to "Take the mote (pole) out of one's own eye, BEFORE trying to take the splinter out of their neighbor's eye."

The Biblical figure Jesus Christ was, in effect, Martin Luther to the Jews. He was a Jewish anti-Roman activist (anti-Colonialist) who rebuked the Jewish teachings of the Old Testament (“An eye for an eye” – meaning that one should not exact any more vengeance than your enemy inflicted on you – in effect, “treating others AS they treat you”) with Jesus’ New Testament creed – “Love your enemies”, “Turn the other cheek”.

So, it’s obvious, at least from your own words, that you don't really accept the "sanctity of all life" any more than I do, so your abortion views are not only arbitrary, but inconsistent, as well.

That's OK, most people's are.

Moreover, as I’m sure you’d agree, while anger is a losing proposition for both sides, it’s considerably less so for the Left.

The MSM will excuse, even defend, or in extreme cases, simply ignore Leftist rage. Conservatives have no such cover.

Advantage on that score goes to the Liberals.

JMK said...

Wishing Obama dead (as you have) and rationalizing the horrific in-Church murder committed by Scott Roeder, as “having stopped more murders” are NOT examples of “aggressive”, “firebrand” Conservatism.

They are views that marginalize themselves once uttered and WORSE, they marginalize the causes they claim to support.

The political Right and Left is an ideological battle. Street fight tactics aren’t effective. They won’t sway others and they marginalize those who engage in them.

Clifton was right to have acknowledged, “For true conservative congressional Republicans very little can be done to stop the libs. Going for their jugular at this time is useless. It will change nothing.”

His solution is correct as well, “I think the answer lies here in the grassroots. We simply have to start spreading the message on our own and bypass the MSM...Basically what I suggest is that conservatives use their considerable talents to spread the true conservative message. Using YouTube and blogs you can reach millions.”

That’s really the ONLY way for Conservatives to reach out to others.

The FACT is that the GOVERNMENT is safely in Liberal hands until AT LEAST 2010 and NOTHING will change that, short of economic calamity and a momentous elective shift come November 2010.

The “attackers” are my allies at this point, we desperately NEED more people able and willing to make compelling arguments in favor of basic American principles.

You have the ability to do that Seane-Anna, but for some reason you erroneously seem to believe that attacking the Left and “treating them as they’ve treated Conservatives” is the way to go...it’s not.

JMK said...

“Forget "conservatism," please. It has, operationally, de facto, been Godless and thus irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

“[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth." (John Lofton)
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No offense John, but America’s founding principles were, ironically enough, penned by two non-Christians, two NON-denominational Deists (Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin). In fact, Thomas Jefferson famously said, “Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

As to his own religious views, he said, “ Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my god and myself alone.”

-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, 11 January 1817, in Lester Cappon, ed.

Ben Franklin went even further, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”

Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758

“Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”

“He (the Rev. Mr. Whitefield) used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard.”

“I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies.”

Religion, specifically Christianity has NEVER been a centerpiece of Americanism, though FREEDOM OF religion has been.

That freedom clearly supports the freedom of thr INDIVIDUAL to embrace ANY religion or none at all.

There are few “Godless” non-Christians.

Certainly Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George Washington (another Deist), Albert Einstein (yet another Deist) and myself are NOT “Godless” in any real sense, even though some or all of us may be “Christ-less”.

JMK said...

And considering that so few (if any) self-proclaimed “Christians” really accept Christ’s demanding demand, that they should “treat OTHERS (even, perhaps especially, their enemies) BETTER than they are treated,” perhaps it’s for the best that what passes for “modern Christianity” is NOT a “hallmark of Americanism”.

The vast majority of self-professed Christians, like the vast majority of all of mankind seem to embrace the pagan and anti-Christian morality of “treating others as they treat us”, which is probably why we live in such an AMORAL world today, in which the vast majority gauge what is “right” by “what is BEST for themselves”.

That is almost certainly why the Republican Party was the original home to modern “PROGRESSIVISM” and home to America’s FIRST PROGRESSIVE President, Herbert Hoover, a brilliant engineer who fervently believed that “Every problem has a scientific solution best administered by a benign and enlightened government.”

It is hardly irony that FDR merely continued and expanded upon Herbert Hoover’s Progressive agenda.

Moreover, as I’ve noted many, many times, the rich and powerful are NOT acting against their own best interests by supporting greater state control (socialism), they are, in fact cementing themselves in at the top.

Alfred Sloan, the former GM CEO and father of “planned obsolescence”, the man who partnered GM with FDR’s government (and the founder of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) was another wealthy Republican progressive who supported a bigger, benign (to business) government.

So, while you’re certainly right that the GOP is not a particularly good or effective vehicle for Conservative.

But that’s a different issue from the role of Christianity in American politics. While Judeo-Christian values are the basis of Western morality, a belief and adherence to that moral code DOES NOT require an adherence to one or either of those two faiths.

Moreover, America’s Founders seemed to see NO role for religion in government.

The fact is that many Americans, maybe close to half support much, if not most of the agenda known as “progressivism”.

They have that right, what those of us who oppose that agenda must do is to make reasonable, effective, convincing arguments in favor of private property rights, limited governance and freer, more open markets. NONE of those would be religious arguments, as one doesn’t have to be a member of ANY religion to support those secular issues.

We have to make our case and, where possible, seek amenable compromises, otherwise the only alternative would be perpetual Civil War over a host of singular issues.

Something that religious Conservatives should seriously consider is that America’s Founders did a wonderful job of separating religion from government. It would seem that the least we can do is to maintain that going forward.

Why wouldn't all truly religious people simply embrace Jefferson's view on religion - it IS indeed a "private matter between one's self and God".

Seane-Anna said...

I am not arbitrary! And as for consistent, JMK, do YOU support polygamy, incest, or bestiality? You have to in order to be consistent with your view that "social freedom" means people should be allowed to engage in any behavior they want so long as no one gets hurt.

You've supported tolerance for homosexuals on the grounds that they harm no one. Well, who do polygamists harm? If the guy next door has two wives how does that harm you?

If the guy next door is having a consenual sexual relationship with his adult daughter, like that father-daughter couple in Australia, who is he hurting? How does his consensual incestuous relationship harm you?

And if the guy next door gets it on with his German Shepherd every night, what's it to you?

I'm not being facetious, JMK. If you're going to be consistent--something you seem to think is very important--then you MUST extend tolerance to all of the above, and then some. Otherwise, you're being as arbitrary and--gasp!--inconsitent as you accuse me of being.

Seane-Anna said...

And I'll say it again. True Christians and Jews can and do make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty because God Himself does.

JMK, why would God mandate capital punishment for murderers as early as the Book of Genesis if He intended for humans to NEVER make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty?

Why would the Book of Proverbs list "hands that shed INNOCENT blood" as one of the seven things God detests most, if there was to be no distinction made between the innocent and the guilty?

Why would the apostle Paul, a follower of Christ, teach that the state "bears the sword" in order to be a "terror" to evildoers if no distinction between the innocent and the guilty were allowed?

Note, JMK, that the above examples deal with gov't or lawful authorities. In both the Old and New Testaments Godly people as INDIVIDUALS are prohibited from taking vengeance, but the STATE is virtually required to do so. Jesus' command to turn the other cheek was given to individuals, not the state.

So, Biblically speaking, Scott Roeder committed a sin; however, George Tiller was a sinner, too. He was an even bigger sinner than Roeder as he shed innocent blood; Roeder didn't. Tiller was a baby killer, I'm very glad he's dead, and I'm not ashamed to say it.

JMK said...

“I am not arbitrary! And as for consistent, JMK, do YOU support polygamy, incest, or bestiality? You have to in order to be consistent with your view that "social freedom" means people should be allowed to engage in any behavior they want so long as no one gets hurt.

“You've supported tolerance for homosexuals on the grounds that they harm no one. Well, who do polygamists harm? If the guy next door has two wives how does that harm you?

“If the guy next door is having a consenual sexual relationship with his adult daughter, like that father-daughter couple in Australia, who is he hurting? How does his consensual incestuous relationship harm you?

“And if the guy next door gets it on with his German Shepherd every night, what's it to you?

“I'm not being facetious, JMK. If you're going to be consistent--something you seem to think is very important--then you MUST extend tolerance to all of the above, and then some. Otherwise, you're being as arbitrary and--gasp!--inconsitent as you accuse me of being.” (Seane-Anna)
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The reason that incest, bestiality, necrophilia, like pedophilia are all ILLEGAL is because they are ALL, by their very natures, non-consensual.

The law does not recognize the “consent” of those under-aged, which is why those under 18 years of age can’t enter into contracts – in the law’s view, they CANNOT consent, they are “incapable of consent”.

There are no laws against homosexuality because (1) adult humans, over the age of 18, CAN consent and (2) the prevailing view among both medical professionals and bio-ethicists is that homosexuality is genetic or inborn and NOT a mere “choice”.

We tend not to outlaw things, yes even behaviors, that are considered genetic in origin.

My view is NOT that “People should be free to do as they feel, so long as they don’t harm others.” My own views on the matter, are largely irrelevant, but suffice to say, that they’re closer to Mussolini’s than they are to Franklin’s and Jefferson’s.

And yes, that troubles me somewhat, BUT I didn’t FOUND this country and I didn’t write its founding documents.

A mixed group of some Christians and some NON-DENOMINATIONAL Deists, like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Tom Paine and George Washington forged this nation’s original documents and THEY enshrined INDIVIDUAL (social) freedoms, pretty much asserting that the people are “free to do as they please, so long as they don’t harm others”.

They enshrined that value, not I.

JMK said...

“And I'll say it again. True Christians and Jews can and do make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty because God Himself does.

“JMK, why would God mandate capital punishment for murderers as early as the Book of Genesis if He intended for humans to NEVER make a distinction between the innocent and the guilty?

“Why would the Book of Proverbs list "hands that shed INNOCENT blood" as one of the seven things God detests most, if there was to be no distinction made between the innocent and the guilty?” (Seane-Anna)
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Whoa!

I never mentioned Jewish traditions.

Jews DO follow the Books of the Old Testament.

Christians DO NOT.

Jesus Christ was a practicing Jew and an anti-Roman/anti-Colonial activist who became Judaism’s Martin Luther.

Christ’s views turn the Old Testament morality on its head.

The Old Testament says, “An eye for an eye”, mandating that the aggrieved should never exact more damage than was done to them.

According to Matthew, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”

In another version (Luke’s) Christ said, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.”

Virtually every one of Jesus’ teachings were antithetical to those of the Old Testament.

The reason that most self-professed “Christians” don’t actually follow Christ’s actual teachings can be found in Luke’s quote of Christ, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic”, is the crux, the very heart of Jesus’ philosophy and the foundation of the morality he preached.

It is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the morality taught in the Old Testament.

Today, ironically enough, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the few Christian entities that actually stays relatively true to Jesus’ true teachings. It opposes Capital Punishment in ALL cases, it opposes virtually all wars and it opposes abortion from CONCEPTION.

Because of that set of stances, the Roman Catholic Church is not only fairly true to Jesus’ teachings, it is also morally consistent across the board.

You clearly DON’T support a consistent view. No one who opposes abortion from conception, while supporting Capital Punishment is morally consistent on the issue of “the sanctity of ALL life”, which is what Jesus preached – “ALL life is sacred”.

JMK said...

“So, Biblically speaking, Scott Roeder committed a sin; however, George Tiller was a sinner, too. He was an even bigger sinner than Roeder as he shed innocent blood...I'm very glad he's dead, and I'm not ashamed to say it.” (Seane-Anna)
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Scott Roeder is going to be punished for “committing a crime against the state”.

While Scott Roeder may be close to “clinically insane”, he’s a religious fanatic and that kind of fanaticism borders on mental illness, he will almost certainly be found “competent to stand trial”.

From a purely ideological perspective, what Scott Roeder did was to greatly damage the pro-Life movement and slimed Conservatives and Conservatism with their association to a movement that produces the likes of Scott Roeder.

Right now, Canada’s ruling Center-Right government is gaining even more support, New Zealand has just had a Supply Sider win by a large majority, England is poised to oust the Liberal Labour Party and even Holland has elected a Conservative government!

The same thing may be set to happen here by 2010, UNLESS fringe Conservatives, many of them guided by religious fanaticism and fueled by self-righteous rage alienate the vast middle of apolitical Americans and undermine Conservatism with their often reckless and irresponsible actions.

Seane-Anna said...

Hey JMK! We're really cooking on this discussion, aren't we?

On the "social freedom" issue you did appear to endorse the idea of "do as you want so long as no one gets hurt", in an earlier comment you made. If I misunderstood you, I apologize.

Now you say that the above version of "social freedom" was enshrined in the Constitution by the Founders, and is not your personal opinion. If that's true, and you support the Constitution, then you're still beholden to a very liberal and amoral view of "social freedom". It is the only view you have to work with.

But my point was about consistency. If you tolerate homosexuality then, to be CONSISTENT, you have to tolerate all the other stuff as well, per the Constitution as you see it.

And you can't get around it by playing the consent card. If an adult human being can consent to sex, then he can consent to sex, period, including with someone in his own family. And how does it harm YOU if he does?

That father-daughter couple in Australia were both adults. And to make matters murkier, the father had abandoned the daughter in infancy, so the two never had a normal father-dauther relationship. When they met each other they didn't have the normal familial feelings. They saw each other as just a man and a woman, or so they said. And the rest is perverted history. They even had a child. Gross!

And the pedophilia issue isn't cut and dried, either. Our society already accepts that teenagers can consent to sex with each other. And if they can consent to sex with eath other who's to say they can't consent to sex with adults? And what if pedophilia is proven to be genetic? What then?

JMK, I'm DON'T support any of the above behaviors. I DON'T believe that "consent makes right"; consequently, I DON'T subscribe to the liberal view of "social freedom". Those who do, and that seems to include you, must be prepared to live in a very permissive, amoral society. I'm not, which is one big reason I'm a conservative. I want to conserve that traditional culture where "social freedom" was practiced WITHIN the framework of the Judeo-Christian moral construct. Remove that moral construct and there will be nothing standing in the way of the excesses of libertinism.

Seane-Anna said...

And on the religion front, I didn't make my point by referencing only the Old Testament. I also mentioned Paul and his teachings on the responsibilty and right of the state to "bear the sword" against evildoers. Paul is in the New Testament; in fact, he wrote most of it.

I also pointed out that Jesus' teaching to turn the other cheek was given to us as INDIVIDUALS; He was NOT speaking of the role of the state as Paul was.

And as for me quoting the Books of Genesis and Proverbs, well, they are NOT part of the Mosaic Law that Jesus (supposedly) repudiated.

The Book of Proverbs is part of the Wisdom literature, which includes other books such as the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Job. While Wisdom literature has many moral principles and even commands it's not, strictly speaking, part of the Mosiac Law. The Book of Genesis is a bit more problematic.

The first book of the Bible is part of the Torah, the five books of Moses; however, it does NOT contain, nor is it part of, the Mosaic Law. God's command in Genesis for mankind to set up courts of law and execute murderers is part of what's known as the Noahide Laws. These laws are UNIVERSAL moral commands binding on ALL mankind and NOT specific to the Jews, as the Mosaic Law is usually seen as being.

Following the Noahide Laws was a way for pagans to become "God fearers" or "righteous gentiles", and have a place in the world to come, without becoming full Jews.

I don't want to bore you with theology, JMK, I'm just saying that not everything in the Old Testament is the Law, and even in the Law are moral commandments and principles binding on Christians as God's people. Those moral commandments and principles are summarized in the Ten Commandments.

Jesus didn't repudiate everything in the OT. In fact, He quoted it freely to prove His teachings and to answer questions. He even defined marriage by quoting the created order revealed in Genesis. You can read it for yourself, JMK, in Matthew 19:3-6. And that's all I've got to say on the religion issue.

One more thing. I've put a new post on PoorGrrl Zone. It's called "Sarah Palin and the Wolves". Check it out and see if it's calm and rational enough for you. And let me know if you like my new template. :)

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

America was "founded" 150 or so years BEFORE the official "founding" in the mid-to late 18th century. And the original founding was by Bible-believing Christians who came here to found a Christian commonwealth. The origonal Americans were people whose Christian faith determined, among other things, their politics, ideas about government. Read, for example, the "Mayflower Compact" and John Winthrop's sermon "A Model Of Christian Charity" if you want to understand what the first, REAL American believed.

John Lofton, Editor TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

JMK said...

"But my point was about consistency. If you tolerate homosexuality then, to be CONSISTENT, you have to tolerate all the other stuff as well, per the Constitution as you see it....And you can't get around it by playing the consent card. " (Seane-Anna)
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The U.S. Constitution, as written, enshrines those things you claim to revile as "liberal social freedoms".

And YES, CONSENT is the entire basis for what is legal and illegal.

The entire reason for outlawing pedophilia, is the same reason the law proscribes incest, bestiality and necrophilia - "informed consent" (the legal parameter) requires consent from BOTH parties.

You can understand that, right?

It's, in essence, the difference between consensual sex between two adults and rape, the act in which only one party "consents".

In ALL those acts (pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia and incest), there is NOT consent on BOTH sides, as minors, animals and dead bodies are not considered capable of consent.

Bottom-line, the toleration f homosxuality is not even an ussue now-a-days.

It's a matter of long settled law.

My own views, opposing gay Marriage (and I only oppose that on the grounds that it has the potential to be a means to seeking legal injunctions to force Churches and Synagogues to Marry gays against their teachings) and opposing gay adoption, are about as far as society is willing to tolerate.

So far, 65% of Americans oppose gay Marriage, though a majority seem to support gay adoption and teaching about homosexuality as "a viable alternative" rather than the genetic/inborn sexual deviancy that it really is.

I agree with Jeferson and especially Ben Franklin, perhaps the most "Deist" and least "Christian" of America's Founders, that religion is a private matter and has NO PLACE in the political or governmental realm.

In EVERY nation wher religion dominates or is used by the political class (ie. Medieval Europe and the modern day Arab Mideast) horrific abuses of human rights and all manner of vile perversoins are routiney done in the name of "opposing sin" and "in God's name".

I'm sure that none of us want any of that here.

JMK said...

"America was "founded" 150 or so years BEFORE the official "founding" in the mid-to late 18th century. And the original founding was by Bible-believing Christians who came here to found a Christian commonwealth." (John Lofton)
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John, you're describing Colonial America, NOT the nation we all swear allegience to today - the United States. Colonial Ameria was rife with all manner of religious extremism and abuse, from burning witches to shunning unbelievers. The U.S. Constitution buried that dead viewpoint, a viewoint resurrected today in much of the Arab Mideast, albeit with another religion and with even more radical extremism.

The U.S. Constitution, penned by Thomas Jefferson (a non-denominational Deist), with massive input from Ben Franklin (an even more skeptical Deist, with no fondness for Christianity) is the document we adhere to, to this day.

The Articles of Confederation, like the Mayflower Compact are "dead papers" long ago replaced by the U.S. Constitution.

I think the vast majority of Americans today believe that one of the BEST things America's (and by America, of course, I mean the United States) is the separation of Church and State.

Yes, in too many cases that separtion has gone too far, but the basic princile of that separation is vital to what is America today.

Without that, we would almost certainly be no better off than Taliban-run Afghanistan or, at best, feudal Europe, steeped in all sorts of religious superstititons, often leading to unspeakable blood-letting - the Inquisition, Heresy trials, the burning of witches, etc.

I don't think any of us today would relish such a perverse world.

Religion can, especially when taken as a private matter, delivering personal solace, be a positive thing, but when used by government - and in EVERY SINGLE Theocracy throughout the ages, it's been government that USED and abused religion and NOT the reverse - it's been the author of some of mankind's worst abuses and repressions.

America's/The United States' Founders ALL knew both governmental and religious persecution, almost always at the hands of a small-minded, Theocratic government. That's why they separated Church and State and enshrined religious freedom, private property rights, limited, localized governance AND individualism rather than any Theocratic institution.

I know it's far asier for someone like myself who shares Franklin's deep distrust of organized religion and religious zealots to champion our Constitution as written, but it does today stand as the essence of "America" (a/k/a The United States) and there's no chance, NONE, that we'll ever undo the current Constitution and re-embrace say, the Articless of Confederation.

I dare say that far more Americans today would agree with Franklin's views that, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” OR that, “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” And I'd bet a majority would even agree with his assertion that, “I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies.”

Religion, specifically Christianity has NEVER been a centerpiece of Americanism, though FREEDOM OF religion has been one of the bedrock principles of the United States.

At a time when Conservatism NEEDS to reconnect to that vast middle of apolitical and largely irreligious Americans, religious extremism, extolling the deeds of folks like Scott Roeder and other zealots hardly seems constructive.

In fact, it seems a sure-fire path to the dust bin of history.

So why go there?

Just my humble thoughts on the matter.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Correct! Our anti-Christian nation today is NOT Christian Colonial America! I agree wholeheartedly. Amen! And the fact that we are an anti-Christian country today that has turned its back on God – the God of the Bible, the only true God there is – accounts for, among other things, 50 million abortions, a “popular culture” that is an open sewer, our involvement in two un-Godly, un-Constitutional wars, a collapsing economy and much more.

Our Christian foundation has been almost totally destroyed with disastrous results – as God predicts in Psalm 9:17. And that we were, originally, founded as a Christian nation is a fact and begins, as I say, with the understanding that our founding began 150 or so years before the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. A superb, well-documented argument for our Christian origins is a book by a former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, David J. Brewer, titled “the United States As A Christian Nation” (John C. Winston Co.,, 1905).

You should read this book.

John Lofton, Editor TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

JMK said...

“Correct! Our anti-Christian nation today is NOT Christian Colonial America! I agree wholeheartedly. Amen! And the fact that we are an anti-Christian country today that has turned its back on God – the God of the Bible, the only true God there is – accounts for, among other things, 50 million abortions, a “popular culture” that is an open sewer, our involvement in two un-Godly, un-Constitutional wars, a collapsing economy and much more.

“Our Christian foundation has been almost totally destroyed with disastrous results – as God predicts in Psalm 9:17. And that we were, originally, founded as a Christian nation is a fact and begins, as I say, with the understanding that our founding began 150 or so years before the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. A superb, well-documented argument for our Christian origins is a book by a former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, David J. Brewer, titled “the United States As A Christian Nation” (John C. Winston Co.,, 1905).” (John Lofton)
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I don’t argue that America was a Colonial entity a century and a half before Franklin, Jefferson et al forged the United States. That is historical fact.

My argument John, is that we’re ALL today, very fortunate that Deists like Jefferson and Franklin dominated the ideology that formed this nation (the United States) and moved us FROM a Colonial era America, where, among many other abuses, many innocent young women were burned as “witches” and “unbelievers” were routinely “shunned” – unable to rent property, start businesses or find work within those closed-minded, non-free communities.

In my view, that Colonial America was not very much different than Taliban-run Afghanistan. There’s really not much GOOD that can be said about such a society.

Yes, Western morality is rooted in the JUDEO-CHRISTIAN tradition, but that does NOT require any widespread or strict adherence to either Judaism or Christianity nor ANY religion.

Franklin has been proven right over time. Religion has a long and sordid history of being willingly (happily?) used and abused by government to both stifle dissent, eradicate uncomfortable free expression and cement those with political connections into the halls of power.

No thanks, I’m with Franklin and Jefferson who saw all that as a debased perversion of the human spirit and a hideous misuse of religion.

Religion is much like sexuality, best kept behind closed doors and out of sight. It certainly should NOT be part of any governmental authority or used by government to favor some, while oppressing others.

Jefferson and Franklin and the other Founders of the USA had it right.

The Colonialists of the previous era had it very much wrong and they presided over a hideously violent, theocratic monstrosity that Franklin, Jefferson and others mercifully helped put an end to.
Today’s America is not “anti-Christian”, it is merely irreligious. The bulk of America’s “worshipers” simply don’t care that deeply about their “faith”, if they did, they wouldn’t come home and watch and laugh with the likes of David Letterman. The bulk of Americans seem to prefer individual freedoms over pious devotion to any specific faith.

That’s had both positive and negative results, but the good in eradicating what might well have evolved into a “Christian Theocracy” far outweighs the bad, at least in my view.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Your view that "Colonial America was not very much different than Taliban-run Afghanistan" reveals you to be an utter ignoramus (Latin for REALLY stupid). No, seriously...you are. Another public school graduate no doubt.
Pathetic....


John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com

Recovering Republican

JLof@aol.com

JMK said...

“Your view that "Colonial America was not very much different than Taliban-run Afghanistan" reveals you to be an utter ignoramus (Latin for REALLY stupid). No, seriously...you are. Another public school graduate no doubt.

“Pathetic....”


John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com

Recovering Republican

JLof@aol.com
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I’m always happy when someone else is reduced to mere ad hominem and personal attack, because it means they cannot prove their case.

In this case, happily for me, a former Catholic school boy, who left that religion at age eleven, I can prove mine.

Colonial America or “The English-American colonies” are defined by historians as having been “autocratic and theocratic, with a patriarchal system of justice: magistrates and religious leaders, sometimes one and the same, made the laws, and the burden of obeying them fell on the less exalted—the tradesmen, soldiers, farmers, servants, slaves, and the young. That burden could be weighty.

“In his History of American Law, Lawrence M. Friedman wrote, "The earliest criminal codes mirrored the nasty, precarious life of pioneer settlements." A good example is the set of statutes imposed on Jamestown, the "Articles, Lawes and Orders Diuine, Politique, and Martiall for the Colony in Virginia," by the Virginia Company of London in 1611. They were, with some justice, described by the colonists in a letter to the crown in 1624 as "Tyrannycall Lawes written in blood."


SEE: http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/spring03/branks.cfm


From that same site is an account from that time period, which read;

“The cause of the vniust (unjust) and vndeserved (undeserved) death of sundry . . . by starveinge (starving), hangeinge (hanging), burneinhge (burning), breakinge upon the wheele and shootinge to deathe, some (more than halfe famished) runninge to the Indians to gett reliefe beinge againe returned (returned) were burnt to deth. Some for stealinge to satisfie thir hunger were hanged, and one chained to a tree till he starved to death; others attemptinge to run awaye in a barge and a shallop (all the Boates that were then in the Collonye) and therin to adventure their lives for their native countrye, beinge discovered and prevented, were shott to death, hanged and broken upon the wheele, besides continuall whippings, extraordinary punishments, workinge as slaves in irons for terme of yeares (and that for petty offenses) weare dayly (daily) executed.”

Moreover as documented there, “Every Virginia minister was required to read the "Articles, Lawes and Orders" to his congregation every Sunday, and, among other things, parishioners were reminded that failure to attend church twice each day was punishable in the first instance by the loss of a day's food. A second offense was punishable by a whipping and a third by six months of rowing in the colony's galleys. Which underlines the notion of the law as an arm of religious orthodoxy.”

I understand that some people tend to have a lot of emotion invested in matters of faith and “spiritual pride”, but the sad truth is that religion (ALL the major religions) has willingly and gleefully allowed itself to used by government and to partner with government and those partnerships have virtually always resulted in some of the worst atrocities and abuses in the history of man.

America today, which is that nation founded as “The United States of America” is one founded by a group led predominantly by a group of non-denominational Deists, like Franklin, Jefferson, Washington and Paine, men who rightly feared the abuses of theocracy and birthed this country as a SECULAR one and for that, especially after reading the accounts above, we should all be very thankful.

JMK said...

It's vital for all of us to acknowledge that it's NOT religion that made America great, but the "freedom OF religion" - people being free to exercise their faith as they see fit, so long as they don't seek ANY public approval or recognition for any particular faith.

On a happier note, I'm glad you're a "recovering Republican".

The GOP is and always has been OWNED by its Rockefeller-wing, also known as "Country Club Republicans".

That group were America's FIRST "progressives" and they remain big government Keyensians to this day. Herbert Hoover, in fact, was America's first "Progressive President".

I've never left the Democratic Party. I've always been a Conservative Democrat....a Party much better suited to Conservatism and the original (and hopefully the future) home of American Conservatism.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Indeed, it was NOT "religion" that made America great. It was obedience to God Almighty, His Word and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ that made us great -- which we no longer are because we have forgotten God (Psalm 9:17).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

JMK said...

"Indeed, it was NOT "religion" that made America great. It was obedience to God Almighty, His Word and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ that made us great -- which we no longer are because we have forgotten God (Psalm 9:17)." (John Lofton)
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Mmmmmmm nah, if you read the horrific accounts of Colonial America, perhaps the most "religious" period in this continent's history, I think it makes clear how fortunate we all are that the United States was founded by a group, primarily comprised of non-denominational Deists who forged the U.S. as a largely Secular nation.

Indeed the "freedom OF religion" - people being free to exercise their faith (or even NO faith at all) as they see fit, so long as they don't seek ANY public approval or recognition for any particular faith, was what kept America from remaining a bastion of provencial, small-minded fanatics, people who routinely burned witches, and punished those who didn't attend Chruch services.

The places on earth where they still do such things are generally some of the worst backwaters on the planet - Afghanistan (radical Islam) and the Sudan (where religious strife has morphed in Civil War) stand out.

I don't believe it's any lack of spirituality or devotion to "God's laws" that's at the heart of America's problems today, it's really more about the "tragedy of affluence" - over time more and more Americans have become divorced from the realization of what it's taken to deal with and overcome the scarcity, lack and limitations man has overcome in developping into the industrial and information ages. More and more people have become divorced from recognizing even simple things, like how their own work impacts the efficacy of the company they work for, how their interactions with customers and clients can make or break that company going forward by either attracting or losing those customers.

Moreover, there are both moral and imoral Buddhists and moral and immoral Christians, so religion isn't the key to even that, at least not in my view.

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