Vision, Mission, and Strategy

Hillbilly Politics

Michael Steele has a column in the Wall Street Journal today.

Republicans once said that the opportunities this nation has to offer rest not in government but rather in the hands of individuals. Over the past decade or so, however, we Republicans lost our way. The disparity between our rhetoric and our action grew until our credibility snapped. It wasn’t the fault of our ideals. It was the failure of our leadership.

Over time, our principles morphed into baser motives. Continued political dominance grew more important to those who led us than the noble vision most of us originally signed on for. And to maintain power we turned to the controls of government — we became the party of big government. We behaved like Democrats.

True, the country has changed and our party must adapt. However, it is wrong to believe we must change our principles or become conservative-lite. After all, the voters did not suddenly become liberal; but they have lost any sense of confidence that the Republican Party holds the answers to their problems.

Most Americans today see a Republican Party that defines itself by what it is against rather than what it is for. We can tell you why public schools aren’t working, but not articulate a compelling vision for how we’ll better educate children. We’re well equipped to rail against tax increases; but can’t begin to explain how we’ll help the poor. We exclude far better than we welcome.

Things were different as recently as 20 years ago. Back then, Ronald Reagan made it cool to be a Republican — it wasn’t just his specific policies, but the timeless truths he so eloquently gave voice to, and upon which his policies were based. That’s the Republican Party we must re-establish.

Read the rest. There is also an article that Newt Gingrich is competing with Steele for chairmanship of the RNC. Sorry, but if I’m given a say, Newt won’t get it. He may have rediscovered his conservative voice after being elected out of office but he’s got some making up to do. Michael Steele, on the other, never lost his conservative soul, but has been denied much of a voice due to those things outlined above. No one wanted to hear real conservative ideals, only what they thought would keep them in power.

If the RNC is depending on real conservatives to lead the party out of the wilderness, then they best give Steele the lead and Newt will just have to catch up and eat some crow before he’s really trustworthy again. Conservative leadership starts with choosing conservatives who never lost their way.

24 Responses to The battle for conservatism begins.

  • BB-Idaho says:

    Uhh, “Conservative leadership starts with choosing conservatives who never lost their way.”
    …OhMyGosh! You’re going to run Ann Coulter! 😆

  • Gary says:

    “…Our faith in the power and ingenuity of the individual to build a nation through hard work, personal responsibility and self-discipline is our uniting principle. That is the sacred ground upon which our Republican Party was built…”

    I supported Steele in his ’06 campaign, and would support him now. His is a true analysis of the demise of our party. After the 2006 election, it was obvious that a Democrat would be elected simply because the Republicans were arguing against something rather than arguing for something.

    And here is the paradox:
    The GOP had to lose to win.

    Only victory will only come when we regain the essence of what we stand for: Personal Liberty instead of Equality; the individual freedom to succeed or fail based on one’s own ambition and tenacity rather than relying on a government to provide the things that were meant to be earned.

    If Michael runs again, I will fully support him.

  • hillbilly says:

    If Michael runs again, I will fully support him.

    In a heartbeat if he runs for a position in which I can vote for him… or he moves to my state and runs for Congress in my district or runs for Senator.

  • BB-Idaho says:

    “Personal Liberty instead of Equality; ” huh….
    We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident: that all men are created equal…er some are more equal than others (Orwell, Animal Farm) Sorry, Jefferson 😆

  • Gary says:

    Stand up BB ’cause the meaning went over your head.

    All men are created equal, and all men have the same opportunities. The ‘equality’ I speak of is the redistribution of wealth; taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

    Wrap your mind around this:

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” (or needs) is a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875

  • BB-Idaho says:

    Gary, oh, I see …you are talking economic equality.
    Never happen, never has. Although the opposite, the sucking of wealth to the top 2% happens a lot lately.
    “The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ..
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” Adam Smith, inventor of Captalism 😉

  • Gary says:

    I understand Mr. Smith’s and your idea that the ‘rich’ should be willing to do more than their part. Life experience tells me the tighter I hold to wealth, the quicker it slips away, (another paradox).

    Goodness and kindness should be the motivation for giving rather than penalty and imprisonment. The individuals who have wealth yet refuse to share it will soon loose what they already have. Looking to them to be ‘more benevolent’ than the middle class is simply an effort to avoid personal responsibility. I do not abide in the idea that I should have control over another man’s wealth anymore than I abide him to have control over mine.

  • BB-Idaho says:

    It seems a natural law that wealth accumulates over time to a very few for any number of valid reasons..ability, hard work, luck, education, etc. My point is the argumentum ad reductum: what happens in say, a society of 100 when 1 has drained from the 99 and has it all. This is not so much an economic or even a political problem, but has been recognised by
    “We conclude that the concentration of wealth is natural and inevitable, and is periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable partial redistribution. In this view all economic history is the slow heartbeat of the social organism, a vast systole and diastole of concentrating wealth and compulsive redistribution.” W. Durant
    Consider WWII, the marginal tax rate over $1M was
    90% because we were fighting a war. We are still fighting a war….but we are borrowing from our progeny
    less we offend folk like you. Paying for government stuff like that is in no way ‘wealth redistribution’. I suspect neither of us wants control over ‘another man’s wealth’….I have no idea, no need, no desire for $1M a year (not a big Ayn Rand fan, clearly); unless there be no taxation at all…then I would need to construct my own bridges, hire police, train my army,
    ….feed my peasants? Huh, been done before, Dark Ages, right? Tis an old argument, best summed in Ecclesiastes 1:9 😉

  • Gary says:

    As I said previously BB,
    Life experience has shown me a simple paradox: the more I give, the more I have to give. I don’t know why it works, but it was articulated many times in the bible.

    In one passage, the principle was illustrated in a parable told by Jesus referring to the kingdom of heaven:

    Matthew 25:14-29NLT
    14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.
    15 He gave five bags of silver[b] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

    16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.
    17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.
    18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

    19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.
    20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

    21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together’

    22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

    23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

    24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.
    25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

    26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,
    27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

    28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver.
    29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

    The idea is if one is faithful with what he has, he will receive more. Those who are unfaithful will lose it all. Interestingly, the wealthiest people in the world are frequently quiet philanthropists that nobody ever hears about.

  • Gary says:

    Matthew 19:16-26 in context:

    The Rich Man
    16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
    17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
    18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
    And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
    20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
    21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
    22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
    25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
    26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

    BB, I am not sure what your point is. If for some reason you are implying wealth is bad and you are using 2 verses to support your assertion, I will tell you that taking verses out of context to support your position is hollow; without substance. In this parable, the young man was consumed by his wealth and as a result could not let it go. (BTW, if you didn’t know, the eye of the needle that was referred to was a small passageway not much larger than a typical doorway in the wall of a city that was open during evening hours when the main gates were closed. For a traveler using the eye to bring his camel in, he would have to remove all the bags from the camel and force it to crawl through the opening).

    If on the other hand you are implying that the love of money is the root of many evils, I will most certainly agree, yet tell you it is a non-sequitur to the topic of discussion.
    If not, please clarify your point.

    Now to your previous comment that I just reread:
    @BB: “…My point is the argumentum ad reductum: what happens in say, a society of 100 when 1 has drained from the 99 and has it all. This is not so much an economic or even a political problem, but has been recognised by historians…”

    My simple answer to this is the ’one’ cannot take what is not given. By saying he ‘drained the money’ removes the personal responsibility of the 99 to manage their own affairs, i.e. placing blame for one’s own behavior upon another. That is typical liberalism… “My misfortune is always someone else’s fault.”

  • BB-Idaho says:

    Well. Gary, I will concede “typical liberalism… “My misfortune is always someone else’s fault.” if you consider “selfishness is a virtue” is typical conservatism. A problem with your side, my POV, is transmogrification of liberal into marxist, fascist stupid moonbat. It was an excellent word. Now you folk are changing the word conservatism into something ugly, RE Parker, Brooks, Noonan, Buckley et. al. “Bleeding Heart” may be not all bad, I suspect – having lifted this from your site just now:
    “Stop companies from paying CEOs and other executives’ outrageous salaries and bonuses while doing away with workers’ pensions.”

  • hillbilly says:

    I have to weigh in here. Conservatism is not selfishness or greed but we seem to get stuck with those descriptors all the time for decades now. Liberalism has come to mean what it’s called now, through those self-identifying themselves as liberal… and means nothing like what it means according to the dictionary nor politically since the 60s.

    Actions speak louder than words. All those greedy CEOs are now donating to the Democratic Party. Why? Because of the government which keeps them afloat no matter what they do.

    GE, one of the recipients of some of that bailout money… It’s been under a boycott by some family groups for a long time…the government just negated that boycott. That’s not conservatism. Government interfered in something that was really none of its business.

    That is one crucial difference between conservatism and the Republican Party which is said to represent us. It doesn’t. If anything it’s almost as liberal as the Democrat Party.

  • JamesC says:

    While I was in collage studying philosophy I read a book about wealth distribution. I wished I could remember the title but sorry I can’t anyways; the book went on to explain why redistribution of wealth in a free economic society will never work.

    It was broken down into a couple of steps over a 20 year period sort of like this.

    First 5 years:

    20% of the people will be right back where they started from because they did not work for the money they will spend it like there is no end to the pot of gold they were handed, and of course those that had the money to start with would of course have figured a way to profit from this just as they did before the redistribution.

    After 10 years:

    That 20% will now become 50% as the first 20% another 30% tho they spent the money slower their grasp on economics and money handling are inherent and they did not work for it so they really have no idea how to hang on to it nor make a profit from it and of course you know the ones that created the wealth to start with are the ones that understand how to regain it.

    After 15 years:

    Now 70% of the population is no better off then they were 15 years ago as they have to sell off the assets they acquired in their spending frenzy, they did not think to look or prepare for the future.
    The other 30% will now be divided into 3 groups:

    20% are better off then they were 15 years ago tho the wealth they were given has changed their life style they are having problems creating wealth.
    They are the ones that have always worked hard and saved for the future, buying things on a as need base. But because they do not possess the knowledge or creativity on how to gain wealth they are in a stalemate. So while they live a better life their wealth will dwindle as they grow older and can no longer produce money needed to live on.

    9% will have accumulated a greater portion of wealth as they have always had the knowledge of how to create wealth and with that and making the right decisions on career building and investments, they will maintain the wealth they were given and most likely add to it.

    Now we are to the top 1% they are most likely the ones the wealth were taken from to start with now 15 year later given the same wealth to start off with they have become the richest group again. Why? Because they had the wealth to start with they knew and understood how to get to the top, they have been there before, and because of the economic boom that was caused by the redistribution they now have even more wealth then they started with.
    After 20 years:

    Not much has changed the 70% most likely got a little larger (85 to 90%) as the population grew there was no wealth distribution left as the government was either voted out or a revolution came about by those that lost their jobs during the economic shift of power and wealth. Those parts of the population are most likely even worse off now due to corporate down sizing the loss of millions of jobs that will take decades to reemerge. The government is of course now at its all time high with its deficit due to the loss of taxable income caused by the unemployment rate due to plant closures, industries not expanding, and construction stoppage.

    The 20% group will either die off or join the 9% of those that understood what wealth is and how to keep it, and of course the 1% that started with all the wealth that was redistributed once again control the wealth but have now found a better way to keep the government out of it.

    Now of course this theory was just that a theory designed around a model of mankind’s past history as what happens in history always repeats itself it just seems logical that it will happen over and over again no matter how hard mankind tries to equalize the playing field.

  • Gary says:

    Sorry I’m late responding, I’ve been driving for 5 hours to attend a prequalification meeting tomorrow morning in San Luis Obispo, CA.


    That was the one idea I didn’t care for, but to maintain integrity, I posted the entire article. I pre-qualified the column by saying “some good ideas and some great ideas”.

    I don’t like government getting involved in the private market… at all.

    As far as your comment “selfishness is a virtue” is typical conservatism.” I don’t believe one would have to look very far to see that on the whole, conservatives are far more generous than any liberal. Evangelical Christians are responsible for an astronomical amount of giving and 502c organizations like Convoy of Hope (who happens to be founded and ran by a childhood buddy, Hal Donaldson) are avenues of charitable giving. His organization is representative of the majority of opportunities around the world.

    And you really don’t want to compare specific individuals like Obama and Cheney, do you?

    We are most certainly not selfish generally speaking. Heck, look at the micro society of church. 90% of the workers are volunteers, receiving no payment or stipends for their service. Working for free? Oh man!

  • JamesC says:

    Gary I have searched and searched to see if I could find the author of the text, it was a small paper back book that was submitted in the early 60’s by an economy professor from Texas.

    This is really all I can remember about the author, the reason the lesson stuck with me was due to the concept, that knowledge creates wealth not government, or opportunity.

  • BB-Idaho says:

    My post on GE boycotts apparently launched into cyberspace. Essentially, I found at least six different groups boycotting GE, for six quite different reasons.
    (I hit submit again and it said I had commented, so whats up with that?)

  • BB-Idaho says:

    Veering back on topic – the RNC Chair..
    “The list of candidates for the job is long and growing longer. Republicans say several state party chairmen, including South Carolina’s Katon Dawson, Michigan’s Saul Anuzis and Texas’ Tina Benkiser, are already making phone calls to solicit support for their bids, along with former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who currently chairs the conservative group GOPAC. Mike Duncan, the current RNC chairman, is expected to seek another stint at the helm, though he has not yet publicly confirmed his intentions.” ..Elsewhere,
    Gingrich said he was not interested, while the names of Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney are being discussed.

November 2008


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