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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

9/12/2008

Tattletale Pranks
and Kindergarten Pursuits

kindergarten.jpg

Most conservatives decry the ‘bread and circuses’ atmosphere of modern politics, principally because the consistent focus on meaningless pursuits takes the citizens’ focus away from the important issues … even crises … that must be considered, and faced, if we are to remain a free society.

Our Founders continually warned that liberty, and the republican form of government that is best suited to ensure it, can only be maintained through an informed citizenry.

Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, are necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties.

Many of us consider the ‘bread and circuses’ nature of modern American society to be most frequently exhibited in our adulation of the Hollywood crowd, professional sports figures, and reality programming, the accumulation of creature comforts, the me-oriented nature of the citizenry, the need to ‘be entertained’, etc. … with an incremental de-emphasis on genuine heroes, the importance of personal character and responsibility, and a sense of civic duty ... which includes being educated about our history, and concerned about our future as a free society.

I completely agree that all of the above trends have increased in intensity over the past fifty years, and that, if they continue to gain momentum, our very lives, liberties and sovereignty as a nation are in grave danger.

A sub-level of this toxic trend has become glaringly apparent over the past few weeks of the election campaign.

Our republic is facing potentially deadly crises the likes of which there is no historical precedent:

  • the specter of Islamic fascism

  • the mass invasion of illegal immigrants across our borders

  • the growing national debt and debasing of our currency

  • the nationalization of an increasing number of businesses and services that were once private enterprise

  • the growth of the entitlement mentality

  • the disintegration of the nuclear family

  • the burdensome tax structure

  • the incremental, open-ended theft of our liberties and prosperity by the hoax known as ‘global warming/environmentalism'

  • the economic and political power of trial lawyers over virtually every aspect of our lives

  • the anti-capitalist crusade that permeates much of American politics/academia/media

  • the purposeful dismantling of the finest healthcare system in the history of mankind, via the incremental imposition of socialist/universal health programs, the over-regulation of the insurance industry, the demonizing of drug companies, and the allowing, even encouraging, of frivolous lawsuits

  • the protection under law of the murder of more than a million unborn children every year

  • corruption, and the unbridled power of special interests, in the highest levels of government

  • a judiciary that has usurped legislative powers and subjectively interprets the Constitution

  • the incremental loss of religious freedom, and the gradual removal of God from the national conscience
... and on and on, ad infinitum ...

One would think that, with one of the (if not the) most crucial presidential elections in the history of our republic approaching in fewer than eight weeks, the crises mentioned above would be foremost on the minds of every American who intends to step into the voting booth on November 4th. And, even more importantly, one would think that the American media (the self-appointed purveyors of information and education) would be hard at work seeking, and reporting, the candidates’ opinions on, and proposed solutions to, all of the above.

Yet what do we predominantly see and hear in all of our media outlets? What are we being subliminally told is of utmost importance in this crucial election?

  • whether one candidate did or did not call another candidate a pig

  • whether one candidate does or does not know how many houses he owns

  • Susan Sarandon’s, Tim Robbins’ or Matt Damon’s expert opinions of the candidates

  • the various sticks-and-stones labels being applied to a candidate by members of the other party

  • which candidate has agreed to appear on Saturday Night Live

  • whether Russia is really visible from Alaska

  • whether Todd Palin’s DUI of twenty-two years ago has any relevance to Sarah’s candidacy
... and on and on, ad infinitum ...

Many of my conservative friends, all of whom are true patriots, have voiced the opinion over the past few days that they are glad Barack Obama and the left are ‘getting a taste of their own medicine’ via the production of the new RNC ad that plays off of Obama’s lipstick/pig gaffe, and they are pleased with all of the attention his gaffe, whether innocent or purposeful, is receiving.

I could not possibly disagree more vehemently.

By producing such an ad, and even debating Obama’s intent – indeed, by even giving credence to this story – conservatives are accomplishing three fatal outcomes:

(1) they are legitimizing the bread and circus atmosphere in this election process

(2) they are stealing a worthless page out of the left’s playbook

(3) they are spending major campaign funds on nonsense advertising that would be better spent educating the public about issues of critical importance to our republic

On my list of 'Things I Want the Voting Public to Know about Barack Obama That the Media Aren't Reporting', there are 8,563 items ahead of the fact that he may (or may not) have referred to his opponent as a pig.

I think the McCain campaign, and the RNC, should be telling us about those 8,563 things in their campaign ads, and leave the lipstick remark to those who believe it has some importance in the grand scheme of things. The fact that they have wasted the donations of loyal Republicans on such nonsense is infuriating to me.

The media, academia, and the political left profit from such abject stupidity. It allows them to fill the airwaves with such drivel, and to scrupulously avoid discussion of Barack Obama’s dark, longstanding connections to anti-American zealots and his agenda to impose his Marxist/black separatist ideology on a populace that has been programmed to be preoccupied with ‘looking the other way’.

Half of the American electorate is ready to put such a man in the White House. And I believe that ninety percent of that group possesses no real knowledge of his infamous background or his ultra-left-leaning agenda.

Why have so many of our countrymen fallen into such an ignorant stupor? Because, for fifty years, we have allowed the leftists in the media, our institutions of ‘higher education’, and Hollywood to incrementally turn our focus away from the enemy within ... and toward tattletale pranks and kindergarten pursuits.

I don't give a rat's patoot what derogatory label one candidate may affix to another. What I do care about is whether that candidate intends to dismantle the noble foundations upon which my country was built.

And the media be damned.

We're going to pay a terrible price for allowing ourselves to be so pliant in the hands of those who most certainly do not have our best interests at heart.

~ joanie

30 comments:

Proudpodunknative said...

Well said, Joanie. Very well said.

john galt said...

You always tell it like it is, Joanie. I'm really glad you're on MY side! ;)

Smokin' Joe said...

I agree. We saw the pep-rally going during the Republican Primaries, and it is still here. My only reservation about Sarah Palin, who seems to be genuine, is that she will not wield the pen that makes the stroke that becomes 'law of the land' or vetoes a bill.
Instead, I get the impression that a candidate many found to be an honorable serviceman turned politician and thought by a significant proportion of the Conservative electorate to be only palatable in light of the Socialist alternative has dropped off the radar.

He is conveniently upstaged, as is his position on Amnesty, the First Amendment, and a host of other issues which rendered him far less than desireable were there a viable alternative.

We know she is pro-gun, but where does he stand, exactly, even as judges are parsing Heller to uphold virtually any restriction on a right which "shall not be infringed".

Multiply the vagueness surrounding the nominee by the number of issues and you have what we are not hearing about from the candidate.

The tabloid atmosphere surrounding the election further promotes the disappearance from discussion of the very liberal policy history of the more Conservative of the major party candidates--not to mention any but the most vague references to his opponent's specific stance on any issues but 'hope and change'.

This seems like lean fare upon which to make an informed decision, and is made worse by the outrageous distortions of the media when some matter of substance leaks through the fluff and nonsense they publish.

Add in an electorate either virulently partisan or too distracted to be paying any more attention than they must, and it is likely that the next 'leader of the free world' will be decided by people who will figure out who they will vote for by counting road signs on the way to the polls.

cw-patriot said...

Smokin' Joe said:

Add in an electorate either virulently partisan or too distracted to be paying any more attention than they must, and it is likely that the next 'leader of the free world' will be decided by people who will figure out who they will vote for by counting road signs on the way to the polls.

Your entire post is very well conceived and expressed, and there's not a word with which I disagree.

I am far from pleased with the man at the top of the ticket, primarily because I vehemently disagree with the theory behind, and the ramifications of, McCain-Feingold, and because of his stance on illegal immigration/amnesty -- but also because his views on so many other important issues (chief among them, the right to keep and bear arms and the pseudo-need to address global warming) are troubling or unclear.

As for your comment above, that is precisely why the 'get out the vote' campaigns are appalling. If a citizen needs to be prodded to go to the voting booth, then perhaps he shouldn't be voting at all.

~ joanie

cw-patriot said...

Thanks for the kind words, Proud Podunk Native and John Galt. :)

John Cooper said...

A good friend gave me a book, Visions of Order - the Cultural Crisis of our Time by Richard M. Weaver.

Chapter Four, "The Cultural Role of Rhetoric" was a real epiphany for me. Like Joanie, I'm a rational person, and tend to dismiss emotional arguments like what we are seeing in this campaign.

But perhaps we "thinkers" dismiss such emotional arguments too lightly - at least that's what Mr. Weaver writes: Rhetoric is the essential glue that holds a culture together.

"Dialectic, though being rational and intellectual, simply does not heed the imperatives of living, which help give direction to the thought of the man of wisdom. The individual who makes his approach to life through dialectic alone does violence to life through his abstractive process. At the same time he makes himself antisocial because his discriminations are apart from the organic feeling of the community for what goes on. By this analysis the dialectician is only half a wise man and hence somtehing less than a philosopher king, inasmuch as he leaves out the urgent reality of the actual, with which all rulers and judges know they have to deal."

"The conclusion of this is that a society cannot live without rhetoric. There are some things in which the group needs to believe which cannot be demonstrated to everyone rationally..."

One thing that Americans believe is that men shouldn't beat up on women, which is basically what Obama is doing (in an Ivy-League sort of way). Those Americans of culture are angry at the smear tactics the left is using against a fine, upstanding woman like Sarah Palin, and I don't think it's "stooping to their level" to respond - in the old days, it would have been called "defending her honor".

I'm all for the McCain-Palin stating their positions on the issues, but that alone is not going to get them elected. They have to show that "they're one of us", and to do that, they have to fight back when attacked.

Just my humble opinion, as always...

marcus aurelius said...

Cooper, I don't get your quote about rhetoric and helping "give direction to the thought of the man of wisdom." There's a world of difference between real political rhetoric and the crap that the media is feeding us, posing as such.

I have to (actually I like to) agree with Joanie here. There is a sinister purpose behind all these diversions, and when we take part in them we become a party to that purpose.

Anonymous said...

Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

arlene albrecht said...

Thank you for writing down what I have been thinking for along time.

robmaroni said...

Why have so many of our countrymen fallen into such an ignorant stupor? Because, for fifty years, we have allowed the leftists in the media, our institutions of ‘higher education’, and Hollywood to incrementally turn our focus away from the enemy within ... and toward tattletale pranks and kindergarten pursuits.

You can say that again (I just did). :-)

Thanks for another great column Joanie.

John Cooper said...

marcus:
What Weaver is trying to say is that you can't convince people of anything using logic alone - it requires an emotional and cultural connection as well. I certainly agree with the truth of that, having tried to convince people of one thing or another without success for most of my life.

Listen, we've all been disgusted over the years at the "spineless, gutless, wimpy" Republicans. I, personally, have sent letters to the RNC telling them that I won't send them a dime until they manage to find their spines. It seems they won't stand up for anything, whimpering and running away to hide whenever a Democrat looks at them the wrong way. So I think it's long past time that the 'pubbies found their long-lost gumption and started fighting back.

...and let's not fall into the trap of equating a *factual response* to a vicious smear (And yes, I'm in the camp that Obama's smear was intentional.) with the smear itself. The left is skilled at setting up that sort of false moral equivalency, and I don't think we should fall for it. The Republican ad that started this uproar simply shows Palin's "hockey mom" video, followed by Obama's "lipstick on a pig" video and leaves the view to decide if it was intentional. It's difficult for me to understand how replaying the actual words of the candidates is "sinking to their level".

Maybe Joanie is right and us fighting back will backfire, but the American people seem to like it so far, if the polls are any indication. The dems may well lose congress too if they keep up their hateful smear campaign against Sarah Palin: The woman without fear or guilt.

ralph ebersole said...

Your list of crises is impressive and all of them true.

I think if we compared the amount of air time given to the kind of "nonesense" news you listed and the amount given to the itmes on your crisis list we'd be horrified to find the imbalance.

Thank you for the food for thought.

daveburkett said...

It's difficult for me to understand how replaying the actual words of the candidates is "sinking to their level".

It's "sinking to their level" because it's saying that such tripe is important in these dangerous times and to waste good campaign money (probably millions) on that is a crime.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

John Cooper said...

If McCain-Palin lose, then all this intellectual purity is pointless, isn't it?

I say we all pretty much know the list of crises facing our nation. So let's elect a team that can do something about it rather then spend the next four years whining about what the Obama administration is doing. It's necessary tripe.

If slapping down the twerps on the left is "tripe", then so be it.

James said...

As long as the left controls the school system and the media we can only expect the stupidity and ignorance to increase. More bread and circuses.

betty boop said...

One would think that, with one of the (if not the) most crucial presidential elections in the history of our republic approaching in fewer than eight weeks, the crises mentioned above would be foremost on the minds of every American who intends to step into the voting booth on November 4th. And, even more importantly, one would think that the American media (the self-appointed purveyors of information and education) would be hard at work seeking, and reporting, the candidates’ opinions on, and proposed solutions to, all of the above.

One would think, indeed!

And indeed, your list of impending crises couldn't be more complete.

But the fact is the news media no longer considers that it is in the business of fairly informing the public WRT the news and critical issues of our day. The fact is, these "elite intellectuals" believe that the rest of us are deluded rubes who can't understand anything anyway; so you might as well do "bread and circuses" instead — and elect a "bread and circuses" kind of guy to the presidency of the United States. Which seems to be MSM's main focus these days.

In short, your list of impending crises will never be touched by the MSM. And the reason why is: Barack Obama doesn't see these as crises. (He has "other fish to fry.") Which just goes to show how a radical Left progressive lives in a completely different world than the rest of us.

And the MSM seems almost universally to be giving him cover for his absolute flight from reality. One gathers the MSM just approve of his ideology — which makes them just as crazy and deluded as he is.

Ideologues don't ever deal with the "real." They're trying to "change the world," you see.... To a "better" world — they promise us. (But who's actually to pay for this magical trip to Fantasyland??? And after the wreck of our Republic that a successful Obama candidacy would bring about, what of "normal" American life would be left standing?)

And honestly, I think the reason why the MSM gives Obama cover is, if Obama were really, frankly to tell us what his plans are for the United States (putatively achievable with a complaisant, Democrat-controlled Congress), NOBODY would vote for him! Hence, the distractions of the "bread and circuses," this total charade of what he calls a presidential campaign.

Actually joanie, I rather liked that McCain ad re: lipstick on a pig. To me it reveals Obama's basic character, plus the sort of tactics he is using. Not that the "bread-and-circuses types" out there would see it that way.

Obama's entire appeal to citizens boils down to "what's in it for me?" Which to me suggests his appeal is limited: Not every voter out there votes for personal benefits; many still see that there is such a thing as the national interest. And many such folks clearly recognize that, at this point in time, what is desperately needed is to put the federal checkbook under lock and seal.

Meanwhile, Obama is proposing new spending in the trillions of dollars.... Some of us realize that this is tantamount to a complete government takeover of our national life (political, economic, and cultural) that can only go forward by trashing our constitutional order, and thus our God-given liberties. Which would thenceforth be whatever Obama says they are — no more, no less.

I have noticed that some of the noises that Obama has uttered lately have to do with co-opting certain profound cultural understandings of the American people. For instance, there is a cultural and moral consensus in the mainstream of American life which states that the very definition of a human person is someone who has

"a sense of life beyond the physical and material, beyond mere personal existence. It is the sense of a common world that stretches before and beyond the self, of belonging to something greater than the self, that gives strength not only to community but to the individual as well." — Natan Sharanski, Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy, 2008.

Obama is absolutely seizing on this theme; it all sounds so very, very good and desirable. But what the people don't know — yet — is that HE would be the one who gets to define this "belonging to something greater than self"; and he would define it in such a way that it would not be OPTIONAL: It would be a case of "get on board, or else." With federal power to back it up.
So much for personal liberty.

Indeed, his constant theme of "community service" is a harbinger of his future plans. Now as I understand it, what Obama's idea of "community service" really boils down to is: training individuals to be effective in making demands on taxpayers. This is hardly the same thing as what Sharansky is talking about....

Just a bunch of stray thoughts, joanie. Hopefully they are coherent.

Thank you ever so much for your beautiful, trenchant essay/post dear sister in Christ!

cw-patriot said...

John,

I see Weaver’s observations as asserting, in effect, that philosophers (for lack of a better word) serve a purpose, in that they analyze and perform ‘intellectual investigations’ of a sort. In that way, they raise our level of consciousness from focusing on everyday reality to higher-level ideas.

He also asserts that people who restrict the focus of their ideas to such a philosophical realm do us a disservice in that they ignore the more mundane problems and challenges of everyday life – which, in many ways, are more urgent and require more consistent attention.

I agree completely with that train of thought, but I do not think it generally applies to what we are discussing here. As a matter of fact, I think Weaver’s observations actually work toward supporting my idea that focusing on ‘bread and circuses’ is a non-productive waste of time.

The list I provided in the essay of the major concerns and crises that are facing America today would, I believe, fall under Weaver’s umbrella of ‘the imperatives of living’ and ‘the urgent reality of the actual’. I don’t believe there is even one item on that list that doesn’t fall under one of those categories. We’re not talking philosophy or, as Weaver describes dialectic, ‘an abstractive process’. We’re talking matters of life and death, liberty and servitude, honesty and deceit in leadership – the kinds of issues with which Weaver asserts ‘all rulers and judges know they have to deal’. And the kinds of thought processes he urges us to embrace.

On the other hand, focusing on sticks-and-stones name-calling, which takes away from focusing on ‘the urgent reality of the actual, with which all rulers and judges know they have to deal’ is counterproductive, to say the least. On the one hand, while a head-in-the-clouds focus on dialectical arguments does not help to solve everyday crises or address everyday concerns, neither does placing value on the opposite: a debasing focus on childish nonsense that only serves to divert us from what we need to know, and how we need to use that knowledge to ensure our survival.

~ joanie

cw-patriot said...

Betty, underlying all of your comments regarding the ‘fantasy world’ of the left is the fact that the ‘flight from reality’ is self-created, for a reason. We don’t, for a moment, believe that Barack Obama considers his lies and distortions to be true. He knows as well as you or I that they are merely a means to an end – that end being the accumulation of power for the ruling elite, the brotherhood of which he considers himself to be an anointed member.

Your description of Obama’s take on Sharansky’s concept of ‘belonging to something greater than self’ is spot on! And it cuts to the heart of the elitist mindset – namely, that we all need to work toward the common good, and there is a special, self-anointed subgroup of us whose destiny includes the power to define ‘common good,’ and the power to define the collective means to achieve it.

If there were an ideology more opposed to the preservation of individual liberty I can’t imagine what it might be.

I watched a portion of the McCain-Obama ‘service summit’ held at Columbia University last night. Although there were many things about that ‘summit’ that were disturbing, the one that caused me to turn it off in disgust was a comment made by Obama in which he spoke pseudo-inspiringly about the benefits of ‘community service’ and then proceeded to say (I don’t know that this is verbatim, but it’s pretty close), ‘In an Obama administration I will see to it that citizens perform extensive community service, in co-operation with their government.’

Davy Crockett, of all people, displayed uncanny eloquence and insight into representative government in a speech delivered before the House in the early 1800s. The speech was entitled ‘Not Yours to Give’. Through the use of an incredibly moving personal anecdote, he addresses the fact that any attempt by the federal government to involve itself in ‘charity’ by forcing the citizenry to give of its time and its money for noble causes is both immoral and unconstitutional.

As you point out so powerfully, under an Obama administration the Constitution would become ever more irrelevant and ‘bothersome’ than it now is, and our liberties (such as they are) would be clearly and forcefully defined by Barack and his fellow elitists. His 'summit' comment regarding government and the citizenry working together in service-related causes is one glaring illustration of that mindset. Genuine volunteerism would find itself systematically replaced by forced financial and physical servitude, the devastating results of which might even be an inverse relationship between the growth in the power of the federal bureaucracy and the number of genuine acts of altruism performed.

I truly believe that, in the history of mankind, America has indeed stood as an example of goodness when it comes to caring for the freedom and well-being of others – whether they be our fellow citizens, or people from other countries. And for Barack Obama to believe that he needs to teach us a lesson in that regard – and to use the power of the Presidency to do so – is testimony to nothing more than his thirst for power, his disdain for Constitutional order, and his personal arrogance.

Thank you for your wonderful insights.

~ joanie

daveburkett said...

Cooper-

If McCain-Palin lose, then all this intellectual purity is pointless, isn't it?

The question is, does it help insure a McCain-Palin victory if we agree to play by their rules and respond to their idiocy? No. We have to set the rules instead of being sucked into defending ourselves from their ridiculous name calling. There's just so much air time and money and we're wasting it on responding to their tripe.

I say we all pretty much know the list of crises facing our nation.

Maybe WE do but the average voter doesn't. Do you think the average voter knows about Obama's Marxist mentors, or his connections to Chicago political slime? Or how subversive the global warming advocates are? If so, you're running with a smarter crowd than most.

If slapping down the twerps on the left is "tripe", then so be it.

Slapping down the twerps when what they're dishing out is TRIPE is STUPID, when we should be slapping down their destructive hidden agenda instead.

John Cooper said...

Rule 1. Nobody will listen to someone for whom they have no respect.

Rule 2. Nobody respects a coward who won't fight back when attacked.

The left calls a murderer with a gun and a man defending his life with a gun equally bad. Shall we apply the same principle of morally equivalency to defending ourselves against verbal attack? Is the defender just as bad as the attacker?

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that. Before anyone will listen to your ideas, you have to prove you're worth listening to.

Here's something I posted on another forum this morning.
~~~~~
Boy, the Obama campaign is really getting suicidal. First, the geniuses at Obama-Central attacked unmarried sex. (Gee, that'll really resonate with his African-American supporters - almost 70% of whom have children out of wedlock.) Then he started calling working mothers with children "unqualified" - attacking another major constituency of his. Not satisfied yet, he expanded the attack to mothers with handicapped children, and by implication, motherhood itself with his long string of attacks on Sarah Palin and her children. Looking bewildered as his poll numbers went into free-fall, he decided the way to save the day was to call the Republican vice presidential candidate a "pig with lipstick" and a "smelly fish" for good measure. Real classy, Barry.

So what have the geniuses at Obama-Central decided to do for an encore? They're going to attack disabled veterans, too! That's just perfect! You can't make this stuff up!

Have you seen his new ad where he ridicules John McCain for not using a computer or sending E-mail? It turns out that McCain *is unable* to use a keyboard due to his war injuries.

Nice work Barry. Keep it up! PLEASE, keep it up!

cw-patriot said...

Rule 1. Nobody will listen to someone for whom they have no respect.

Rule 2. Nobody respects a coward who won't fight back when attacked.

I wouldn’t have considered a non-response by the McCain-Palin camp as a sign of ‘cowardice’. The media (for whatever reason that I cannot as yet figure out) covered the incident sufficiently. Sometimes it shows more class to hold back and let others do the responding for you.

Nor do I believe that anyone who advocates refraining from responding to such childish attacks as showing ‘cowardly’ tendencies.

I would change your Rule 2 to 'Nobody respects a leader who stops leading during an important battle in order to swat a mosquito off his face.'

I'm going to bow out of this debate. I know we're all on the same side, I don't like attempting to eat our own (especially when friends are included), and I hope everyone else will at least consider doing the same.

~ joanie

First_Salute said...

-

Kind of a Liberty Library

Rick Gardiner's Primary Source:

http://home.wi.rr.com/rickgardiner/primarysources.htm

One of my favorites, there, is:

http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/burke.html

Wherein Edmund Burke, on March 22, 1775, "describes the character of the American colonists..."


Permit me, Sir, to add another
circumstance in our colonies, which
contributes no mean part towards the
growth and effect of this untractable
spirit. I mean their education. In no
country perhaps in the world is the
law so general a study...

This study renders men acute,
inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in
attack, ready in defence, full of
resources. In other countries, the
people, more simple and of a less
mercurial cast, judge of an ill
principle in government only by an
actual grievance; here they anticipate
the evil, and judge of the pressure of
the grievance by the badness of the
principle. They augur misgovernment at
a distance; and snuff the approach of
tyranny in every tainted breeze.

-

First_Salute

John Cooper said...

Joanie--

Before you bow out, I was hoping you might give us a short recollection of the days you spent going door-to-door for Rick Santorum.

Were you able to persuade people, and if so, what was your secret?

John Cooper said...

Paul Mirengoff of Powerline agrees with Joanie:

"Meanwhile, I think Kurtz is correct about the "lipstick" remark. The answer to his question, "does anyone seriously believe that Barack Obama was calling Sarah Palin a pig" may be "yes," but in my opinion it should be "no." And it's off-putting to hear Republican women like former Gov. Swift trying to parlay Obama's phrase (which, unhappily, has become common political jargon recently) into an identity politics "gotcha." This is the kind of thing I expect from Democrats, not Republicans."

cw-patriot said...

They augur misgovernment at a distance; and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze.

Just beautiful. Would that the spirit of Burke's American colonists were still alive today.

Thank you, F_S.

~ joanie

cw-patriot said...

John, in my door-to-door campaigning for both Rick Santorum and Pat Toomey I came to a few disturbing conclusions – which is why I will probably not do that kind of campaigning anymore.

The large majority of the hundreds of people with whom I have spoken in going door-to-door over the years were decent, hard-working people, but I would estimate that ten percent of them had any real depth of knowledge regarding the candidates’ genuine beliefs. They had little or no idea of the vast difference in political philosophy and character quality between the two candidates, and, more often than not, they parroted media talking points to me whenever I would ask them their leanings.

Why? Because they simply don’t care. They were generally more than willing to listen, and, after we talked, a great many of them said that they intended to vote for Santorum/Toomey. But, after casting their ballot … then what?

I suspect that they once again reverted to working hard, looking after their families, and immersing themselves in reality shows (or their own personal escapism equivalent) – unaware that their country is being stolen out from under their noses. Unaware that there are eternal, God-given ‘possessions’ worth spending time thinking about, acknowledging, giving thanks for, teaching your children about, and defending.

And that discouraging conclusion came from wearing out shoe leather in a very conservative part of the country. I cannot imagine what I would have been up against in an urban area. My discouragement was the result of voter apathy. There is something even more discouraging – even insidious – at work in other areas of the country.

Apoligies for being so negative. I do intend to do a lot of writing (sending mailings to family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances, as I have done in the past, and hitting the 'letters to the editor' circuit), and I do intend to volunteer to do something at our county Republican headquarters, but it won't involve wearing out shoe leather. The effort/reward quotient is, sadly, not worthwhile.

~ joanie

John Cooper said...

Joanie--

You're not being negative, just stating the dismal truth. Most people are uninformed, and too intellectually lazy to change that situation. As Winston Churchill wrote: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Over on another forum, some liberals I spar with were bemoaning the pettiness of this campaign. I agreed with them, and posted your list of "crises". I told them, "You may have your own list of important things that need to be discussed, but why not we discuss some of them?"

So far, not one of them has stepped up to the plate. There's a reason for that. They don't want to discuss "issues". As Melanie Phillips writes in The Spectator
~~~~~
But hey – this [smearing] is the only way left-wingers know of dealing with ‘the right’. They characteristically flinch from engaging in proper argument with their political opponents by debating the issues. No, what they invariably do instead is to reach for the insult and the smear, the character assassination, the career-ending labels of ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘Islamophobe’, ’hard right’, ‘fundamentalist’ and all the rest of it. Because their aim is not to discuss but to destroy their opponent altogether and thus to shut down the argument before it can get going.

What does that tell us? That the totalitarian left is terrified of argument because it knows itself to be on very weak ground. It does not have the confidence of its own supposed convictions. For sure, it is fearful that its opponents might win the electoral battle; but much more urgently, it is absolutely terrified that they might be right. That’s really why the left never wants to have the argument – in case it exposes the vacuity of its own position to itself.
~~~~~
So the question still stands: "How does one convince a liberal?"

betty boop said...

Holders of political office are but reflections of the dominant leadership--good or bad--among the electorate.

The recognition of this great truth goes all the way back to Plato....

Horatio Bunce is a striking example of responsible citizenship. Were his kind to multiply, we would see many new faces in public office....

Joanie, thank you so very much for the link to "Not Yours to Give." I'd never seen this account from Davy Crockett before. It's simply outstanding, and I hope anyone reading these lines will take the opportunity to read it as well. We need more Horatio Bunces these days, to put it mildly.

"Enforced" charity isn't charity at all. Your paraphrase of Obama's remarks at the Columbia "service summit" — "In an Obama administration I will see to it that citizens perform extensive community service, in co-operation with their government" — ominously indicates that the sort of public "charity" Obama has in mind is virtually indistinguishable from public slavery. It would entail a virtually limitless projection of government power against the people.

How much do you want to bet that, under an Obama administration, all genuinely private charities would be repressed, and especially the likes of e.g., the faith-based Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, et al? Because (1) they are religiously-affiliated charities; and (2) they'd be "rivals" of the (secularist/atheist) government-enforced programs, and therefore must be eliminated, perhaps on the excuse that they represent a "duplication of services and thus need to be coordinated with the government to assure maximum efficiencies."

Truly, America would become a "brave new world" under an Obama administration. And the Constitution would be sacrificed to the overweening lust for power that characterizes the self-selected "elites" who arrogantly assume that the American people are unfit to govern themselves, and so they will tell us how we are to be governed. They will rule; and we must submit. With the Constitution gone, the pernicious "rule of men" would extinguish our free society.

Obama is their Trojan Horse....

Wake up America!!!

First_Salute said...

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A couple points.

First, Sarah Palin's remarks about being a community organizer, were not against "being a community organizer," instead, they were directed at a "community organizer who had less responsbilities" than the "community organizer who is a mayor."

Second, on the matter of "Jesus was a community organizer," this is a repeat of how, in the previous election cycles, the extreme leftists sprouted bumper stickers that read:

Whom would Jesus bomb?

To that, I answer:

Whome would Jesus abort?

Also, to those who tout:

Jesus was a community organizer

I would reply:

Jesus was not an abortionist.

You already know, the decision by Todd and Sarah Palin, about their newborn son with "Down Syndrome."

The problem that liberals have with Sarah, is that she actually is motivated by human spirit and takes action as a responsible individual.

Both of which traits, liberals fear and wish for Big Government to asuage those responsibilities, by spreading the burdens of them across society - ie making all of us responsible for *their* incapacity/unwillingness to stand up.

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First_Salute