Monthly Archives: April 2009

What is Obama’s worldview and where is it taking us?

Much has been made over political labels recently, with some Republicans daring to label President Barack Obama as a socialist. That should be a relatively unremarkable claim (because he so obviously is socialist in many of his political beliefs), but apparently, some feel the need to protest the label. Some of these same people eschew the “liberal” label, opting for the increasingly popular “progressive” appellation.

Gene Edward Veith, writing in WORLD Magazine, notes one commentator’s description of the president as a “social democrat” and delves into the implications of the worldview of social democracy. Ultimately, it is a “kinder, gentler form of Marxism,” he observes. From the article:

“So ‘social democracy’ is a variety of Marxism that rejects revolution in favor of democracy and that preserves certain elements of capitalism, though under strict state control.

Social democrats are not communists, but their Marxism is evident in their belief in class struggle. Thus the vilification of “the rich” over against “working Americans.” Also Marxist is the project of redistributing wealth, the use of state power to seize control of private property, and the overarching secularism that rejects the past in favor of a materialistic progress.

… we are embracing social democracy without questioning the Marxist worldview and without even realizing what we are doing.”

If Democrats were left unbridled for 20 years, where would the country be? They have at least a couple years in complete control of the political branches of government (and are poised to heavily influence the judicial branch, with impending SCOTUS retirements). If truly allowed to carry out their agenda, what would the country look like? Whatever the details, one dominant fact is clear: individuals would have far less control over their own lives, in favor of a state that has far more.

Now, of course there will always be a degree of opposition, opposition that ebbs and flows. But it is very clear that collectivism – by any name – is on the march. And while patriots have stopped or slowed it at various times, it would be difficult to conclude that it has been anything but on the march for the last half century in this country, given the massive expansion of the state during that time.

Not that we are without hope. (That may be another post in and of itself). But one thing is critical – that we call a spade and spade, that we label things for what they are. Veith and others are right to do just that.

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Filed under General & Miscellaneous

One benefit to the Specter defection

Before Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) announced his defection to the Democrat Party today, we could likely have counted on two things:

1. A primary battle featuring former Rep. Pat Toomey against Specter. The former Club for Growth president challenged Specter before and the contest was hard-fought. It would  have been a bruising battle again this time around.

2. Before today’s news, Toomey appeared to be in good position to defeat Specter in a such a primary. Which means he would have faced two difficult hurdles in the path to the Senate: the primary and a general.

Now, Toomey will likely sail through the primary (he is almost certainly the best-positioned, as he was probably the only one preparing to take on the incumbent Specter), and means he will likely face Specter in the general.

So, it is possible that the electoral fallout from developments today is one less tough contest for the conservative Pat Toomey. Let us hope so.

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Filed under 2010 Senate Elections, Republican Party

At the end of the day….

Perez Hilton is still ugly, and Miss California is still Miss California.

Miss California and Miss USA Runner-UP Carrie Prejean

Miss California and Miss USA Runner-UP Carrie Prejean

That is to say, Hilton is a snarky left wing homosexual blogger (why is he even judging this contest?), and Miss California is a stunning young woman who happens to hold traditional values.

Not too hard to pick sides on this one.  (not that it’s about sides, but, you know).

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Filed under Culture, Entertainment

Wasinger: social & economic conservatism not at odds

Rob Wasinger, longtime aide to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and now candidate for Kansas’s first congressional district, penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner. In the short piece, he asserts that social and economic components are compatible and equally important elements of the modern conservative agenda.

This is an important message both for the long term and in the short, practical run of things – as the opposition party, unity is important if the Republicans are to stop anything, or wield effective negotiating clout to lessen the impact of ill-advised Democratic policy ideas.

There is more to it than Wasinger gets into, but his basic thrust is this:

The electoral/practical argument: “…a winning Republican coalition must include both economic and social conservatives.”

Remaining relevant: “…we must recast the argument in support of this coalition so that it resonates with voters’ concerns today.”

Making the modern connection: “Republicans must articulate that government grows when families and communities fail. … Policies designed to strengthen families and communities should be the basis of a new pragmatic consensus that reaches across party lines.”

This might sound like a logical tangent to compassionate conservatism (which allows for the use of government for social good), and maybe it is. The twist comes in the fact that policies designed for social welfare are specifically done so with the dual purpose of checking the growth of government, hence the (intended) appeal to economic conservative. (Or maybe that’s not a twist at all, maybe that’s already part of ‘compassionate conservatism’- admittedly I am not thoroughly familiar enough with the doctrine’ to say with absolute certainty).

I’m inherently skeptical of government efforts to engineer social benefits, because whatever the purpose is, you are playing with fire when you give power to the government to do anything, however noble the goals are.

However, it does depend on exactly what policies you are talking about. Moreover, I would say that to the degree government is involved with anything that could be considered social policy (the civil institution of marriage, for instance), that involvement should be of the constructive, values-driven kind that is designed to strengthen family units. Regardless of what you think the government’s role in addressing them should be, it is indisputable that the breakdown of marriage and the family leads to many of the social problems to which many are seeking government solutions.

So, it will be interesting to see if Wasinger continues to flesh this out. What type of policy proposals it might lead to or short of that, how it would have lead him to vote on various issues in previous sessions, or actual legislative matters likely to come up in the near future? All of that will be important for him to discuss on the campaign trail.

For now, it’s good to hear a congressional candidate talking seriously about the direction of the movement and the Party. And at a time when GOP strategists like Steve Shcmidt are foolishly prodding the party to jettison traditionalist positions, it’s also important that candidates are speaking of the importance of maintaining them.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Kansas Politics, Republican Party

California threatens to ban “language discrimination”

This one is so out there I barely know where to start (that and I’m just tired).

The state senate in California has approved a bill that would prevent businesses from “discriminating” on the basis of language. From the LA Times:

“…the state Senate acted today to prohibit businesses in California from discriminating against customers, including refusing them service, based on the language they use.”

So a guy speaking Lithuanian tries to order at my restaurant, and I can’t serve him because I can’t understand him – would I be a criminal under the new law? Don’t know if they’ve fully worked that out yet…

This reminds me of a story I once heard about regulations on doctors offices. I don’t know the details or in which state this is the case, but it goes something like the following. A patient visits a doctor for a consultation, and whatever the diagnosis is, apparently the patient needs to come back for a series of visits, including surgery or some other procedure. The patient doesn’t speak English, although she does sign and has an interpreter.

According to this story – and I’m inclined to believe it – the doctor is responsible for paying for the interpreter. And he can’t make it up by charging the patient any more than he would anyone else for the same procedure. Equal access, you know.

Presumably you could see similar situations and worse across California should this new bill become law.

This legislation is a threat to the human and civil rights of all Californians. It violates their right to engage in the mutual, voluntary, peaceful exchange of goods and services between free individuals. And it risks enormous practical damage to the livelihoods of many if this becomes the reality.

Finally, this bill divides our nation by working against assimilation and a common language.  It is a direct assault on the notion “Out of Many, One.”

Let me be clear (this should go without saying, but, things that go without saying should often be said anyway): I am a staunch proponent of the freedom in this country that allows people to speak any language they want. I always seek civility among the inhabitants of this great nation, whether they be citizens or residents, whether they speak the English language or another tongue. And learning and speaking a foreign language is a good thing to do; my own modest knowledge of the Spanish language has enriched my life and I look forward to improving and possibly studying another language at some point.

However, the proposed law has nothing to do with any of that. Instead, it is very simply a forceful use of government to take away people’s freedoms, threaten their commerce, and divide us as a people.

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Filed under Culture, General & Miscellaneous, Immigration

Tony Perkins to speak in Overland Park

President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, will speak this Saturday at the Overland Park Double Tree at an event hosted by the Kansas Family Policy Council.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins

KFPC has more on their website, as does Bott Radio Network, on which Perkins hosts the program Washington Watch Weekly. Here’s his official bio.

I’ve always liked Perkins, and look forward to seeing him speak. He’s always struck me as genuine, passionate, knowledgeable and well-spoken. He also has the good judgment and taste to have Mike Pence fill in for him on Washington Watch, so that earns him high marks in my book.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Social Values

University of North Carolina students shut down debate

Campus tyrants have once again quashed dissent – and once again been coddled by fearful or sympathetic university administrators. This time it happened at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where students prevented former Congressman Tom Tancredo from speaking about illegal immigration and the issue of granting in-state tuition to those who have entered the country illegally.

Local affiliate ABC 11 has the story.

Protesting “students” (in quotes because they obviously have no scholarly interest in or commitment to debate or the free exchange of ideas that should be paramount on a university campus) flowed into and outside the room where Tancredo was scheduled to speak. They chanted loudly, restricted access in and out of the room, stood up inside the room, held signs, unfurled a banner in front of the Congressman and threw a rock through a glass window.

In response, UNC Chancellor issued an official and contrite sounding – but totally meaningless – statement. From WTVD:

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp responded to Tuesday night’s events and said, “We’re very sorry that former Congressman Tancredo wasn’t able to speak. We pride ourselves on being a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard, so I’m disappointed that didn’t happen tonight. I think our public safety officer appropriately handled a difficult situation.”

Is the Chancellor truly sorry? Then has he invited Congressman Tancredo to return to campus?

Is he truly disappointed? Then has he publicly reprimanded and formally disciplined those students who successfully attacked the university’s function as a “a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard?”

Do Chancellor Holden Thorp and the UNC administration truly believe the campus police handled the situation appropriately? If so, that’s extremely disappointing, because in my view, handling the situation appropriately means enforcing the rights of the innocent at the cost of prohibiting – by force, if necessary – the actions and behavior of others seeking to strip away those rights.

Obviously, a speaker like Tancredo is going to generate a certain amount of controversy on a college campus. You know you’re going to need some security, and you should be prepared with an adequate plan of action should security needs escalate. UNC failed to do this.

If the chancellor genuinely believes that this situation was “appropriately handled,” then campus tyrants will never be stopped from doing this again – and they know it.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Education, Immigration