Tag Archives: conservatives

Social Capitalism

I have struggled for two weeks to get this posting out. Even as I write, I cannot reconcile exactly where I should stand on the issue of supporting businesses that absolutely offend my sensibilities as a consumer. The genesis of this posting began when I read about all of the companies that pulled their advertising from the Rush Limbaugh Show. I am not here to defend or support what Rush Limbaugh said,  (he can do that himself), only that he has the right to say whatever he wants. What struck me as appalling was the speed and efficiency in which the left was able to mobilize to bring Rush down. We all know, or should know, the progressives have entire organizations dedicated to listening to conservative voices, waiting for the perfect moment to be offended so that they can snuff out free speech they disagree with.

I must say that I was quite awestruck by the fact that a minority of people, 20% liberal if we go by the latest Gallup survey I could find, could force companies into action despite the fact that 42% of Americans identify themselves as conservatives in that same poll. (Apparently 38% of the people have no idea what they believe in, will not take a stand and they’re called moderates.) With self-righteous indignation I was angered by the fact that companies like Carbonite and ProFlowers.com would acquiesce so quickly to such a small group of people and while I don’t have the purchasing demographics for these companies, I almost have to believe that there are more people purchasing their products and services on the recommendation from a Beck or a Limbaugh or a Levine than the left could ever muster up the support for. (Full disclosure: I tried Carbonite based on one of these recommendations – it didn’t work for me – and I give my wife a box of Sheri’s Berries, a subsidiary of Provide Service which owns ProFlowers, every year, again based on one of these recommendations.)

The original intent of this posting was to point out the fact that these 26 or 27 companies had made a choice. In the name of social Marxism, they would cave to this small but highly vocal group despite the fact that people that label themselves as conservatives are the actual majority of the population. I intended to point out the fact that they could get away with this because we, as conservatives wouldn’t do a damned thing about it. This was going to be a rallying call to all conservatives that believe in the free markets and our freedom of speech to get out there and vote with your purchasing power and call these companies up and let them know that you will not do business with a company that has zero regard for you and what you believe in. All I needed was a few days to think about the best way to articulate how we can make a real difference by supporting other businesses that care about all of their customers. We would take on the defense of our causes by employing the lefts’ tactics. Saul Alinsky would not be remembered if his tactics did not work. And then the wheels started falling off in my thinking….

I believe in capitalism. Not the crony-capitalism of the General Electric / General Motors variety, but true free market capitalism. And while I stand firm on what I’ve previously mentioned, I can’t say that I’m for using the progressive tactic of calling for boycotts every time I disagree with someone. (Note: To be fair, I just found out that some conservatives are also looking at the tactic in the research of this article.) I’m not even sure how effective boycotts are, when they’re actually implemented. Off of the top of my head I do not recall hearing of a boycott that was truly effective in hurting a business’s bottom line. But then again, it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of what a boycott can actually do when any group of fifty people can call, claim they were offended, threaten a boycott and meet their goal of suppressing freedom of speech in the name of tolerance. (Don’t spend too much time thinking about that last sentence; it’s mind numbing when you do.)

However I do believe in personal responsibility when it comes to making purchasing choices but even this has significant downside. I pride myself for the fact that I refuse to pay money to HBO because of what Bill Maher spews out about people – specifically conservative women and people of faith. He has the right to be on cable and say whatever he wants and I have the right not to support the company that supports him. It is hard for me to understand why anyone that calls themselves conservative would pay HBO for their services so that HBO can pay Bill Maher for his services so that Bill Maher can donate one million dollars to a progressive super-PAC. This is an easy case for me to make because there are several choices out there for watching movies and while I do have some movie channels, I rarely watch movies anyway.

What about products this author really likes? I’ll apply the same logic to ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s has some of the best flavors put in pints and they’re everywhere and easy to get. But according to an ABC News story, founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are giving money to the Resource Movement Group, a group designed to fund this year’s Occupy Wall Street protests. Their website openly supports everything I’m against. Using the same argument as delivered in the previous paragraph, every time I purchase a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, I’m paying Ben and Jerry to support and advertise for the OWS movement. So much for “Pistachio Pistachio” and “Everything But The…”. The argument for voting with your wallet remains as sound as ever but the practical application of that argument can be very difficult when the purchasers’ choice is to accept a product of lesser quality. I apologize in advance to the fans of Haagen-Dazs. I made the switch but they’re really not the same.

I’ve “war gamed” these issues with several different people over the past couple of weeks and the conversations ranged from, “whatever we do doesn’t make a difference anyway” to “well, if you’re going to stop buying Ben and Jerry’s, you should stop buying Unilever products as well since they own them”. If this is the case, I’ll need more time to get rid of my Lipton iced tea. I really don’t know what the “answer” is. My next jeans purchase will not be Levi’s. My next pint of ice cream will not be Ben and Jerry’s. My wife will get something that’s not Sheri’s Berries next Valentines Day. But is it even possible to stop doing business with every single company that pulled their advertising from the Rush Limbaugh show to make the point that we are the majority and respect the freedom of ideas – even if we don’t always agree with those ideas?

20% of the population has figured out a way to set the agenda for the entire country. They set the tone and decide what the rest of the country is allowed to say and how they are to say it. I read somewhere that Vladimir Lenin was able kick off the Russian Revolution with 10% of the population. We might want to figure this one out.

Authors Note: In my research for this posting I read a little about the history of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. It is one of the greatest capitalism stories I have ever read all the way to the point that they even won the title of U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year, awarded by President Regan. And yet they support the anti-capitalist movement. Figure that one out.

Spontaneous Order And The Tea Party Movement

By Jerry McDaniel

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that 71% of Republicans are either active in or support the Tea Party movement. These numbers bode well for the Republican Party and the Nation. If the movement does not lose its strength over the next two years, the 2012 elections could see a revival of Constitutional government and our founding principles. However, even though the Republican Party is the chief benefactor of the Tea Party movement, its leadership does not share in the enthusiasm shown by its rank and file membership.

The number one responsibility of political party leadership — both parties— is to expand its power base and retain its incumbent members in their jobs.  The Tea Party therefore, is viewed by the Republican Party establishment as a threat to its power. The movement is not yet fully understood by the governing class or by the Tea Party participants themselves.

The Tea Parties are the visible and vocal manifestations of a much larger patriot movement that has taken root since the election of Obama’s progressive Democrat government in 2008. The patriot movement is spontaneous and stems from a variety of individual motives making it virtually impossible to predict or control. The indications are that the Tea Parties are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Perhaps the best explanation of the patriot movement is the concept of “spontaneous order” used by economists to explain free market capitalism and naturalists to explain the workings of nature. Spontaneous order, as applied to human institutions, is described by Adam Ferguson as “the products of human actions but not human design”. It applies to the unplanned results of the decisions and actions of millions of human beings, each acting independently in their own self interest. The concept grew out of the Scottish Enlightenment and was developed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by Adam Smith, Carl Menger, Friedrich Hayek and others to explain the workings of free markets.

Since each individual makes decisions and takes independent actions in his or her own self interest, the result usually culminates in what is in the best interest of the society as a whole. That is, until an outside force attempts to control or manage it. That basically, is where the patriot movement is today. Like any other mass movement, its very nature makes those in power uncomfortable. ; Hence, the efforts to organize it into a manageable force. Enterprising entrepreneurs for a variety of reasons, some for the recognition, others seeing the potential for fame and fortune, still others from a genuine sense of patriotism seek to organize the tea parties into a national organization with themselves as the leaders.

Human nature being what it is; that will eventually happen. The unknown is just what kind of organization it will be. Will it emerge as an activist group, advocating for a constitutional government or will it become another political party? After the November elections we should have a clearer picture of the future of the patriot movement and its many parts, including the tea parties. Considering the propaganda aspects of the mass media it is difficult to know exactly how the movement is affecting the political makeup of America. However, the results in special elections and primaries over the past year clearly show that politics is changing.

There is a real possibility that President Obama and the progressive Democrats have pushed too far, too fast and just as the excesses of President John Adams, during the last four years of the eighteenth century destroyed the Federalist Party, the excesses of the Obama Administration may destroy the Democrat Party over the next two election cycles.  If that happens, a change similar to the one that took place between 1800 and 1830 could occur over the next twenty or thirty years. It is possible that by 2020 or 2024 the Democrat Party could be defunct leaving the Republican Party as the new minority party with the inheritors of the patriot movement organized into a new majority party.

Pete Stark: Federal Government Can Do Anything It Wants

A well informed citizen confronts Congressman Pete Stark of California on health care, the Constitution, and the Enumerated Powers doctrine. Stark admitted what is commonly known, the prevailing belief among members of Congress is that Congress can do whatever it wants.

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Will Tea Party Movement Change America?

Tea Party wins in November may not result in major changes in government policy.

The Tea Party movement that grew out of the rant by CNBC’s Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in February, 2009 was at first, assumed to be referenced to the historical Boston Tea Party of 1773.  Later someone notice that the word “tea” could be an acronym for the slogan “Taxed Enough Already”, and this catchphrase was quickly adopted by many local tea parties as their “official” slogan, particularly among those intent on consolidating the tea parties into a cohesive political movement and voting block.

The rallying cry of “Taxed Enough Already” is better suited to the purpose of today’s tea parties than is the reference to the Boston Tea Party. Contrary to popular belief, the Boston Tea Party was not about taxes, per se, but about the overreaching authority of the British Parliament. Ironically the Boston Tea Party was also an unintended consequence of the bailout of a major British company by Parliament.

The British Parliament had been forced to repeal the unpopular Stamp Act because of opposition from the colonists against the imposition of internal taxes without colonial representation in Parliament. Still in desperate need of additional taxes from the colonies to support its expansionist endeavors, Parliament passed the Townshend Act, placing a duty on paint, paper, glass, lead and tea imported by the Colonies. This was an external tax and presumably should have been acceptable with the Colonies.  This Act was repealed in 1770 due to complaints from English manufacturers about declining sales, keeping only the tax on tea as a “face-saving” measure.

Exercising typical American ingenuity and independence, the Colonists simply started drinking tea purchased from other sources and smuggled into the Colonies. This, combined with other forces pushed the British East India Company to the verge of Bankruptcy. To avoid bankruptcy, the company appealed to the Crown for financial help and in response Parliament passed the Tea Act. One of the purposes of the Tea Act, in addition to raising tax revenue, was to reestablish the colonial market for English tea by undercutting the price of smuggled tea being sold by local merchants.

As a result of the Tea Act, at the time of the Boston Tea Party, local residents would have been able to buy the taxed tea from the British East India Company cheaper than they could buy the untaxed tea then being sold by local merchants. This fact discounts the notion that the Boston Tea Party was just about taxes. The real motivation for the Tea Party seems to have been a rebellion against Parliament’s attempt to control Colonist’s behavior through taxation. More than anything else it was a protest against overreaching laws of a central government usurping the prerogatives of the colonies and local legislative bodies.

That is where the connection between the Boston Tea Party and today’s tea parties breaks down. The tea party movement today is mostly about government’s over spending and the resulting tax burden it places on taxpayers and their descendants. That is also why any Republican gains led by tea party supported candidates is not necessarily going to result in a smaller government or a major change in the way government does business.

A large number of tea party members, perhaps even a majority, self-describe themselves as “fiscal conservatives”. Many are also followers of the libertarian philosophy, describing themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”. Those holding this position are better described as “progressive conservatives”. For those new to the term, “progressive conservative” refers to those who call for a smaller government and lower taxes while at the same time believing government should provide the answers to many, if not all, of our social and economic problems.

Many conservatives call on the federal government to make reforms in education, health care, energy policy, and similar programs without ever questioning the government’s involvement in these issues to begin with. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot be in favor of large government bureaucracies controlling programs like education, energy, health care, food safety, and  transportation, while providing large grants to states, communities and individuals for energy conservation, home buying, alternative fuel sources, college education, local infrastructure, and local services, and at the same time, expect smaller government and lower taxes.

It is this dichotomy of expectations that exists among large numbers of conservatives and members of the tea party movement that threatens to modify the movement’s influence over future government policies. The one ray of hope for the future is the fact that growing numbers of tea party members have discovered a new interest in the Constitution and our founding principles. This needs to be encouraged and supported at ever opportunity.

I am an avid supporter of the tea party movement and attend rallies whenever I can—I prefer to call them “patriot rallies”.  I believe the tea party movement to be the most important political movement in my lifetime (75 yrs. and counting). My hope is that as knowledge and support for the Constitution and our founding principles continues to grow among the tea parties the effect can eventually be instrumental in returning  America back to the Constitutional Republic it was intended to be.

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Conservatives Line Up to Join Progressive Lynch Mob

Administration continues its attacks on BP, while stalling on cleanup operations.

It is frightening to see how many conservatives have climbed aboard the progressive bandwagon to “bash BP”.  At this point, no one knows the amount of culpability British Petroleum has in the Gulf oil spill. That will only be known after future investigations whose results will be tried in court.  Propaganda from Congress, White House and the media, far exceeds the facts available to the American people. However, we do know that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men. When we cease to be a nation of laws, we also cease to be a nation of liberty.

Following the strategy of Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste”, the Obama Administration has seized on the Gulf catastrophe as an opportunity to ramp up its attacks on capitalism and increase its power over the American people. The rhetoric of Obama since the spill has been the rhetoric of a dictator, not a President. He has brazenly defied the restraints placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution and appointed himself as the judge, jury and executioner of British Petroleum.

America has not witnessed a political climate like today’s anti-big-business one, since the turn of the Twentieth Century, when progressive politicians attempted to ride the populist tide against the “Robber Barons” of industry into elective office.  For many, that strategy proved successful, however, it ultimately culminated in the market crash of ’29 and Great Depression of the thirties.

This week Obama arrogantly announced he had ordered BP to place 20 billion dollars in an escrow account to cover the cost of mitigating the damage caused by the Gulf oil spill.  When a reporter asked a member of Congress whether there was legal authority for the demand, she answered, in effect, “if not we will pass a law”.  In addition, Pelosi is pressing for legislation to remove the liability cap on oil companies.  Under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act currently in place, oil companies are obligated to pay all cleanup costs, but liability for damage to local economies, natural resources and livelihoods is capped at $75 million.

The threat of retroactive laws and laws targeting a particular party violate a number of constitution prohibitions.  Article 1.9.3 forbids the passing of ex post fact law or bills of attainder. Amendment 7 guarantees the right to a trial by jury, and Amendment 14.1 forbids the taking of private property without due process of law.

While Obama has been bullying BP and its executives for political points, his administration seems to be doing everything in its power to obstruct clean up efforts.  The latest example occurred on Thursday when the Coast Guard pulled all the tankers used in skimming oil from the water, off the job for inspection. Believe it or not, the inspection was to make sure the tankers met specifications for the number of life preservers on board.  If there were any doubt, it would have made more sense for the Coast Guard to load up a boat with life preservers and distribute them to the tankers, where necessary.

Obama’s obvious attempt to use the Gulf spill disaster for political advantage could prove to be his biggest mistake to date.  In trying to deny Gulf Coast governors any credit in controlling the damage caused by the spill, he is alienating the American people and increasing the political stature of his number one political threat, Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana. His administration has stalled on Jindal’s request for permission to build barrier islands, for request for more booms to contain the oil, and now the incident with the Coast Guard.

Obama’s actions place Jindal in the position of “underdog” in a David and Goliath type of struggle. The American People love underdogs. The more Obama resists the efforts of Jindal the less popular he becomes and the more Americans who are rooting for Jindal. Every event of history has its own time. Now is the time for action, not finger pointing and foot dragging.

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Will Third Parties Spoil the 2010 and 2012 Elections For Republicans?

“Those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.” ~Santayana

An increasing number of conservatives and misguided patriots are considering supporting a third party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.  The traditional home of conservatives, the Republican Party, has been courting “moderates” for years, ignoring its conservative base. The Republican establishment is convinced that moderates are the key to winning elections because they believe only moderates can attract the independent voters necessary to win any election. Experience has shown this to be an erroneous assumption on the part of Republicans. On a level playing field moderates lose every time. Voters tend to gravitate to candidates with a clear set of values and the ability to articulate them.

As long as the main stream media keep promoting the moderate myth and party leaders keep believing it, the Republican Party will continue promoting moderates. Party leaders, like their counterparts in private business are always trying to increase “market share”. They do this by protecting the incumbents already in office and attempting to add to their share by gaining seats currently held by the opposition party. Both parties practice this tactic.  Democrats running in Republican districts try to sound conservative and Republicans running in Democrat districts try to sound progressive. The problem is that too many candidates on the Republican side actually are progressive Republicans.

Conservatives have become fed up with this game that ends up giving them a choice in the general election between a progressive Republican and a progressive Democrat. That is one reason why so many are considering a Third Party. Third parties have played an important role in American political history, but they do not win elections. That is not because they do not have good ideas; it is because of the “winner take all” system set up by the Founders. Whether it requires a majority to win or a plurality, the end result is the same. One of the two major parties win and third parties only become spoilers for the one most closely aligned with its own position.

The first candidate to run for President on a third party ticket was William Wirt in 1832, running on the Antimasonic ticket.  He got a whopping 7 electoral votes out of the 286 cast. John Floyd, running as an independent (no party) in the same election got 11 votes by comparison. The two major party candidates at the time, Democrat Andrew Jackson and National Republican Henry Clay, got 219 and 49 electoral votes respectively. The most successful third party candidates in Presidential elections were Theodore Roosevelt running on the Progressive Party ticket in 1912, Strom Thurmond running on the States Rights Democratic ticket in 1948, and George Wallace running on the American Independent ticket in 1968. State and local politics are different than Presidential politics because of the Electoral College, but the results are the same.

Third parties have succeeded in winning a smattering of elective offices at the state and local level out of the tens of thousands there are nationwide. Although third parties have had limited success in electing state and local candidates, those successes have always proven temporary, lasting only until the “Peter Principle” kicks in and they reach their level of incompetence. To understand the dynamics of third party influence, we have only to look at two modern examples of groups that have exercised a substantial influence over American politics.

Although the tea party movement is not a political party, no one can deny that they are having a tremendous influence on the political establishment in America today. They give us one of the models of the dynamics at work when third parties are effective in molding public opinion to their cause. The other model comes from the opposite end of the political spectrum, the Democratic Socialists of America.  What do these two groups have in common? Both have a remarkable influence in American politics, yet neither nominate candidates of their own. Instead they wield their influence by backing like-minded candidates in one of the two major parties; the tea parties in the Republican Party and the socialists in the Democrat Party.

To understand how effective this tactic is, consider the testimony of the Democratic Socialist of America itself as expressed in the Q & A section of their website.

Q. Aren’t you a party that’s in competition with the Democratic Party for votes and support?

A. No, we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. (emphasis added)

The process and structure of American elections seriously hurts third party efforts. Winner-take-all elections instead of proportional representation, rigorous party qualification requirements that vary from state to state, a presidential instead of a parliamentary system, and the two-party monopoly on political power have doomed third party efforts. We hope that at some point in the future, in coalition with our allies, an alternative national party will be viable. For now, we will continue to support progressives who have a real chance at winning elections, which usually means left-wing Democrats.”

Using this tactic, progressives (American socialists) have succeeded in taking over the Democrat Party and now control the White House and both branches of Congress.  Conservatives do not need to reinvent the wheel, they simply need to follow the example of the tea parties and the socialists. In the end, as the socialists have discovered, third party candidacies always prove counter productive to their own goals. It is difficult to argue with the lessons of history.  The lesson is there and well stated by the DSA. We can only hope that conservatives learn it before it is too late.

For a discussion of the DSA’s role in giving us Barack Obama, see our post from a year ago, “Obama’s Four Year Plan

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Constitution Slogans Are Not Enough!

Since its inception in 2007, Illinois Conservative has been dedicated to promoting the Constitution and returning it to its rightful place as the supreme law for our government.  At the time, the Constitution was seldom mentioned in political speeches or the media, except in passing.  Since then, an awareness of the Constitution has become widespread, especially among conservatives.

Republicans running for elective office in 2010 routinely make references to the Constitution in their stump speeches.  Protesters at tea parties and town hall meetings express demands for a return to the Constitution.  These demands are usually expressed as slogans: “smaller government”, “lower taxes”, “strong national defense”, etc.  Neither protesters nor candidates define what these slogans mean.

The Tenth Amendment limits the role of the federal government to the legislative and taxing powers delegated to it by the Constitution.  The bulk of these powers are found in Article I, Section 8.  Clause one specifies the purposes for which Congress is permitted to levy taxes.  Clause 19 specifies the types of laws Congress is authorized to pass.

Clause 1: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and  Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States;”

Clause 19: “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Following is an exhaustive list of all the powers and responsibilities delegated to Congress by the Constitution, including those found in Article I, Section 8 and “all other powers vested by this Constitution”.

Constitutional Responsibilities of Congress

1. Determine manner of conducting census.  Art. 1, Sec. 2, Cl. 4.

2. Issue bills of impeachment.  Art. I, Sec. 2, Cl. 9.  (House of Representatives)

3. Conduct impeachment trials. Art. I, Sec. 3, Cl. 8. (Senate)

4. Make laws concerning elections of members of Congress. Art. I, Sec. 4, Cl.  2.

5. Determine annual date on which Congress shall convene. Art. I, Sec. 4, Cl. 3.

6. Judge elections, returns and qualifications of members of each house.  Art. I, Sec.5, Cl. 1.

7. Determine rules of proceedings, punish misbehavior and expel members. Art. I, Sec. 5, Cl. 3.

8. Keep and publish journal of proceedings. Art. I, Sec. 5, Cl. 4 and 5.

9. Determine compensation of members.  Art. I, Sec. 6, Cl. 1.

10. House of Representatives originate all revenue bills. Art. I, Sec. 7, Cl. 1.

11. Lay and collect taxes, duties imposts and excises. Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 1.

  • To pay debts,
  • To provide for the common defense,
  • To provide for the general welfare.

12. Borrow money. Article I, Section 8, Clause 3.

13. Make necessary and proper laws for executing its delegated powers. Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 1 -19.

For the General Welfare:

  • Regulate international and interstate commerce. Clause 4.
  • Rules of naturalization. Clause 5.
  • Rules of bankruptcy. Clause 5.
  • Coin money and regulate value.  Clause 6.
  • Fix standard of weights and measures. Clause 6.
  • Provide for punishment for counterfeiting U.S. securities and money . Clause 7.
  • Establish Post roads and Post Offices. Clause 8.
  • Issue patents and copyrights.  Clause 9.
  • Constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.  Clause 10.
  • Administer government of District of Columbia. Clause 18.
  • Purchase land for erection of necessary government buildings.  Clause 18.

For the Common Defense:

  • Define and punish piracy and felonies committed on the high seas.  Clause 11.
  • Define and punish offenses against the laws of nations.  Clause 11.
  • Declare war. Clause 12.
  • Make rules concerning captures on land or sea.  Clause 12.
  • Raise and support armies.  Clause 13.
  • Bi-annual appropriation of military and defense funding. Clause 13.
  • Maintain Navy.  Clause 14.
  • Make rules for governing and regulating land and naval forces.  Clause 15.
  • Provide for the calling out, organizing, arming, and disciplining of the Militia. Cl. 16

14.  Determine date for choosing presidential electors and the date of their voting.  Art. II, Sec.1, Cl. 16.
15.  Delegate appointment authority for non-constitutional offices to President, courts, or department heads.  Art. 2, Sec. 2, Cl. 4.

16.  Establish punishment for treason.  Art. 3, Sec. 3, Cl. 3.

17.  Determine how acts, records and proceedings of states are to be proved and  their effects. Art. IV, Sec. 1, Cl. 2.

18.  Admit new states into Union.  Art. IV, Sec. 3, Cl. 1.

19.  Dispose of and make rules for territories or other property of U.S.  Art. IV, Sec. 3, Cl. 4.

20.  Guarantee a Republican form of government to every state.  Art. IV, Sec. 4, Cl. 1.

21.  Protect states against  invasion.  Art. IV, Sec. 4, Cl. 2.

22.  Protect states against domestic violence, when requested to do so.  Art. IV, Sec. 4, Cl. 2.

23.  Propose Amendments to Constitution.  Art. V.

24.  Support the Constitution of the United States.  Art. VI, Cl. 5.

Nowhere in this list will you find any reference to health care, energy, education, insurance, banking, or any of the myriad issues the federal government has claimed power over during the twentieth century.  The slogan, “smaller government” means a government big enough to carry out its delegated responsibilities but no bigger.  “Lower taxes” means taxes necessary to adequately fund the delegated functions of government but not one dollar more.

The Enemy Within

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

On Monday, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana became the latest Democrat member of Congress to announce they would not seek reelection. Signs of a major pick-up in Republican seats in both the House and Senate continue to multiply.  As things now stand, 2010 could bring a Republican landslide in November and could easily carry over into 2012.  That would be a good start in correcting some of the problems we are currently facing.

If that is the only change however, we have only “kicked the can” down the road, we have not really solved our problems.  As Marcus Cicero points out in the quote above, we can survive our fools, and we have plenty of those.  We can survive the ambitious, and Washington is populated with those. But unless we recognize the real enemy, in the end, we are heading for defeat and the loss of our liberty.

The enemy is not a political party; it is an ideology.  That ideology is progressivism, the American version of socialism.  This cancer on our body politic is not limited to the Democrat Party alone.  It permeates the Republican Party as well. To a certain degree, we can find symptoms of its Machiavellian influence among the conservative movement as well.  Until we face up to that fact, any victory that we eke out in the short term will prove to be illusory and worthless in the long term.

Those who believe me to be a fanatic on the Constitution do not yet understand the political philosophy I am advocating.  I am a fanatic for small “r” republicanism, and for a good reason. Republicanism is the only system of government that has ever been effective in preserving the liberty of its citizens in the four or five thousand year written history of humankind. Republicanism is the newest, most successful and the most fragile of all the different forms of government man has experimented with over time.  Its major competitor for the past hundred and fifty years has been European socialism and its American counterpart, progressivism.

What makes republicanism unique among the governments of the world is its championing of the rule of law and respect for the individuality and personal liberty of its citizens.  What makes America unique among republican nations is its written Constitution.  England, for example, which has been celebrated for centuries for the liberty enjoyed by its people, does not have a written Constitution in the same sense America Does. The absence of a stable written Constitution is one of the factors that have made the United Kingdom susceptible to the rise of socialism.

The English Constitution has long been the envy of American politicians who seek maximum power over the lives of the people. It is looked to as the model of a “living Constitution” they seek to project onto our own Constitution. Laws passed by Parliament, decisions of the courts, and the prerogatives of the Monarch make up the Constitution of the United Kingdom.  It can be changed on any given day by an act of Parliament or a decision by one of its “High Courts”. The American Constitution can only be changed through the Amendment process prescribed in its Article V.

It is our Constitution alone that protects American republicanism and therefore is the only protection for our liberties and against government tyranny. The differences between Progressive Democrats, Progressive Republicans and progressive-conservatives are found only in the strategies advocated to promote progressive policies.  Perhaps the most dangerous of these are the progressive-conservatives because “he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments”.


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How Strong is the Conservative Influence in Illinois?

The Nomination of Mark Kirk as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate creates some serious problems for Illinois conservative patriots.  Should he win in November it will send a message that the Republican Party need not worry about the patriot uprising that has been taking place across the state for the past year.  However, Kirk cannot win the general election without the vote of conservatives who will find it difficult to cast their vote for a pro-abortion, liberal candidate that voted for both TARP and Cap and Trade legislation, betraying both his Party and his constituents.

Another difficulty facing Kirk in November is indicated by the breakdown of primary votes for the Senate seat in February.  Democratic primary voters for the Senate seat outnumbered Republican voters by over 150,000. The Democrat machine turned out 901,000 voters while only 740,000 Republicans showed up at the polls.

Conservatives have three choices facing them in November. They can simply stay home, in which case we are likely to loose some of the gains we would otherwise make in the Congressional delegation. They can vote but leave the Senate spot blank, insuring another Democratic Senator representing Illinois.  On the other hand, they can vote for Kirk believing that any Republican would be more conservative than the Democrat would. If they take the third choice and Kirk wins, the tea party and patriot movements will lose their credibility for the 2012 elections.  The same thing happens if they vote for Kirk and Giannoulias wins anyway.  Either way the effectiveness of the conservatives in Illinois politics is diminished.

If Illinois conservatives are to have any impact on the 2012 elections they must find some way of delivering a visible message in 2010 that cannot be denied by either the media or the Republican Party establishment.  Patriot protests across the country have shown their effectiveness in influencing legislative policy and the outcomes of special elections.  2010 and 2012 well be the first tests they have faced in general elections.

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Joe Walsh’s Six Point Pledge

Press Release – Lake Zurich, IL – January 29, 2010

Most of us are sick of politicians — both Republicans and Democrats — who once elected to office have a distressing tendency to increase the size of government, erode our freedoms, and stay in office way too long. They forget who they are and where they came from.

I want to stand for something different. I will lead by example and act as a Citizen Legislator – the type of person our Founding Fathers saw as the main avenue to protect our freedoms, the very freedoms that are threatened daily by politicians who’ve become a special class unto themselves.

I make the following six-point pledge to the voters of the Illinois 8th District. As your congressman:

1. I will not serve more than 3 terms in the House (6 years), if so privileged.

2. I will not receive any health plans or retirement benefits that only congressmen get and that aren’t available to all Americans.

3. I will not vote for any legislation which increases the size of government or isn’t supported by the Constitution.

4. I will never add an earmark to any bill.

5. I will always speak my mind and tell my constituents the truth.

6. I will always be accessible to my constituents and hold town halls on a regular basis, in good times or bad

We need to get Americans to feel good about their government again. Vote for me on Feb 2nd.

Joe Walsh