Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hobby Lobby: Free Stuff VS. "The Free Exercise Thereof"

From the hard right to the extreme left, everyone is tossing around their opinion about the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby (spoiler alert: I'm about to do so as well...). Liberals' heads are exploding left and lefter. But in reality, no Democrat is actually upset about the ruling. They're feigning outrage, but inside they're actually giddy. That's because they think they've got a new talking point that's going to flip the election polls in their favor. They think they've got a "war on women" reboot coming, and they couldn't be more excited. Already they're going to battle. Throughout the left and in the media we're seeing "not my boss's business" and other "clever" one liners from people who have no idea what this ruling actually says or means. Before you buy into their garbage, before you get yourself pissed and ready to throw down, consider this:

1. Of the TWENTY different contraceptives Obamacare attempts to force upon employers, Hobby Lobby objected to FOUR. They have no problem paying for the others and have no plans to opt out of them
2. The court said only closely held companies, not large board-run corporations, can even be considered to have a legitimate claim of religious freedom as it pertains to the contraceptive mandate
3. We're talking about truly held, long standing religious beliefs, not garbage, BS "beliefs" that are clearly made up to game the system (no sane person believes that SCUTUS would rule in favor of someone claiming that taxes or jury duty are against their religion)

Most liberals don't care about these facts, and most don't understand ruling for 2 reasons: they don't know how to apply common sense to individual circumstances, and they believe all religion is 100% made up and arbitrary. They are assuming this ruling is an absolute. It is not, and the ruling itself states as much. Any case of an employer seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate will be considered individually, on its own merits. But the slippery slope argument is much easier to defend than the truth for liberals. The same folks also hold a form of disdain for religion, believing that anyone who still subscribes to a religion in 2014 is a Neanderthal and should not be allowed to have rights. They think we're all incapable of participating in society simply because we believe in a higher power (a power higher than government). Again, not so. The freedom of religion is one of our most deeply held and protected rights. That's why it was named first in the bill of rights. It's no more or less vital to American liberty than freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble or the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Whether you agree with someone's beliefs is irrelevant. Whether you feel someone is "worthy" of rights is irrelevant.  We are all guaranteed the rights outlined in the Constitution and they cannot be suspended without due process. That goes for business owners as much as it does for employees, or any private citizen for that matter. Whether it's a small minority or an overwhelming majority, you can no more force someone to abandon their religion than you can make someone adhere to one. That's a basic principle outlined in our Constitution, and it cannot be thrown out because people think they shouldn't have to pay to keep from getting pregnant. There are plenty of ways to not get pregnant for free that don't involve forcing your boss to pay.

Here's another point that isn't getting covered by the Obama-loving-sorry-excuse-for-a-media: just because you WANT free birth control of any kind at anytime, doesn’t mean it's a human right to have it. However, I'll leave that part open to debate. For now let's assume we all agree as a nation and pass legislation to make it so. It would still not hold true that your neighbors or your employer should have to pay for it. Look at it this way: I'm just a pro 2nd Amendment as any freedom loving American. I am deeply committed to the right to protect your family and your liberty, but I would never proclaim that I'm entitled to "free" guns at my neighbor's or my boss's expense. I would never demand that the government or my employer give me guns and ammo- which are a hell of a lot more expensive than the morning after pill! Just because it is my right to do something or express myself, it doesn't mean it must be free of charge. Journalists have to pay for schooling, and the tools of their trade, do they not? Freedom of the press doesn't mean "free stuff if you want to be a member of the press". The same would still hold true if contraceptives were declared a human right. Look, it's not that Hobby Lobby or conservatives are looking to take certain contraceptives out of your hands or off the market. They simply don't want to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs. That's the real debate, and anyone spouting anything else is dancing around what they can't defend.

Another argument I keep hearing is that "employers can now force their religious beliefs on employees". Funny thing is, they leave out the part about the employees that have been demanding that their bosses abandon their beliefs. The Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Prohibiting an employer who truly subscribes to real, non-harmful religious beliefs from exercising those beliefs, and forcing them to pay for contraceptives that their beliefs dictate to be unGodly, is directly prohibiting that employer from freely exercising their religion. It's the definition of "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". That's a clear violation of the first amendment. No one is harmed, injured or unduly burdened if an employer doesn't pay for their pills. Like I said, no one is blocking anyone's access to birth control. SCOTUS simply ruled that you can't make your employer pay for it.

As always, before you decide to chastise or vilify someone over this, consider the source of all the outcry, and go get the information from the horse's mouth by reading the ruling yourself. I know from my own common sense that this ruling is completely in line with the Constitution. But you don't have to take my word for it, and I don't want you to. You don't need me or Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or anyone else to tell you what to be outraged about, and you certainly don't need us to tell you what others have allegedly said. You've got access to that, all at the click of a button. Go find out for yourself. There's no reason not to know the truth.

God Bless

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Inevitable Failure of Collectivism

Socialism. Communism. Collectivism. Three words with functionally identical meanings. Yes, they have some technical and logistical differences, but in practice they are virtually identical. Whichever label you choose to employ, they all have 2 very important things in common: they do not work in practice, and they are incompatible with American principles. Progressives believe that collectivist policies are the answer to all of our problems. Despite the exponentially growing list of examples to the contrary, these people believe that collectivism simply hasn't been given a fair shake. It's not the policies themselves that cause destruction in their eyes, but rather the timidity of those charged with their implementation. This is a particularly convenient fallacy because it ignores the ideology and the practical implications of collectivism and allows progressives to cling to an excuse that, in theory, can be used indefinitely to defend policies that cannot and will not work. It also allows them to slowly convince people that collectivism will work if we give up some (and eventually all) of the constitutional liberties we enjoy as American citizens. The more destruction collectivism causes, the more they attempt to lay claim to our lives, liberty and property. If left to their own devices, progressives would utterly destroy the country, then blame all who opposed their policies for having "sabotaged" them.

Margaret Thatcher famously said that the problem with Socialism is you eventually you run out of other people's money. Aside from being a brilliant political one liner, that quote speaks volumes to the impracticality of Socialism. It seems like a great idea when you first hear a giddy college professor frame it: "everyone gets what they need, we all pay our fair share, from each according to his ability and to each according to his need". Hell I asked myself "why not?" the first time it was explained to me. But once you start asking questions, the holes in the theory become evident and abundant. Where will the money come from? Who gets to determine your needs and ability? Won't this encourage dependency and discourage ingenuity? And what about inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? To put it as simply as I can, there are too many unintended consequences and America would have to give up too many of her principles to even FAIL at Socialism (see Obamacare, food stamps, disability or the disgraces happening at the VA). I'm not saying that the stated goals of everyone being taken care of or giving those in need a chance at success are not worthy causes. I'm saying that "helping" one man by robbing another is wrong. I'm saying that government has no business picking winners and losers. I'm saying there's a difference between a hand UP and a hand OUT. And I'm saying that anytime you put government in charge of a massive effort involving money, or anything that can be used to manipulate voters, the government will inevitably abuse the power they're given. Yes, on paper and in basic theory, socialism has some noble goals, but while it could be done, it cannot be done without doing more harm than good. We all know from our own personal experiences that just because something COULD be done, that doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. I can explain exactly why Socialism will never work, especially in America, with an experience of my own.

When I was in my late teens and early 20s I was working at an entry level job at a chain auto service shop (not Water Pebble...). At the time I was driving a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2. It was a small coupe, hunter green with that useless little rear spoiler on the trunk. She was nothing special but she got me where I wanted to go and best of all, she was bought and paid for with the hard earned fruits of my labor. So what does a 16 year old car have to do with Socialism? I'm getting there...

Like most young adult males, I always knew what I was doing and nothing I did could ever go wrong (that would be sarcasm for the liberals who've gotten lost). So when I decided to swap out my stock 14 inch steel wheels and "upgrade" to 17 inch alloy "racing" wheels, nothing was going to stop me. If you've worked in the industry you know exactly why I added the quotations in that last sentence. Any mechanic worth his salt (5 years and an ASE Master Technician Certification later for me at this point...) knows that changing your wheel/tire size that dramatically and adding almost 3 times the weight will have an impact on the suspension and drivetrain. Within a couple months of swapping the wheels I had replaced ball joints, struts and cv axles. Eventually the engine and transaxle mounts ripped apart like tissue paper and internal transaxle parts were wearing out in a hurry. Before it was all said and done, I had nearly doubled what I paid for the car in "upgrades" and the damage that they caused. That's not very efficient or practical. It sure seemed like a great idea on paper, but in practice it was nothing more than an unnecessary, cosmetic change that hurt the car far more than it actually improved anything. Eventually, I learned my lesson and I traded her in for a vehicle with all of the stock parts still attached...

This may seem like a simple lesson about not doing ridiculous things to your car, but it's so much more. This experience perfectly illustrates the pitfalls of Socialism. The car represents America and her citizens, the "upgrades" are Socialist policies like wealth redistribution and cradle to grave entitlements, and the cost is, well, the cost! When you take a system of carefully designed components that are meant to work together in a specific way, and you replace them arbitrarily with superficial (political) things you WISH would work, it's only a matter of time before catastrophe strikes. Just like with me and my car, progressives believe they're infallible. They think they can change whatever they don't like about the system with no negative affects. And they honestly believe that they know how things should work better than the engineers of the American system of government and her citizens. That makes about as much sense as a 21 year old wannabe gear head telling Ford's engineers and assembly plant workers that they put the wrong wheels on my car.

America was founded on individual liberty and equal justice under the law. Both of these ideals are vital to the American way of life, and 100% incompatible with collectivism. As we slowly inject socialism into America's government and her economy, we see catastrophic breakdowns occurring left and right (political corruption, a stagnant economy, wide spread poverty, illegal immigration running rampant, a deeply diminished status on the world stage, etc...), and we see the unpaid toll, which is being charged to our grandchildren's grandchildren, rising by billions a day. We cannot have Socialism without robbing certain among us, if not every last citizen, of the liberties and equal protection guaranteed to us by the Constitution. Americans are too dedicated lady liberty to let her fall beaten and battered into the abyss of collectivism. If progressives are left unchecked, there will be one and only one outcome. If they insist on forcing Socialism into America, a great implosion will inevitably ensue, and America may well be lost to history. Depending who's left standing at that point, our posterity may never know she ever existed as she did while you and I were here. I sure as he'll don't want to let that happen, and I know you don't either. Ask yourself, is a little hard work and sacrifice on our part worth keeping the last best hope for freedom on Earth alive? Is all that we've fought for and all that we've achieved worth it? You're damn right it is. Let's start showing Americans the benefits of the American way. If we show them that Capitalism and Federalism are far more beneficial than collectivism, we can save the nation we love and leave her in better shape than we found her. I'll do whatever it takes to keep my America alive. Will you?

God Bless.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Obama Goes After Putin- With Self-indictment on Benghazi?

In the wake of the assault on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, during which 4 Americans lost their lives, including our Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, President Obama and his administration repeatedly denied that they knew the attack was pre-planned and deliberate until days or weeks after it occurred. Republicans argued that if you considered the facts, that simply couldn't be true. They claimed that the attackers possessed training and skill not found in "spontaneous" protests, and that the weapons used were military in nature, pointing toward connections to terrorism in some form or another. When Obama and his surrogates vilified Republicans for claiming to know what happened with "no evidence" to back up their claims, the media was quick as ever to jump to the President's defense. It wasn't enough proof that testimony from those on the ground during the 7 hour attack backed the GOP's claims. The White House insisted, and indeed insists to this day that they had no way of knowing in the immediate aftermath that the attack on Benghazi was anything more than a spontaneous protest. Republicans charged that their story didn't jive with the facts and claimed the White House was distorting facts to keep from taking a significant political hit six weeks out from a presidential election. One piece of evidence cited to back those claims is the fact that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton felt there was enough evidence, at 10:00 PM the night of the attack, to issue a press release blaming an anti-muslim internet video for the Benghazi attack, a sentiment that was repeated by the White House countless times for at least two weeks, most notably by then-Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who made the claim on 5 different Sunday news programs a full 5 days after the attack took place. The premise of citing this evidence was, put simply, "If you didn't have enough evidence for 2 weeks to confirm the attack was an act of terrorism, then how could you have enough evidence to blame the video?" Following the pattern of circular reasoning that has become the hallmark of the Obama administration, they insisted "The video sparked other protests in the region, so we assumed it sparked this one too." That argument has remained unchanged for nearly 20 months. President Obama and the entire administration insist that there was no reason for them to assume the Benghazi attack was any different from the protests occurring throughout the region at the time, despite the testament of commanders and personnel on the ground that confirmed the presence and use of military style weapons, and highly trained and skilled attackers, all of which were highly unlikely to be a product of a "spontaneous protest".

Fast forward to May 2, 2014. After the Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine, President Obama is locked in a nose to nose game of geopolitical chess with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he's losing. Putin continues to insist that the insurgency wreaking havoc on eastern Ukraine is the result of spontaneous actions from Ukrainian civilians. Obama is in the rose garden taking questions about Ukraine from reporters, when he says this:


Well Mr. President, it would seem that you feel the skill of the attackers and the type of weapons used are plenty of evidence to condemn Mr. Putin on Ukraine. So why then is it not enough to condemn your administration on Benghazi?  Consider this statement in the context of this list if evidence (just a sample of key evidence):

-Ms. Clinton's press release blaming the internet video at 10:07 PM on the night of the attack

-The testimony of witnesses about the skill of the attackers and the presence of military weapons

-The statement last month from former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morrell that the internet video "was not something the analysts had attributed this attack to"

-The newly released email written by White House official Ben Rhodes on September 14, 2012 (3 days after the attack while the initial investigation was still ongoing) entitled "RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET," which discusses blaming the video for the attack in Benghazi. Indeed two of the stated goals of this prep call were "To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy" and "To reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges." By the way, this email was almost completely redacted when first released to Congress, and it took a court order to make the document public.

Taken individually, this evidence is troubling. Taken together, it becomes patently clear that the Obama administration chose from the outset of this tragic situation to play politics rather than get to the truth and bring those responsible to justice. Had the media been as fervent in their scrutiny of this situation as they were during Watergate, Iran Contra, or even Abu Ghraib, we would have the answers by now, the White House's actions would be old news, and our efforts would be focused on bringing the perpetrators of this attack to justice. The White House failed us, the administration failed us, and most of the press failed us as well. We can only hope the now imminent appointment of a select committee to investigate the attack will bring swift answers and some closure for the families of the fallen: Ambassador Chris Stevens,  Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Strategies: The GOP Must Learn To Win DESPITE Obstacles

I believe we're at a tipping point in American politics, and I believe the ball is overwhelmingly in the GOP's court. It's their game to win or lose. At this early stage of the 2014 election cycle, many Conservative politicians and pundits are practically giddy, assuming prematurely that the Senate will flip in November. This may be just my 13th Congressional election cycle, but I've seen the Republicans lose enough "sure thing" elections to know that the Senate is far from in the bag. One very simple yet important way that Republicans can increase their chances of success in November is to stop harping on the "unfair" things going on around them and start finding ways to make gains despite perceived unfairness. If we stop taking about the things Democrats do to stack the cards against us and turn our focus to what we can do to turn the tide and circumvent their efforts, we will win. It's not calculus, it's just good old fashioned, unadulterated common sense. The first thing we need to change is how we present our message to the American people.

Democrats are quite practiced at creating truth out of thin air by repetitious lying. They repeat garbage over and over again, and after hearing it enough times people begin to believe it can't be anything but true. Democrats have the nerve and the arrogance to look us in the eyes and declare that the sky is green, and after a few hundred times people start thinking, "maybe it's me?" That's why people actually believe the Democrats are the civil rights party, even though the Republican party actually passed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, with almost 0% support from Democrats, and the Democrats filibustered the 1964 civil right act. That's why people believe that Bill Clinton single-handedly created a budget surplus, even though he had a Republican Congress for 6 years laying the groundwork for balancing the budget, no major military commitments and a huge tech boom bolstering the economy. And the lie, lie repeat strategy is also why so many believed President Obama's now infamous promise (lie of the century)- "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, PERIOD", even though we knew before the law was passed that millions would instantly be forced off their plans (the estimate in 2010 was around 9 million, which during the debate over Obamacare the President dismissed as a "small minority"). That being said, we can certainly have the argument about whether people should accept information as truth just because they've heard it a number of times, but when you stop and look at where we are as a nation, it's pretty obvious that there's a great disparity between the "ultra informed electorate" we Conservatives long for, and reality. We're just not there right now, and we won't get there overnight. So while we're here, let's keep striving for an informed electorate, but let's also take advantage of the tools we have at our disposal. Let's use strategies that we know work. Let's use the Democrats' tactics against them, and show them what happens when the party of ingenuity and elbow grease really puts it's mind to something.

Let's get something straight. I'm not suggesting Republicans should go running around lying about whatever the topic of the day may be. What I am suggesting is 2-fold: let's show the American people that the Democrats are the real liars, thieves, racists and sexists by seizing on their behaviors and words and repeating them over and over to the public. Many people start to believe lies after hearing them so many times, so it stands to reason that they should believe the truth after hearing it enough times as well, right? At the same time, we need to use the same strategy for spreading the positives of our Conservative message. We need to take to the airways every single chance we get and give the American people our message. We need to tell them what we stand for and why. We need to tell them why our way is better. And we need to present our plans for fixing the problems America faces. We must do this now, and do it often. For if we repeat our message enough, those undecided voters, and those who are thoroughly disappointed in their vote for Obama, will begin to see  a better choice. Not everyone is as tapped into up-to-the-minute politics as I am and many of you are. So they will rely on what they can remember when they go to the polls. We don't want them to remember the lies and the spin the Democrats are feeding them. We want them to remember our message, the Conservative message of individual liberty, small government and equal protection under the law. We can do this folks, and we can do it 10 times better than the Dems, any day of the week, with both hands tied behind our backs. Which is essentially where we're at if you factor in the mainstream media. If the GOP doesn't do this, they will not win the Senate this Fall. Note the date and time this post is published. I'll stand by that prediction, so feel free to call me out on it if I'm wrong.

God Bless.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Will The GOP Take The Senate This Fall? They Will If They Follow My Plan...

The Republican Party does not have a principle problem or an identity problem. What it does have is a messaging problem. They leadership doesn't understand why their message doesn't resonate, so they don't know what to do to fix the problem (they think they have a plan, but they’re quite wrong). They keep repeating some key mistakes that are costing them elections. They keep relying on decades-old rhetoric and tactics. They keep leaving the people wanting to know more about their policies and not feeling confident enough to cast a vote in their favor because there are too many lingering questions. And they keep trying to pick the most “electable” candidates rather than supporting and emboldening good, honest people who CAN be elected with the right marketing. Essentially, they keep putting all of their eggs into broken baskets. These mistakes are happening again, right now. They will continue to happen until the leadership of the Republican Party admits they have a problem and resolves to do something about it. The hard part is going to be getting the leadership to take off their blinders and open their eyes. The second half of the equation is the easy part. Fixing the problem is no problem at all. I have the fix. It's not complicated or shocking. It's short, sweet and quite obvious to anyone who’s been witness to the last 4 or 5 election cycles. I've got 5 steps to follow, that's it. If the Republicans can follow these steps, and follow them well, the GOP will win this November, and many election cycles to come…

Some might think that Republicans have 2014 in the bag because of Obamacare and the President’s numerous foreign policy missteps, among other things. They’d be wrong. We’ve seen “sure thing” elections in the past that have gone handily the other way. On the other hand, some might feel that 2014 will inevitably end in losses for the GOP, because the media and the Obama campaign machine are just too powerful to allow the Republicans to take back the Senate. They’d be wrong there too. NOTHING is certain, and NO assumptions should be made. The fact is, Republicans can easily take the Senate and put an end to Obama’s reign by taking the steps I’m about to detail. These steps are simple, common sense solutions to the problems plaguing the GOP in election after election. All you need to do to win elections is follow these steps (and spend some money, which the GOP has been doing at record levels anyway without success).

Before I go into what needs to be done, I want to explain how we got here. I have a key, central point that ALL Republicans are missing: We don't have the same America we had in 1864, 1944 or even 1984. This is 2014 America, and Republicans MUST retire old tactics in favor of a new method, based on a new perspective. Let me explain:

For many Americans, the Democrats’ positions rarely need to be defended, because most of the time they sound instinctively good on the surface, whether by accident or design- free healthcare, higher minimum wageamnestymore Social Security spending, “give peace a chance” etc. If it sounds good, people don’t ask too many questions, and Democrats aren’t rushing to offer any more info than they have to. Maybe people don't ask because they don’t want to be let down and maybe because they’re really only concerned with the benefits of policies and don’t care about the hidden pitfalls. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the detail beneath the surface of Liberal policies is where things fall apart. So if you think about it, why would they explain more than they have to? Instead of giving details, Democrats come up with positive-sounding names, thrown in a few positive talking points to hammer home, and treat critics as if they're hate-filled bigots for daring to disagree. I can tell you this, Democrats hold steadfast to the adage that “It doesn’t matter what IS true, all the matters is what you can convince people is true”. Now, Republicans on the other hand subscribe to ideas that often sound instinctively negative on the surface- personal responsibility,
entitlement reforms, lower corporate taxes, tougher immigration laws, even approving the Keystone oil pipeline to name something specific. But when you get into the details, Conservative ideas make much more sense than what the Democrats propose. Our ideas are more beneficial to individuals' freedom and prosperity, and they’re actually financially sustainable. You just have to get the details out into the hands of the public. Yet, Republicans continue to stick to the surface and won’t show people the best part of their ideas- the details- for fear of having their plans eviscerated before they have a chance to be seen and considered by the American people. Holding back just makes people less willing to trust us and give our ideas a chance because it looks like we’re hiding something when we’re not. At the same time, Conservatives and Republicans don’t do enough to challenge Liberals and Democrats on the details of their own ideas. We can make excuses all day, but the bottom line is we're not doing enough. If we were, the American people would have known before the 2012 election that they could not truly keep their plans or their doctors. That combination of 2 major failures is a huge factor in why the Conservative message neither reaches nor resonates with much of the nation. It’s why we keep losing elections. That is what we have to change. We have to change our entire approach and give the people something DIFFERENT. We need to give them a real choice between the bad ideas and the good ones, and we need to get specific. Often, it’s a simple matter of words. We give Liberals grief for being the “word police”, but in reality they’ve learned to control debates and shape the opinions of Americans by using key words and disguising one thing as another (like “War on terror” becoming “Overseas Contingency Plan” and so forth. It’s stupid, but it actually works!). We have to become better than the Democrats at shaping the argument, and that means changing some key words, but sticking to the substance of our policies. I’m not talking about lying, I’m talking about vocabulary.

Look at it from this angle:

If you got to choose your new boss, and that boss was going to have TOTAL control over you and everything you can or can’t do at work (which is exactly how many Americans see government and politicians’ power in their daily lives), would you rather have Boss Number 1, or Boss Number 2?

Boss Number 1

-Tells you everything you want to hear (positive)

-Gives you “free” stuff (positive)

-Tells you everything they do is to make your life better (Plausible)

Boss Number 2

-Tells you what you NEED to hear (negative) but won’t explain why that’s better

-Tells you free stuff is inherently bad for you (negative) and won’t explain why

-Tells you everything they do is to make your life better, again no explanation (Wait, what?)

Do you see it now? I think it's safe to say most Americans, if given a choice, would go with boss number 1. When you get down to the basic logic of it, "I love you all and I want to give you free stuff" just sounds a lot better than "I love you all and I want you to work hard to buy stuff for yourself". Why? Because this isn't 1776, it's 2014. In America today we have an electorate that needs to hear things a certain way, the 2014 way, and if you don't explain your platform right, they will stop listening and vote for the other guy. Too many Conservatives and Republicans assume that the value of hard work and self-reliance is apparent to all, but IT'S NOT. That's why we need to shift from "work harder" to "this is why hard work and self-reliance are better philosophies than waiting for the government to do something for you..." Many of us understand the need to really dig deep and explain exactly why our policies will benefit every individual, but to be blunt, a lot of the Republican leadership and much of the party as a whole is stuck on the same tired methods they’ve been using since Reagan’s 1980 campaign. They keep regurgitating the same one liners people understood and really got behind 34 years ago (I've been guilty of it myself at times) instead of looking for new ways to explain our beliefs and our policies to a constantly changing American citizenry. We have to change that if we're going to win elections.

So in short, the Grand Old Party must become the Grand NEW Party (tagline?). It might seem like a tall order, but it can certainly be done, and in time for November 2014. This is where we have to start...

The 5 steps Republicans must take are as follows:

1.      Define your principles

2.      Define your plans

3.      Go public

4.      Mobilize

5.      Repeat.

Each step addresses a specific pitfall that Republicans must overcome in order to defeat the Democrats this November. Each of these pitfalls must be eliminated if we're are going to win. It can’t be done by completing just 1 or even just 4 of these steps. ALL 5 must be done. Luckily, none of these steps is exceedingly difficult, so it SHOULDN’T be difficult for the GOP to follow them. But that’s also an assumption…

1. Define your principles- because the party needs consistent, tangible positives to rally around.

Due to a combination of the liberal media, biases in popular culture and the DNC distorting facts, much of the American electorate does not know what the GOP stands for. Often it appears that Republicans aren’t sure where we stand either. In order to defeat the Democrats this November, Republicans have to create a list of principles that we can ALL agree on and run on (Something to this effect was released a couple of months ago. If that’s what the party chooses to rally around then great, but everyone has to come together to celebrate and sell those ideas). Republicans must present a united front if we expect to succeed. How do we do it? Easy- be honest and upfront. We have to tell Americans what we stand for, be detailed and most importantly explain WHY we stand for what we stand for. It's not enough to be for the Constitution, we have to tell America WHY the Constitution is so great, why we need to follow it, and why doing so will make our country stronger, freer and more prosperous. Republicans keep making the mistake of assuming number one- that everyone knows why Conservatives champion small government, individual liberty, free markets and personal responsibility, and number two- that everyone innately agrees with these concepts. There was a time when people simply understood, because of family, faith, education and culture, that small government, free market capitalism and common sense are inherently better than socialism, communism anything else that restricts our liberty or increases the size of government. Not so anymore. They're not learning it at home or in school, so Republicans have to treat every encounter as an opportunity to teach someone about the genius and the greatness of small, separated government and the strength of the individual. Republicans must never ever assume that our principles are known or understood. We should always state them and always explain them, sparing no details. We shouldn’t be just “Pro-life”.  We should be “Someone who believes that life is our most basic and important right, and if we cannot be free to exist once conceived, for any arbitrary reason, then we can never truly be a free society at all.” We should be “Someone who believes that the more we learn, and the more we trust science to answer the question for us, the more obvious it becomes that a fetus is more than a collection of cells. It’s a unique individual with unique DNA who deserves a chance at life and liberty.” We should back up what we say with facts, figures and studies, know the ones that liberals will likely use against us, and have responses ready for them. This topic is just one example, but the same goes for every issue, especially the hot button issues like abortion, gay rights and immigration. If we over prepare our candidates for these topics we’ll avoid devastating gaffes (the GOP can’t afford another Todd Akin). People don’t want to know every detail of every experience that lead Republicans to our principles. They want to know that Republicans can empathize with their situation, and they want to know how Republican principles will affect their lives and their wallets. That’s what we have to show them.

2. Define your plans- because Americans are convinced we’re the “Party of NO”.

It’s one thing to have a set of principles. It’s quite another to have ideas, plans and policies that you believe will benefit America. Republicans can’t rely on Americans’ dislike for Obama or other Democrats to get them over the 50-Senator threshold. Americans are in the dark about just what Republicans truly think will make good solutions to the problems we face. That’s partially because of the media, and partially because Republicans tend to shy away from giving too many details about their policies. As I explained above, they’re afraid that if they give too much, the Democrats and the media will tear their ideas to shreds before they’re ever given a fair shake. They’re afraid the “bigot” “sexist” and “racist” cards will be thrown down and the game will be over before it begins. And for some reason Republicans think that playing it close to the chest is the way to combat this, but in actuality it makes it look like they’ve got something to hide, even though they don’t. If one candidate tells you “I’m gonna give you free stuff” and the other says “That’s bad, we should do it my way instead and not give people free stuff” then they don’t explain what they mean or WHY their way is better, OF COURSE people will go with the first candidate over the second! Republicans have got to show Americans exactly what they want to do AND why. How do they do this? Again, we must be honest and upfront. We must tell America EXACTLY what we want to do and why. We must detail our policies and get specific. We must explain that we don't have all of the answers but do have great blueprints for building better foundations and allowing the people to shape their own futures. Republicans need to thoroughly differentiate our policies from the destructive, freedom suppressing, success limiting, self-righteous policies of the left, and we need to frame it in those terms. Every time a Republican criticizes a Liberal policy, they need to site specifics and explain exactly how it limits freedom, makes it harder for people to succeed (particularly the young, the poor and minorities) and takes money out of people’s pockets (again focusing on key Liberal demographics- if you can prove that the Democrats are harming the very people they claim to be protecting, AND give those people a better alternative, you can get their voters on your side). Republicans should even ask for input from the people, ask them what they want from their government and respond with either how our policies will do just that, or how our policy is actually a better way that will help them achieve more than they thought possible. We must tell Americans WHY our policies are better than those of our opponents, and tell them how our plans will give the people more liberty and more prosperity. People want government out of the business of making decisions for them, and out of their wallets. Republicans should tie every policy back to those two points, and explain how each specific policy we support will afford Americans more liberty and put more money in their wallets. Republicans need to let the people know we are going to give Americans the ability to decide their own fates, and get government out of their way. And we cannot forget to explain exactly what it is about big government that hurts people and keeps them from reaching their full potential. We’ve got to tell voters what is wrong with Nanny State policies and tell them exactly what’s right with individual responsibility and self-reliance. Republicans can’t assume that people either know or like our ideas anymore. A fair tax or flat tax may make perfect sense to you and I, but we've got to explain it and sell it to every voter at every opportunity. The same goes for every policy we've got. Whether it’s immigration, foreign policy, taxes, education, healthcare or anything else, the GOP has to detail what we want to see happen and we have to sell it directly to the people.  We should never assume our ideas make sense to everyone, or anyone at all for that matter. We should instead assume that our policies are confusing, and explain them in terms that anyone can understand. Republicans must explain our policies again and again so that voters know why our ideas are better for them than what they've been getting from the left. We should spare no details. Couple this with an explanation of the principles behind the plan, and we’re well on our way to victory. The next step is making sure that the people actually receive the message…

3. Go Public- because the media won’t deliver our message, so we must do so ourselves.

Republicans have to contend with a highly critical, liberally biased media. That's just the way it is. We have to contend with Democrats who have become more and more brazen in lying to the American people, and it doesn’t help when the media gives them a pass on their deceit. Republicans get harder questions, more scrutiny and no benefit of the doubt. People are either aware of this fact or wouldn’t care if they were. Pointing out the injustice isn’t getting us anywhere, so it’s time for a shift from whining to circumvention. The GOP has to combat the media with a full frontal assault. They must stop relying on the networks to fairly relay their message to voters. That’s like asking Al Qaeda to fairly represent America’s positions to their recruits- it makes absolutely no sense! Republicans need to take their message directly to the people. How? Once again, we need to be honest and up front. We should utilize ads that QUICKLY point out SPECIFIC flaws in our opponents, then explain EXACTLY what we will do differently to be better and to fix problems. Americans become desensitized to negative ads, but pointing out an opponent's flaws or failures in 5 or 10 seconds, then focusing on positive solutions will give them the positive alternative they’re looking for. The GOP should utilize EVERY available social media tool to constantly and consistently spread our message. We have to go into heavily Democratic counties, knock on doors, ask the people what they want in a leader and show them how we have what the people want. People respect candidates who will offer themselves up for tough questioning from constituents who they know disagree with them. It's something the Obama administration refuses to do because their candidate can't answer tough questions without weeks of prep or a teleprompter. Republicans have to give voters a reason to go to the polls and vote FOR our candidates rather than against someone else. We have to offer an alternative- candidates who will take questions from EVERYONE, and address EVERYONE's concerns, even people who have never voted for a Republican. THE GOP should buy time during network news broadcasts to run ads that directly counter media bias. We can run 30 to 60 second ads simply detailing our principles and summarizing our plans (1 principle or policy per ad). We can buy 1 hour blocs on each network spread out over time, and use those slots to stand with other members of the party, speak directly to the American people and detail exactly what we want to do, exactly why and exactly how we plan to do it. We must appeal to the people the way Ronald Reagan did if we're going to be successful. Again, if we explain to the people that the Conservative way will get government out of their healthcare, education, businesses, etc. AND out of their wallets, people will listen and the GOP will win elections. Again, some Conservative plans sound negative at first. Words like “responsibility” aren’t very attractive, especially in the new America, so Republicans have to oversimplify and over explain EVERYTHING in order to show people that we actually have very positive, highly beneficial ideas. We're going up against people whose “gimme” policies just simply sound more attractive. You don’t have to like it, but you’ve got to understand it, accept it and also understand that the only way to fight back is to show America that our plans are definitively and demonstrably better for America in the short AND long term. I know, it's not fair that people gravitate toward liberal policies because they sound good on the surface. It's unfair that people don't like Republican policies, even though they don't understand them, just because they sound harder or less “fun”. It's not fair that Republican plans receive more scrutiny and more criticism in the media. But life is not fair, and the GOP has to accept the fact that we're going to have to work much harder than liberals do in order to win elections. It's just what we have to do, at least in the short term. So we need to go Nike and JUST DO IT.

4. Mobilize- because without votes, nothing else matters.

Election wins will not come without very high voter turnout. Voter turnout elevated Obama to the Presidency in 2008 because Liberals were fed up with George Bush and minorities were excited about finally breaking through the most prominent glass ceiling in politics. In 2012, Conservatives turned out, but not nearly in the numbers we saw from Democrats in ’08. Obama’s team pushed hard, scared a LOT of people and got the necessary voters off their butts and out to the polls. In many cases they physically brought them to the polls. Obama's team mastered the art of voter turnout, now the GOP must PERFECT it! If Republicans are going to get the wins we need, we HAVE TO beat the Democrats at mobilizing voters. That’s all there is to it. We can learn from their tactics (the legal ones that is). We have to rally the base by telling them the truth about the situation- this November is going to be very close, and the GOP needs EVERY single vote we can muster. We’ll need to rally independents, by telling them that this country is governed by those who show up and let their voice be heard, appealing to their patriotism and appealing to their sense of duty. Republicans should tell the people that we all have the right to vote, but when you don't exercise it, you relinquish credibility, and so when you take issue with the policies of a government you refused to take part in, you have no standing. We need to demonstrate the failures of the Obama administration and tell independent voters exactly what we will do to fix his failures and set us back on a solid path. Independents want a CHOICE, not Obama light or an Obamapublican. Republicans can't be afraid to be bold and different. We need to get people excited about our policies. Local chapters of the RNC should organize voter sign ups and organize transportation to the polls for EVERYONE who needs it. It’s going to cost money, but we all know you have to spend money to get results, and if we spend like this is a presidential election, we will win. Republicans need to get young voters excited about their futures. We need to get older voters nostalgic about returning to a strong and prosperous America. We need to get minority and low income voters excited about a positive alternative to big government, and get them excited about having more freedom to make choices on their own, more money in their pockets, and being treated as equals rather a than pawns in a political chess game. Republicans have to give people a reason to be motivated and give them a reason to vote FOR our candidates. It's not nearly enough to rely on people voting against Democrats. If we can do this effectively and produce a large enough voter turnout, the GOP can easily take the Senate and pick up extra seats in the House this Fall.

5. Repeat- Practice makes perfect. Don’t try until you get it right, try until you can’t get it wrong.

The Grand Old Party must become the Grand NEW Party (tagline anyone?). Day in and day out, Republicans must speak directly to the people and tell them about ourselves. We must let the people know who we are, what we believe, and why we believe it. We must tell Americans what we plan to do to make this nation whole, put people back to work, and restore our standing in the world. We have to tell them just how we plan to do it, and why our way is better. We must spare no details, and no expense. We must speak to our fellow Americans early and often, through every outlet we can get our hands on. We must utilize technology, but should not forget the old stand-bys like mailers or a good old fashioned knock on the door. It’s not a one-size fits all situation either. We have to cater our approach to specific states and counties to achieve the best results. Republican candidates must be open and honest at all times. If the GOP does this, exactly this, on a wide scale across the nation, we can't lose. But as soon as we let up or begin to cut corners, we’ll condemn ourselves to failure.

For this plan to succeed, it’s going to take cooperation from Republicans and Conservatives in every corner of America. From the establishment and rank in file members to the tea party and the libertarians, we must stand together, and let America know who we are and why our way is better than what the liberals have deemed their best try. We have the better principles, and we have the better policies. We have to sell them to the people, which shouldn’t be too hard considering how much better we can make America with our ideas. If we follow these guidelines, we will see a stronger, freer, more prosperous America in the very near future. We can make it happen, but we need a plan of action and a set of agreed upon principles. The party must decide how inclusive it wishes to be. We must find common ground among the libertarian wing, the tea party and the longstanding establishment members of the House and Senate. That's where this plan comes in. It’s a road map to victory. Blanks will need to be filled in, and agreements to disagree in the short term will have to be struck, but we can win with this plan. This plan is not all of the answers, but it’s the beginning of a new direction.  It's short and simple. It's subtle but assertive. It will win, I guarantee it. The only obstacle is getting Republican politicians to agree and take action, particularly those who are stuck in their ways. But together, we can do it. We've got to do it- for America, for our children and for all those who came before us who sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for you and I to be able to enjoy liberty. If liberty is to endure, we must act, boldly, and it must be now.

Thank you.

God Bless.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My New Plan For America- A Summary

Hello all!

I've been working on this one for quite some time. It's not perfect, but my New Plan for America is a step toward a better future. It's rooted in the need for Republicans and Conservatives to get out of the mindset that the value of our principles as apparent to all, and out of the practice of denouncing big government while advocating for wholly big government "solutions" to the problems that plague our nation. Our principles are sound, but we must stick to them, and we have to change our messaging to truly match those principles. We need rein in the overreaching politicians and bureaucrats, increase the influence of individuals in the private sector, and give the American people a direct say in the direction of the nation.

If you believe in America and you're open to new ideas, then please visit the link below to learn more!

Feedback is highly encouraged!


Friday, December 20, 2013

The Problem With Liberal Problem Solving

True American conservatism is about preserving the things which have been proven to make us great (individual liberty, self-reliance, personal responsibility, etc.), and correcting the mistakes we make along the way, so that new greatness can continually be achieved, better opportunities can continually manifest, and socioeconomic hardships can continually be minimized and eventually eradicated. Again, that's American conservatism, not classical Conservatism, and I'm not talking about Republicans either. American liberalism on the other hand, is about trying to correct unfairness, as defined (arbitrarily) by government or other small groups, by any means necessary, regardless of what such actions will do to those things which make us great. When you get to the heart of it, the real meat and potatoes of either side, what it boils down to is this: conservatives believe a great nation is built by empowering the individual, while liberals believe that perfection can be achieved by empowering government. We can all argue about the specifics of all the issues- about where we stand on gun control or abortion or taxes or marriage, but the end game is always the same. True liberals, or progressives as we sometimes call them (there are "conservative" progressives too) want government to solve the problem, and true conservatives want the people whom government serves to solve the problem.

I know better than government what is best for me and my family. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. I can't trust government to take my specific circumstances, my ambitions or my needs, nor those of my family, into account when they make a decision. Therefore, I believe wholeheartedly in empowering individuals and accomplishing as many of our goals as possible without government. Even when government is "needed," it's far more effective to localize solutions at the city, county or state level than it is to make sweeping legislative moves at the federal level. In general, the only time we need the federal government to step in is for matters such as national defense, coining money, interstate commerce and so forth as the enumerated powers in the Constitution detail. In most cases, local government is better informed and equipped for the circumstances at hand, and in every case it's more accountable to the people.

There are viable, effective methods of solving a lot of our problems that don't have to involve government, like helping the poor and needy in our communities. You don't need government to do it. Private, local entities like churches, charities and not for profits should be supported by all who are able. And I mean by choice, not by law, and only insofar as to empower them to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick and rehabilitate those who've made terrible choices in life. There is a difference between compelling citizens to donate to these causes and asking them to fund a bible study or promote a specific religion or doctrine. Most businesses are more than happy to contribute as well, and they do so in astounding numbers (Wal-mart donating over $1 billion in cash and products in 2012, and they’re among companies like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs and Google as some of the most charitable companies in America according to Forbes). Back to my point, we can help people, especially those who truly need it, by enlisting the assistance of individuals, businesses and private charitable entities, and they do a much better job than the federal government. I know I feel more comfortable giving to a charity than to government, because you can research and vet the organization, choose the one you believe will do the most good, and follow up on what they do. With government, you never know where your money will end up, and you have NO choice in whether to give or where it’s going to go. They even spend taxpayer money on things that most Americans don’t want the public paying for (i.e. planned parenthood abortions). In these cases, government, specifically local government, would be a better tool for promoting the morality of helping others of your own free will than a tool for actually imparting help to those in need. Think about it: if we taught people from a young age that society functions much smoother and people live much better lives when we all CHOOSE to help those who need it, whenever we are able to, and we continued that teaching throughout elementary school, middle school and high school, then by the time we get one generation from diapers to diplomas we would have a massive swing in the number of people who CHOOSE to help their fellow man rather than wait for the government to force them to do it. Charity has zero moral value and does nothing to change society for the better if we “serve” others solely because the government threatens us into compliance. The value lies in CHOOSING to help your fellow man. It makes society better for everyone, and that choice means the difference between resentment of those whom you’re forced to support, and empathy for those whom you choose to help. It just makes sense. Unfortunately, our government would rather hold a gun to our heads, take what they feel we don’t need, and put it to whatever political use they see fit. That solves nothing, and breeds anger and frustration rather than love and compassion. Bottom line: government is NOT the best or only solution for taking care of those in need, and the same is true for most of our nation’s problems.

I happen to believe that most of our problems, particularly those which lead to screaming matches in bars, college classrooms and the studios of cable TV networks, can be solved by limiting the amount of legislation aimed at “fixing” the problem, maximizing the amount of awareness about the problem, letting people make their own choices, and holding people accountable for the choices that they make (there are a few issues where I feel there are extenuating circumstances where certain rights trump others, such as the right to life trumping the right to an abortion, which is why I consider myself a Conservatarian, but I digress…). We need to empower individuals to make their own decisions and teach them to take responsibility for the decisions they make, while ensuring equal opportunity and equal protection under the law for everyone. Liberty and justice for all. The freedom to buy, the freedom to try, AND the freedom to fail (and start from the beginning again). We DO NOT need to dictate or legislate their wants and needs to them, nor coddle them from cradle to grave. When you localize government solutions, it has the same benefits as empowering individuals. Competition breeds better solutions, and localities have the freedom to try things their own way, implementing policies and programs tuned to the specific needs of their city, county or state. Again, government may be needed to help solve some of our biggest problems, but state and local governments are innately better at dealing with those problems than the federal government. They know their demographics, their trades, their resources, their economies, their ecosystems and, most importantly, they know their people. They are closer to the people, geographically and politically, and that enables local government to make smarter, more effective decisions. The federal government has very little direct accountability to the people, even in the House of Representatives (Can you say gerrymandering?), and they have absolutely no accountability to the states (thanks in large part to the 17th amendment making U.S. Senators elected by citizens rather than state legislatures, thereby eviscerating the ability of states to hold the federal government accountable to its citizens). At this point, the odds of correcting the lack of accountability are slim to none, so it makes more sense now than ever to empower state and local governments to solve problems, in conjunction with private individuals, businesses and community organizations. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the last century of American politics, it’s that growing the federal government and taking power from the states and the people solves nothing, and creates exponentially more problems. Just look around, and consider the amount of lasting “good” accomplished by Congresses and Presidents of the last hundred years. Don’t worry, it won’t take long…
Government is rarely a good solution, and even more seldom the best one. To refuse to pursue solutions that don’t include government is just plain stupid. Let me explain with a historical reference:

During a time when women were widely considered property, the philosopher Plato decided, in imagining his republic, that it would make absolutely no sense to exclude women from the rigorous physical and mental tests that he envisioned would yield the best and brightest to lead the nation (I disagree with Plato quite often, but not on this point). He realized that arbitrarily eliminating women from contention would instantaneously cripple the odds of developing great leaders. Think of it this way, if you took a freshman class of med students and cut out everyone with brown eyes (or the blondes, those over 30 or all the Republicans, or what have you), you're eliminating a giant number of potentially great doctors for no reason at all. THAT is why none of our problems can be solved by relying solely on government, because it automatically excludes potentially great solutions, for no reason at all. Being open to all possibilities is just common sense.

It is utterly counterproductive to choose to arbitrarily eliminate viable options for making America better. When you choose, as liberals do, to dismiss all solutions that originate in the private sector, you choose to severely handicap your chances for success. The same goes for conservatives who refuse to let government do anything at all. We can't fix a problem by looking solely for either a government solution or a private sector solution. We have to look for the right solution, the solution that works for all involved and maximizes liberty. We have to plan for everything and foresee the unintended consequences, but we also have to account for human nature, and the fact that we could be wrong. History must be considered, and we must look further into the future than one day, one crisis or one election. Sometimes we're going to fail, because perfection is out of reach. But as a Conservative, I can tell you that if we err on the side of the individual, get the government and bureaucracy out of the way, and look for answers that protect life, liberty, private property and the pursuit of happiness, wherever that solution may come from, more often than not we're going to fix the problem, and more importantly, it's going to STAY fixed.