I’m not abandoning conservatism like many are while debating the current crop of candidates. These are ones who are abandoning conservative beliefs, for reasons that scare me…
You’re not thinking. You’re feeling.
You’re seeing something that’s conservative when it’s not because you want it to be.
You’re falling into this trap of becoming victims. You’re allowing the news media to dictate your mood and your attitude and your contentment, your happiness, and then you’re ultimately relying on the election of individuals to change your life. — Quasi definition of Liberalism. This is not what conservatives support candidates for, liberals do that.
I’m watching the election coverage. I’m hearing all these Republican commentators say the Republican Party is blowing it by not understanding that this feeling of economic insecurity is really rife and widespread among conservative Republicans. Now, rather than argue with that… (sigh)
I don’t think there’s any reason, or not a whole lot of reasons for economic insecurity.
Here I’m going to sound like I’m out of touch. But I look at this economy, I see 96% of the American people paying their mortgages. They’re not losing their homes. They’re not being foreclosed on. I see record employment and record low unemployment.
Sure, we’ve got some things: gasoline prices rising. This has happened before. The price of everything goes up all the time (self evident, through history).
We’ve have the War on Terror… battles in Iraq, Afghanistan… etc.
I understand that there’s angst! So let me just accept it...
Rather than argue about it and rather than try to lift people up with an emotional and inspirational plea to just not participate in it.
We’re in the United States of America, for crying out loud!
We are not prisoners of some tyranny or dictatorship yet.
We have the ability to do whatever we want; try whatever we want !!
It’s up to us!
Yet so many people seem so willing to turn it over to the government, when there’s angst or trials or tribulations.
So let me just ask you a question:
Those of you in this great country who are in the midst of feeling this economic insecurity, what do you want Mike Huckabee to do about it? What do you want John McCain to do about it? What do you want Barack Obama to do about it? What do you want John Edwards to do about it?
What I fear is that people are confusing populism with conservatism.
Populism is a political figure telling you whatever he thinks you want to hear, designed to make you think he only cares about you and fixing your situation.
Like John Edwards telling us all these horror stories that make this country sound like it’s 1920s in Louisiana, and he’s out there and he’s doing these personal interviews on stage during his appearances where people have lost their jobs, or they’ve lost money, or they’ve lost this or that. Remember in New Hampshire some time ago, he took a question from a young girl who was having problems with her student loans, and she was beside herself? She didn’t know how she’s going to pay ’em back, and what did Edwards do?
Did Edwards offer to help her personally? No! Did the Edwards offer to help any of these sorry cases that he cites? Does he ever offer to help them personally? Does he ever say, “I can help you right now”?
No! He makes them wait until he’s elected president, and then what’s he going to do?
He’s going to supposedly get even with the people causing them their stress. But he isn’t going to help them because government can’t, unless you turn your life over to it, and become a victim and you’re going to become dependent on government doing everything for you, that’s the only way it can happen.
But you have a momentary economic crisis in your life, it’s your responsibility; you fix it.
If you turn it over to the government you’ve got to turn over every aspect of your life, because they don’t fix individual problems. Yet so many people think that Candidate A or Candidate B is going to do that, especially in the area of health care.
“Yeah, I wanted a liver transplant. I didn’t get it in time and my son died.” Yeah, so you’re going to elect John Edwards and maybe 20 years from now the people responsible will be held accountable?
Please forgive these blunt … yet accurate examples of possible situations.
What is this notion, that electing any single human being is going to fix a momentary, temporary, very personal economic problem? The resulting dissent into victimhood and then seeing a populist approach, and you think it’s conservative because it’s compassionate or cares or whatever? It just scares me, because this is how we get charlatans elected. It is how we get people who use the misery and suffering of others in order to advance their own political fortunes.
The one thing I learned almost 20 yrs ago:
You can’t talk populist beliefs out of people. You just can’t do it. All it does is: They hate you, and they resent you for trying to tell them that what they’re feeling is incorrect. You can’t talk to people who have a populist belief in a candidate; you just can’t talk ’em out of it.
At some point it has to be revealed to these people individually.
It’s real simple. I have more respect for American citizens, than you can possibly know. I have more appreciation and understanding for your potential than you do. You can be so much better than you are.
We all can.
But you’re not going to get there waiting for a single candidate to come along and pay the electric bill, damn it!
I’ve heard, “The people in this country are a bunch of idiots. You’re giving them too much credit.” You’ve heard these when it comes to who wins elections, how many people vote liberal, Democrat and so forth. My response has been, “Nah, I’ve got great faith in the American people.”
And I do!
I use my own life as sort of a guide, and I use the stories of people I know who have come from nothing, and led by their ambition and their desire, which is 80% of achievement, by the way, all other things being equal.
How badly you want it, what you’re willing to do to get it,
that’s the determining factor.
What I know is that everybody — there are exceptions, of course, because there are some self-starters — but everybody has more potential than they even know. Everybody has more ability than they know. Everybody can be better than they are, in any number of ways. It’s true of all of us.
But most people, as I said, are not self-starters so we need mentors, teachers, people who inspire us, and a lot of people are looking for that, a lot of people are looking for leadership. We haven’t had a whole lot of leadership when it comes to our conservative movement.
Peggy Noonan said it well about Governor Huckabee. He’s not really leading a movement. He’s riding a wave. People want leadership, and they respond to it when they get it. And unfortunately, sometimes they think leadership is leadership when it isn’t, when it’s populism.
But all of this angst — let me join the angst crowd for just a second. All this angst is based on the fact that I have such a pie in the sky notion of the potential of this country and the people who live in it.
I know that it’s the people who make this country work. Ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things.
That’s what makes this country work; that’s what makes it great!
Politicians don’t, lobbyists don’t, people in Washington that are elected, they’re not the definition of great. Government programs are not great.
Let’s say that you’re in angst over college education for your kids, tuition. Well, yeah, it’s a big problem. There’s no question. It’s exorbitantly high.
Who’s in charge of it? A bunch of libs. Who runs higher education? Bunch of libs. Who are the people always running around decrying what Big Oil is doing to you and Wal-Mart’s doing to you? They want to punish these people. They want to punish the engine of freedom. They want to punish the capitalist system. When it comes to college education, you are being raped, and your kids are being sent off to a bunch of places that are just nothing more than indoctrination centers, yet you want to get them in there. You gotta take out student loans, it’s exorbitant.
What is a president going to do about this?
The president can’t wave a magic wand and demand the liberal administrators, at universities; lower tuition, change the college loan rules and so forth? Any number of other economic circumstances.
David Brooks, New York Times, says that the biggest problem facing America today, the biggest source of economic angst is divorce, that divorce causes more economic hardship on people than practically any other thing, and then it also causes a disruption of families. He says this is something that Huckabee knows. Huckabee is appealing to the morality and the culture and the values that keep families together will somehow resonate with people and they’ll understand that this is a way to fix the culture.
I hate to tell you –– Peggy Noonan makes this point, too, in a column — there’s nothing the government can do about changing the culture. There really isn’t a whole lot the government can do about changing the culture. Take a look at whatever cultural rot you see and ask yourself: What’s happening in movies? What’s happening in music? What’s happening on television? What’s happening in the pop culture?
Look, what I’m getting at here is that I would just hope that here in 2008 that a majority of Americans would be motivated to rely on themselves, to try to take advantage of the freedom that being an American is. You look all around and you see robust signs of prosperity, you see success, you see people accomplishing great things either in the neighborhood or in the city or town where you live, or you read about it happening in other parts of the country. And for some reason it doesn’t click that maybe you could do the same thing. I just wish that it would.
When that is the case, because this is the United States of America with unparalleled freedom and prosperity, for people to then throw up their hands in frustration and say, “Yeah, I really can’t do it, it’s not up to me, I’m going to let Obama do that for me, or I’m going to let Edwards, I’m going to let Huckabee, I’m going to let Fred Thompson,” whoever the candidate is.
You’re giving up and you’re allowing yourself to become a victim, and you’re not going to get what you want. People who earn more money than you, do get a tax increase, fine, you may feel better, yeah, get even with those S.O.B.’s…
But how does it help you in your own bottom line?
It doesn’t !!
I say this stuff precisely because I love this country, and I know what’s possible here.
I know so many people that do not think that they can do it themselves, and I just can’t tell you how it hurts, and it depresses me, and it makes me want to go back to basics and explain to you what conservatism really is, why it wins, how it wins, how it works, which is I guess what I’m doing here is essentially going back to basics.
So many people are so capable of so much more than they know.
Reference prior post: Conservatives 101, Doers, not Whiners.
Politicians talk about wanting the best for everybody. Well, so do I. I just have a different technique of how that happens, and I just don’t think it happens through them. It is achieved by “We the People“.