Pushback

Over the weekend, Breitbart reports, that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s supporters took a page from the Left and applied it to the Left.  Observe:

The Washington Times is reporting Arpaio’s opponents are having trouble obtaining the number signatures they need in their petition to recall “America’s Sheriff” Joe Arpaio.

Volunteers’ latest effort took place at a music festival, targeted for its huge crowd size and liberally-minded attendees, The Associated Press reported.

But shortly after setting up camp, recall workers found themselves facing an even larger opposition group: Supporters of Mr. Arpaio turned out in droves and drowned out the recall workers’ rally calls, AP reported.

At the end of the day, pro-recall workers only netted 100 signatures — far less than anticipated for such a heavily attended event.

The union-backed recall drive started in January, and anti-Arpaio forces are reportedly far behind in their goal. They need to collect 335,000 signatures by May 30, and are having to rely primarily on volunteers due to the fact that the effort is not attracting much in the way of donations.

This is good and is another illustration of the ‘Silent majority’ getting off their posterior analytics and on the ball.  This is one possible response to the Lefts ongoing efforts to continue their march to despotism.

36 strategems

In a previous post a commenter remarked on the “36 Strategems” of which I was previously unaware.  A fortuitous convergence found them over here.  Here are the first two:

1.) Expose the basic contradictions of the Left’s position by letting them “own” the fiscal crisis and confront them on their role in redefining (at a handsome profit) “culture” as it relates to the evil “gun culture.”

2.) Expose the rifts between unions and various other factions and groups fighting for smaller pieces of the fiscal pie and sow discord within their ranks.

Go read them all, then run your OODA loops and get going.  (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act)  No time to review these this morning, will do so later and post an update later.

 

Vaccine

No sooner was the previous post, Plague, up, than Wretchard posts relevant content.  Hah!  Great minds and all that.  In the comments he remarks in response to one of his readers,

Perhaps the biggest mistake conservatives make is to engage the Left rationally. Leftism is a religion, a worldview, an attitude, a community. It is a doctrine and a church. It dispenses comfort, support, certitude and salvation.

Don’t come at with statistics, facts and figures. Those will bounce off like peas of an Abrams tank. You must come at it with a rival set of feelings, a package of meanings they can embrace. You must offer them redemption.

That’s why Islam can convert leftists. Or leftists can convert Islamists. They are simply switching religions. They are not engaging in a rational exercise. We live in the most religious period in the history of the race.

People want paradise on earth, 72 virgins, the Mothership, Xenu, Gaia and who knows what else. And if all you have to offer them is cold statistics and facts you will never get them to see anything.

The reason the Left hates Christianity and to a lesser extent Judaism so much is that they recognize in them, more than conservatives do, a rival faith. For their doctrine is “I am the Lord Thy God. Thou shalt not have anything before me.”

Your humble (I can hear my wife now, “Humble!  Give me a break!”) correspondent has long advocated the application of the mechanism of Alinskyis pestis against its disseminators.  Steal their methods, their tactics, their strategies.  Wretchard advocates going one better, which I would view as complementary: steal their language. Just as a vaccine is made of dead or dying germs, so the antidote to Alinsyis pestis might, I would even say “must” be made from the raw material of the parasite itself.

For shame!

Yates Walker overt at The Daily Caller has a great article that proposes that Republicans capitalize on shame, now that the President has opened up that can of worms.  Here are some graphs, read it all:

As a nation, we’re burning the house down because we’re cold. The next American generation is going to be cold, staring at a pile of ashes and told that they have to pay interest on it.  . . . Ours is a government of thieving hedonists. And the leader of that government is invoking shame over the fact that only 41 laws prohibited Adam Lanza from shooting up an elementary school?

Whether Republican leaders realize it or not, Barack Obama just pulled his goalie. He opened a door to Republican victory and a conservative resurgence that could define the next 10 election cycles. By invoking shame, Obama started a conversation that he never intended to start.

. . .

GOP critics are presently insisting that the GOP needs fundamental change to appeal to new voters. They’re wrong. It’s all about messaging. It’s always about messaging. Would Obama have won in 2008 if he said that he was going to abandon Clinton’s landmark welfare reform, extend food stamps to one-seventh of our citizenry, take over a sixth of our economy, fold on gay marriage, leave embassies undefended, abandon all of the progress our soldiers fought for in Iraq, legalize untried, indefinite detention of American citizens, and add $10 trillion to the national debt — all the while, partying with celebrities in Hollywood, inciting class warfare, and soaking the rich?

No.   . . .

Republicans can learn from Alinsky. Someone in leadership on the right needs to engage Obama in a national conversation about shame, redirecting the shame from gun control to spending and the willful mortgaging of America’s future. Whenever Obama mentions new spending, he needs to hear a shame chorus from the right concerning shattered piggy banks and America’s beleaguered future generations. The shame angle needs to be harped on until it gets a response from the president. Eventually Obama will be forced to address the argument. When he does, specific cuts should be demanded. If he makes the requested cuts, new cuts should be demanded. When he fails, the shame chorus should begin anew.

. . .

Unlike most Republican arguments, this one is bite-sized, populist, and winning: Stop robbing America’s children. A brighter, less indebted American future polls well with students, parents, seniors, veterans, whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and everyone else.

Even narcissistic kleptocrats Progressives can get this one.

Taking the bull by the tail

Tradtional marriageI’ve been reluctant to address the issue of “gay marriage” but I don’t feel that I can in good conscience continue to do so.  It is time, in the immortal words of W.C. Fields, to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.  I propose to address two issues, political expediency and cultural survival.

Recently it has become the ‘in’ thing for politicians to ‘evolve’ into an acceptance of same sex marriage, including, to my amazement, Republican politicians. In a way I am not surprised to find Republican politicians ‘evolving’ in step with their Democratic brethren. 160 years ago the newly founded Republican Party was at the vanguard of the abolitionist movement and was the political embodiment of social and cultural change.  That was a change that grew out of one of America’s great awakenings, and arose spontaneously and organically in the public consciousness.  It had its foundations in the principles of Christian religion and the Constitution.  It set about rectifying the fundamental injustice of slavery and removing the contradiction that slavery is to the principles of individual liberty  The same sex marriage movement has tried to draw the same mantle around itself but is fact the product of a massive agitprop campaign to foist on Americans something that is both alien and repugnant to us.

In every instance in which same sex marriage has been put on the ballot it has failed to pass and failed decisively.  If the proposition cannot pass muster with the electorate it is certainly not going to pass muster with the base of the Republican Party which tends to be not only more fiscally conservative but more socially conservative than the population in general.  Because the proponents of same sex marriage have access to and are supported by the main stream media there is favorable mention of it everywhere and any opposition is either denounced, derided or ignored.  Anyone with no memory of elections past would legitimately think that the absence of same sex marriage was a burning injustice and that the stones themselves were crying out for remedy.  Not so.

In embracing this issue Republican politicians have transparently done so as a matter of political expediency, hitching themselves to the presumably rising star of the hot issue of the day.  In doing so they have not only traduced their own values but betrayed the values of their base.  They suppose that by embracing the currently fashionable trend they will distinguish themselves from their political rivals and so gain the approval of a majority of the voters.  Unfortunately for them, and tragically for the Republican Party, no politician can gain office while repudiating the base.  The same is true for political parties.  I will submit for your consideration, gentle reader, that if the Republican Party continues to repudiate the base it will soon become one with the dodo bird and the Whigs.

Were marriage no more than a delectable sentimental fashion accessory designed lend the perfect air of gravitas and publicly validated ardor to a torrid romance I would have no problem with the so-called gay marriage.  Marriage is not that, however.  It is in principle the primary, indeed preeminent means by which children are brought into the world, reared in relative security and stability and socialized into the culture that surrounds them and in which they will most likely spend their lives.  Every child has the right in principle to share in the love of one man (father) and one woman (mother) whose commitment to each other provides the foundation for the child’s understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman in the world and what the relationship between them is.  Same sex unions fail at the outset on the first count, procreation.  They fail on the diverse role model (which is especially difficult for boys who have a greater need for fathers as models and guides than do girls).  Finally, they fail in that children raised by same sex couples are not as well adjusted to society as their heterogenic peers.  The evidence in support of these propositions is overwhelming.

Years ago we were told that what gay people really wanted was simply acceptance as human beings.  This was always there, but we stopped calling them names and started calling them gay (that was as great a public relations triumph like Democrats becoming blue and Republicans red).  Then we were told that all they wanted was civil unions which would give them functionally identical rights as hetero married couples.  This was given and here we are again with a very small fraction of the population (3-4%) demanding that everybody else change the culture to suit them. Now it is even presented as a civil right, as if homosexuals previously had no right to matrimony.  What nonsense!  Everyone has the right to marry within the definition of marriage and the laws of consanguinity, and plenty have done so.  I have known (not in the Biblical sense, I hasten to assure you!) homosexual men (note that the ‘homo’ in ‘homosexual’ is the Greek ‘homo’ (meaning ‘same’), not the Roman ‘homo’ (meaning ‘man’)) who struggled to be faithful husbands to their wives and good fathers to their children.  These men I support and encourage.These men I honor. Same for homosexual women who struggle to be faithful wives and good mothers.

Why would that be, I wonder, this continual pushing of the envelope?  Equality?  Were that so everyone who labeled anyone who opposed ‘same sex marriage’ “homophobe,” “hater” or “antediluvian troglodyte” would have the law hailed down on them as does anyone today who utters a homosexual slur, dares raise their voice in opposition, does not sufficiently lionize or acquiesce to the gay mystique and the ever changing rules for ever more “inclusiveness.”  This isn’t about equality.  It’s about transgression and forcing everybody else to applaud that transgression under pain of legal consequences.  Archbishop Chaput is worth quoting here: Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it.  So it always has been.  So it always will be.

This is just another step down the slipper slope to a further and ever further erosion of Western Civilization, which, ironically, is the only one in which proponents of homosexual rights are not only tolerated, but protected and celebrated. The family has long been known to be the foundation of civilization.  Across history societies have codified laws support and protect that foundation, knowing that without it they would collapse.  There are those who argue that all our institutions have become so corrupt and debased that they are hardly worth the effort to defend.  Whereas it is true the Gramscian long march through the culture of the West has wrought enormous damage, and has a way to go, American institutions in particular have always rested on two things: adherence to the principles of the Founding and Natural Law.  Decisions have consequences, and bad decisions have bad consequences, and bad consequences cause pain, pain, in turn, prompts, even forces, change.

Fifty years on we can see the damage wrought by the Left, particularly in the arena of the family.  In 1968 Daniel Patrick Moynahan noted that as a result of the perverse incentives of LBJ’s Great Society children born out of wedlock had increased to 25% among Blacks; today it stands at 78% (53% among Hispanics and 30% among Whites).  From the Founding to early 60’s the illegitimacy rate in the US was stable at between 3% and 5%.  Moynahan considered the 25% figure he observed a catastrophe for the Black community; so it has proven to be.  Only now is it dawning on the Progressives that maybe the well known consequences of absent fathers might go well beyond merely monetary child support.  So it will prove with same sex marriage.  Yes, yes, a nod and a wink to “good people” and those most famous of paving stones, “good intentions.”

It is also ironic that it is fashionable to tolerate this kind of behavior, but disapproval is intolerable amongst the tolerant.  Bishop Fulton Sheen, in his 1931 book “The Curse of Broadmindedness,” had this to say about tolerance: “. . tolerance and intolerance apply to two totally different things. Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.”

Labor_Day_Republicans_RepairIn considering whether to embrace the movement to normalize same sex marriage there is this consideration, too often absent from today’s political calculus: are Republicans also willing to embrace the consequences of their choices?  For certainly there will be consequences; all choices carry with them consequences always.  Republican politicians have shown themselves horrifyingly willing to embrace policies with known bad consequences in order to gain an advantage that is momentary at best, but more often illusory.  I suggest that the issue of same sex marriage is a hill to die on.  To stand on principle for America’s long term strength, stability and viability.

The words of the prophet

Over at The Belmont Club Richard Fernandez has an excellent article on the perishability of conventional wisdom.  Conventional wisdom is what everybody knows to be true because everybody believes it and that many people can’t be wrong.  He does not use the term, but essentially it is the phenomenon of social proof.  Every advertising and marketing professional worth his salt understands and uses this mechanism (For an excellent treatment of the subject read Influence by Robert Cialdini).  The Left has used this among other ways to shape the mind space of America and the West for generations.  The nature of the beast is that the more people believe it the more people tend to believe it, a self reinforcing feedback loop.

This is not an evil phenomenon in itself, it is simply a mechanism built into the human psyche.  The Founders understood this and used this as one of the means at their disposal to form a people steeped in the ideas of individual liberty and the virtues that enable a society to exemplify those ideals in the life of the nation.  The fact is that groups of people have foisted an alien ideology on Americans which is inimical to those values propounded by the Founders to such an extent that those foreign values have become normative for vast swaths of the population.

Guiding principles can be good or bad or somewhere in between.  Critical thinking, never really a strong point of the mass of Homo Sapiens (ironic that sapiens means ‘wise.’), is not only generally absent from public discourse but is shouted down when it rears its perspicacious head.  Just as the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, so the truth value of guiding principles is in the success or failure of their implementation.  Bad ideas have bad consequences which when taken to their logical conclusion (as they always are) have catastrophic consequences, just ask the exiles of the Babylonian Captivity or the former inmates of the USSR.  In the US today the failures of the Left have not been felt strongly enough to have been seen to fail catastrophically.  Detroit would be an indicator of such a failure, but it is too localized to serve as a general warning to those in the thrall of Progressive conventional wisdom.

So what’s a conservative to do?  Exercise the prophetic voice (egad, how Biblical!).  In Biblical times the prophet was God’s spokesman who spoke to His people what was on His mind.  I suggest that in to day’s world the prophetic voice speaks truth to people about what’s going on.  A prophet isn’t a predictor of the future save in a very limited sense.  The classical prophetic utterance consisted of four parts: denounce apostasy and sin; threaten punishment in consequence; call to faithfulness and virtue; promise of consequent blessings.  I need hardly mention the fact that the lives of the prophets never lived comfortable lives nor did the prophetic gift rest easily on them.

It may be that the collapse the insane principles of the Left are moving us towards may yet be avoided, or it may not.  If it is avoided it will be through the sounding of the prophetic voice by Americans faithful to the Founding vision.  If not, those who emerge from the rubble will be shattered men in search of leadership.  At this point a strong, tyrannical leader who gets things done will be the preferred choice of most people, unless the prophetic voice, once so annoying, can still be heard calling for a return to true principles and true hope.

What’s in a name?

The Hill has an interesting poll about people’s preferences regarding fiscal matters.  The good news is that most people prefer fiscal programs that reflect Republican proposals by about 2:1 when party affiliation is hidden.  The bad news is that once the name ‘Republican’ is mentioned, support evaporates.  Breitbart.com’s Mike Flynn makes the point: “As The Hill poll shows, however, the party has already won the policy debate. It is continuing to lose the political debate, however. The voters simply don’t trust the Republicans to stick to their policies.”

Too true.  Plus the Republicans have been playing Brer Fox to the Democrats’ Alinkyite Brer Rabbit.  Plus the Republicans have too often shown themselves just as eager to get their hooks on Federal money and perks as their “friends across the aisle.”
The recent CPAC convention can be summarized as follows: Republicanism as a good ol’ boy’s club of genteel, New England moderates is a dead party walking.  Conservative principles generate a great deal of support, if not passionate enthusiasm among the citizenry in general.  Conservative principles, when articulated clearly and unambiguously carry the ideological day every time.