Tag Archives: republicans

The Enemy Within

The next two elections are going to be critical to the survival of America, as we know it, politically, economically and culturally. Domestic enemies threaten America, as founded and represented in its founding documents, as never before. That threat is focused in the Democrat Party that now controls the White House and both Houses of Congress. For generations the Executive and Legislative Branches of government, with the aid of the Judicial Branch at critical junctures of change, have colluded to shift the day-to-day administration of government to unelected and unaccountable bureaucracies.

This departure from the Founders’ concept of government, based on the sovereignty of the people and accountable to them, has placed us on the road to despotism. With the institutions of government gradually shifted to the control of unelected progressives throughout the national bureaucracy, ordinary citizens have less say in the domestic policies of their government.

Our domestic enemies are not exclusive to either of the two major political parties. Both the Republican Party and the Democrat Party are infiltrated with progressive statists whose primary goal is to control the destiny of America. Both parties depend on the active support of voters in order to maintain their power. Historically, voters have supported those whose election seems most likely to benefit them personally rather than the country as a whole. Since most voters only pay attention to politics during the few months leading up to elections, it is easy for candidates to make promises in broad general terms knowing they will be unable to fulfill those promises after election. The promises, which are soon forgotten, become more important than their fulfillment, to both the voter and the official elected.

While both parties are complicit in America’s possible collapse, it is the Democrats and their progressive voter base that bears the primary responsibility for our present political crisis. In order to prevent the complete collapse of our way of life, it is necessary for constitution loyalists to take back control of their government. The first step has to be control of one of the two major parties. Since the Republican Party is less influenced by progressivism than the Democrat Party, it is the logical one to pursue. Progressivism in the Republican Party exists mostly in the professional political class that we most often refer to as the Party Establishment. The Party base is made up mostly of conservatives, but it is the establishment that selects the candidates.

The control exercised by the Party over the primary process assures that, more often than not, the candidates whose name appears on the ballot is the establishment candidate and not the base’s candidate. In the general election voters choose between voting for a less than desirable candidate, not voting, voting for the opposition candidate or voting for a third party candidate. The despotic nature of progressivism has become so apparent to the average conservative voter during the Obama administration they are no longer willing to tolerate “business as usual” from their elected representatives. The coming elections will either be the turning point in American politics or the end of (small “r”) republicanism. The determining factor will be the conservative vote.

While all Constitution loyalists are conservatives, not all conservatives are Constitution loyalists. However, it is my belief that all conservatives have an instinctive affinity to constitution principles once they understand them. We have to build on that inclination over the next few weeks to make sure that as many conservatives as possible are expressing a loyalty to the Constitution and not a loyalty to the Party when they go to the polls. As the Roman Statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero pointed out centuries ago,

“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”.

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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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Unintended Gift From a Democrat Patriot

I was looking at my blog stats today and noticed that several visitors came from a particular site. I clicked on the site and was directed to what seemed to be an anti-tea party website called KnoxViews. One of their discussion subjects was the question, “Are the Tea Baggers domestic terrorists?”

Since that is a common theme today in the media, I thought I would check out some of the discussion. Half way through the comments I ran into a post by an “Eric Pearson for Congress”. The title of his comment was “I Can Tell You the Tea Party are not Progressives”.  After reading the first couple of sentences I realized he had copied verbatim my post “Progressivism: Philosophy of Evil” in total, and pasted it in the comments section on “Knox Views”.

Now my curiosity is really aroused.  At the end of the post there was a link to the Democratic Reform Party .  Naturally, I followed the link. If you like surprises, I suggest you do the same.  Anyway, I found this video on the DRP site, and turn about is fair play, so, I plagiarized it.  It’s a great video and sure to encourage  Constitution loving patriots.  I encourage you spend the three minutes required to watch it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “YouTube- America Rising An Open Lette…“, posted with vodpod
Our thanks to Eric Pearson

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Conservatism Alone is Not Enough

Most progressive pundits consider last week’s seven-hour summit on health care a waste of time.  Conservatives were generally pleased with the performance of the participating Republicans. Everyone stayed true to character as expected.  I watched the entire session and the only surprise for me was how prepared the Republicans were. A year of tea party protests and town hall meetings has at least taught the Republicans in Congress the language of conservatives and they use it well.  However, in listening to the discussion it became apparent that being merely conservative is not enough to get the country back on track.

As expected, the objections of the Republicans were mostly political.  Their primary objections were either about the process used to write the health care bills, or the astronomical cost of the Democratic proposals. These are important, but even if all the Republican proposals were accepted by the Democrats, the eventual transition from a lawfully constituted government to a progressive (American socialist) government would only be slowed, not stopped or reversed.

No serious objections were raised by any of the Republicans to a government attempt to deal with the problems of health care at the federal level. It is obvious, to any thinking individual, that we cannot afford the health care bill written by the Democrats. What no one is addressing is that we can no longer afford the constitution illiteracy that is rampant among our elected officials and the general public.  Therein lays our main problem, not only with health care, but also with the economy in general.

The only constitutional question raised during the seven and a half hour discussion concerned the mandate for individual citizens to buy health insurance.  No Democrat or Republican questioned the constitutionality of the federal government’s involvement in health care. The difference between Democrat proposals and Republican proposals exist only in the degree of government control not whether or not health care is a valid function of the federal government to begin with.

Of all the proposals made by the Republicans, only one can claim any Constitution support. That is the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines.  The primary purpose of the commerce clause is to insure free trade between the states. If health insurance were considered to be a product and not a service, then the commerce clause would apply under Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.  Other than that, all the proposals proposed by either party would be covered under the Tenth Amendment and would be among those powers reserved to the states and to the people.

Unless a way can be devised to motivate public officials to honor their oath of office to support and defend the Constitution there is no prospect for reversing our plunge toward progressivism (American socialism). The Illinois Conservative website hosts a number of tools for improving one’s knowledge and understanding of our founding principles and the founding documents. Our blog “The Constitution Sentinel” is wholly devoted to an on-line tutorial on the Constitution. We also have a version on the main website and are currently in the process of expanding our reference edition of the Constitution. Unfortunately, these continue to be the least visited sections of our site.

It is important to make support for the Constitution a major issue in the 2010 and 2012 elections if we are to have any chance of stopping Obama’s progressive policies and starting to return to the Constitutional Republic left us by the Founders. No true conservative should vote for any candidate who does not exhibit an understanding of his or her proper role under the Constitution.


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A Call for Truth in Political Labeling

Inspiration for this post comes from Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain and Rush Limbaugh, talk show host.  Back in March of 2009, during an interview on “Larry King Live” in response to a question, Meghan McCain proudly announced that she was a “progressive Republican”.  Today a caller to Rush’s show wanted to know why he insisted on using the word liberal instead of progressive.  Rush’s answer was basically because the term liberal in recent years has picked up a negative image while progressive still carries the positive image of being forward looking and modern, and he uses liberal because he likes to tweak Democrats.

I am a fan of labels, particularly in the political arena.  The use of a truthful and accurate label to describe someone’s political philosophy is an efficient way to identify one’s approach to the issues that affect our lives.  However, in modern times, the use of labels has fallen into disfavor and using one leaves one open to the accusation of “name calling”.  In addition to that, a major problem with labels is that adherents to an unpopular political philosophy will attempt to hide their true beliefs by applying a misleading label to themselves.  Conversely, they will adopt a popular label in order to hide their true political philosophy. For example, virtually every Republican politician today, from Mark Kirk to John McCain to John Boehner refer to themselves as “conservative”.

Democrats, who for the most part, support a socialist agenda, insist on calling themselves “progressives”.  The result is that the average voter has a difficult time distinguishing a Republican from a RINO or a liberal Democrat from a socialist.  This confusion of labels is what causes many Americans to throw up their hands and declare “a pox on both your houses”, you’re all the same; which brings us to the question, what is the difference between a socialist, a progressive, a Republican and a conservative?

To understand these differences properly we have to look at the history of the terms.  Socialism, as an organized political philosophy began in the mid-nineteenth century, primarily from the teachings of Karl Marx in Germany. Its stated ideals of social and economic equality, a popular democracy and its opposition to the inequities of some segments of capitalism quickly won favor with many Americans.  However, Americans are different from Europeans so these socialists doctrines had to be Americanized. During the last decades of the nineteenth century, the American version of socialism adopted the label, “progressive”.

Political leaders of that era, which ended in the Great Depression, used many of the same tactics used today by the Democratic Party.  One that stands out is the demonization of capitalism. Leading capitalists were labeled “robber barons” and their financial empires were broken up or destroyed amid the cheers of the general public. Theodore Roosevelt became one of America’s most popular progressive leaders, earning the nickname of “Trust Buster” for his success in breaking up some of the largest capitalists institutions of his day.

The twentieth century dawned with progressivism being the most popular political philosophy in America.  The Presidential Election of 1912 featured four progressives vying for the office, representing four different political parties.  William Howard Taft, the incumbent ran as a progressive Republican, Woodrow Wilson as a progressive Democrat, Eugene Debs ran as a Socialist and Theodore Roosevelt ran on the new Progressive Party ticket.  Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote giving the election to Wilson.

The 1912 election was the beginning of the end for Constitutional government in America.  No matter who won the election the American people would have elected a progressive President. The one thing all four candidates had in common was the advocacy of a progressive income tax designed to facilitate a more equitable redistribution of the nation‘s wealth. A second similarity of the 1912 candidates was the belief in government’s ability to manage and eventually solve all of the country’s problems, if only its institutions were made more “democratic“.  In 1913 two progressive amendments were added to the Constitution, the Sixteenth, establishing a progressive income tax and the Seventeenth, requiring the popular election of Senators.

Socialism in its Americanized version, progressivism, was instrumental in bringing about the Great Depression.  America was slower than Europe in emerging from the Depression because of the twelve plus year reign of the Democrat Saint of Progressives, Franklin Roosevelt. Today, while the progressives make up the base of the Democrat Party, progressivism also exercises a strong influence on the Republican Party.

Progressive Republicans label themselves as “moderates” or sometimes as “fiscal conservatives”. It pains me to point this out, but many of those in the popular tea party movement would be more properly classified as “progressive conservatives”.  If that seems on the surface to be oxymoronic, let me clarify the term. Many self-identified conservatives are perfectly content with unconstitutional spending by the federal government as long as it is limited to things they perceive as being of personal benefit to them.  Education, infrastructure, and health care for example. They are content with unconstitutional taxation as long as it is not too oppressive to them personally. The same can be said of government regulation of businesses.  Unconstitutional regulations are considered Okay by many conservatives as long as they perceive it to be in their personal best interest.

It is difficult to define true conservatism today because there are so few examples to point to. To understand it properly we again have to go back in history to the first conservatives. During the early-post revolutionary period, the conservatives were known as anti-federalists.  After 1891 and the ratification of the Bill of Rights conservatives were popularly known as republicans.  The identifying characteristics were defense of the Constitution, rule of law, intolerance for government corruption, love of liberty and the sanctity of private property. Conservatism prevailed in America until the progressive era.  The last bulwark of conservatism was lost when the Supreme Court was successfully politicized by President Roosevelt in the mid-nineteen-thirties.

Since that time, conservatives have been in the minority, as they are today. A recent Gallop poll is being touted as evidence that conservatives are the largest voting block in America today.  Forty percent of those polled identified themselves as conservative, thirty-six percent as moderate and only twenty percent as liberal.  Before you break out the Champagne, consider the fact that most of those who identified themselves as conservatives were simply expressing their dissatisfaction with the excessive progressive policies of the Obama Administration not an ideologically understood preference for true conservative principles.

No one can rightfully claim the label of “conservative” who tolerates and often encourages the wanton violation of the Constitution by their elected officials whether they considerer themselves as fiscal conservatives, social conservatives or blue dog Democrats. When I hear self-proclaimed conservatives call for bipartisan federal solutions to things like health care, education, alternative energy and so forth, I fear for my country.

Progressivism is the American version of socialism.  Socialism and our Constitution are mutually exclusive. Constitution based conservatism cannot compromise with progressivism. It must defeat it or perish.  The call for bipartisanship is nothing more than a call for surrender, one battle at a time and can only lead to despotism. True conservatives do not want “smaller government”; they want a constitutionally limited government.  They do not want “lower taxes”; they want constitutionally authorized taxation only. They do not want a “less intrusive government”; they want the federal government out of their personal lives, period.

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The Republican Outreach

liberty-bellThere is no shortage of advice to the Republican Party regarding the need to “reach out” to Hispanics, Blacks, women, moderates and younger voters.  Conventional wisdom says that the way to do that is to moderate our position on social issues and offer an equal or better program to solve the problems of healthcare, education, energy and the environment.  However, they do not answer the two primary questions: Why, and How?

At first glance the question of, why? would appear easy.  If the Republican Party is to have any influence over the affairs of state, their candidates have to be elected first.  On the other hand,   who would benefit, and what would that benefit be, if the Republican Party gained office by catering to voters who would otherwise vote for a socialist/democrat candidate?  There would be a definite benefit to the professional Republican politician in advancing his or her career goals.  The Republican Party would benefit by increasing its power in the Federal government. But, what about the rank-and-file Republican and the general welfare of the country?

The rank-and-file Republican would benefit only in that the advance toward tyranny might be slowed to a degree and the payment for irresponsible spending might be postponed for a generation or two, but in general, the average republican voter would profit little.  The general welfare of the nation would suffer greatly.  By moving the Party left in order to attract more moderates, independents, and liberal voters, the only obstacle to the eventual transition from a Constitutional Republic to an Americanized Social Democracy would be removed.

We have faced the threat of federal tyranny throughout our history.  Rarely have we succeeded in hindering its progress for more than a short time.  The three most notable examples were the revolution of 1800, the Reagan revolution of 1980, and the Gingrich revolution of 1994.  In none of these were the principles of the Republican Party altered to attract “moderates” or “liberal voters”.  Instead, the American people were reminded of who we are and what we stand for, and in each case the American people responded.

The voters the Republican Party needs to win over is the uninformed voter, whether they be Hispanic, African American, moderate Democrats or Independents.  Republicans, especially conservatives need to focus in the next eighteen months on educating the American people on the founding principles that made America the most prosperous and free nation on the globe.  Instead of allowing the MSM and the Democrat Party to identify us as the “party of NO” and the “party of the rich”, we need to establish a new image as “the party of the Constitution”.

The first step is to school our Republican leaders and elected representatives in the founding documents.  Too may of them are more concerned about increasing their personal power than in defending the liberty of their constituents.  The Republican penchant to “go along to get along” has to be jettisoned in favor of a firm stand in defense of our founding principles.  All Americans understand the importance of a constitutional government when it is properly explained.

The 2010 race for congressional seats is already shaping up to be a contest between “squishy” Republicans on our side and dedicated socialists on the Democrat side.  We need to start now to identify candidates who understand, promote and defend the founding principles.  A good example of the problems Republicans will face in 2010 is the Florida Senate race.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, “top GOP officials today took the unusual step of inserting themselves into a party primary, picking a moderate U.S. Senate candidate (Gov. Charlie Crist) over a conservative in Florida.”  “…in doing so, the top Republican officials also are aligning themselves with a candidate who has broken with party orthodoxy on environmental and voting rights issues and even appeared with President Obama to support the economic stimulus plan being lambasted by conservatives.”

Running against Crist in the primary will be Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a conservative of Cuban descent.   In many ways the Florida race will be a harbinger of just how serious conservatives are going to be in taking back the Congress from the socialists currently in charge.  The future of America depends on the 2010 primaries every bit as much as on the general election.  It goes without saying that the Republican Party leadership is going to be more concerned with protecting the seats of incumbents that have proven their ineffectiveness than in reforming the party to comply with the principles that have made America great.

Republicans who have shown themselves to place party above country and power above principle need to be challenged and defeated in the primaries.  That will only happen if the grass-roots movement that began with the “tea parties” continues into the 2010 primaries.

Republican Tent Starting to Leak

liberty-bellSenator Arlen Specter announced Tuesday that he was switching his party affiliation to the Democrats.  Predictably, the self-appointed Republican advisors attributed his defection to the growing trend of intolerance among the Republican rank-and-file toward politicians whose views differ from their own.  The Republican Party, we are reminded, is the party of the “big tent”, big enough to accommodate all species of political animals.

Big tents are fine, if you are running a circus.  However, the Republican Party is not a circus; it just looks that way.  Tents are intended to be temporary structures, and are notoriously unstable in the face of a storm.  If republicans (small “R”) are to regain the stature they have enjoyed in providing leadership for the American people over the past four hundred years they are going to need a structure somewhat more stable than a tent.

The Republican Party needs an edifice with a foundation strong enough to withstand any storm, even the “prefect storm” it is facing today.  Historically conservatism has been the foundation of the Republican Party since its founding in 1854.  The fortress of conservatism that protected the liberty of the people for more than a century began to be disassembled, stone by stone, in the Republican Party along with the rise of progressivism during the twentieth century.

Republicanism did not start with the Republican Party.  The words most frequently used by the founders before and after the Revolutionary War in their political discourse were the words, “republican” and “republicanism”.  These words are synonymous with what we mean when we talk about conservatism today—almost.  Republicanism in the Founders generation was based on six principles, not just the three most often used today to describe the “three legs” of conservatism:  small government, low taxes and private property.  In fact, the three legs of the conservative stool are not the most important as understood and practiced by the Founders.

Those principles were:

  1. Faith in God and His divine providence.
  2. Rule of law and zero tolerance for corruption.
  3. Allegiance to the Constitution.
  4. Limited government powers delegated by the people.
  5. Powers to tax limited to those necessary to run government.
  6. Right to private property as the fruits of labor.

Too many conservatives seem to have forgotten the first three principles while focusing totally on the latter.  While virtually all conservatives subscribe to these principles intellectually, few in the political class practice them in their public service.  Unless the Republican Party and its conservative base wishes to follow the Whigs into the dustbin of history, they need to return to the principles that have been shown to work over and over again.

The fact that Arlen Specter decided to rejoin the Democrats in a last ditch effort to salvage his political career is significant only to the extent that it prompts the Republican Party to reexamine its position.  From its inception, politics in America has been divided into two camps.  Those camps were summed up by President Reagan as those who believe government is the answer and those who believe government is the problem.  The departure of Specter is, hopefully, only the first step in the realignment of the two parties.  That realignment would be helped along if others would follow Specters example and align themselves with the party that most reflects their worldview, particularly, Olympia Snow, Susan Collins, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and a few others.

As attractive as the idea of a “big tent” might be, we do not have that luxury at this time in history.  We need to follow the example of Ronald Reagan in attracting Democrats and Independents to our side by converting them to republicanism not by compromising republican principles.  It worked for Jefferson in 1800 and it worked for Reagan in 1980.  It will work for the Republican Party in 2010 and 2012, but only if it restores the first three principles of republicanism to the party and uses those principles, as well as the latter three, to persuade others to join them.