Thursday, January 31, 2013

Assaulting 'Assault Rifles' is for sissies - arm your mind - The 2nd Amendment meets Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 3

In today's permissive society, modern conservatives have become a target rich environment for the Alinskyite, whose 13th rule ("Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.") has been getting a thorough workout against the 2nd Amendment. But as with ill-mannered children, their getting away with what they want, depends upon your willingness to play along with them. If you don't, if you focus them upon what they are trying not to mention, if you discipline their 'facts' with a little bit of knowledge... it can all become very embarrassing for the poor little lefties, very quickly. And for people accustomed to thinking of themselves as the smartest people in the room... that tends to lead to some very entertaining hissy fits (see Piers Morgan... there's certainly no better reason to see him). No one who thinks that they're outsmarting you, much likes being forced to own up to the bill of goods that they were hoping to get you to buy for them, free of charge.

The trick to getting this sort of free entertainment, is to listen to their statements - less for what they're saying, and more for what they are trying so very hard not to say... which is,surprise, what they want you to own up to as being discredited by what they are saying.

Let's take a recent example and see if you can spot, in this prime piece of putzery from the uber-leftist Thom Hartmann (as the failed Air America host is brought to you by RT... that'd be 'Russia Today'... Pravda... hellooo)), what he is working so hard NOT to mention... but which he really, really, wants you to think of as having been discredited by what he is saying.

See if you can spot it:
Pure Evil
"The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. "
Did you notice what he doesn't mention?

If you listen to the whole video, you'll hear the same thing repeatedly not mentioned throughout his entire piece. Yep, that's right, he never mentions what the 2nd Amendment means.

He doesn't mention whether or not it is a valid Right, he doesn't mention whether or not it is a 'useful' Right, he certainly doesn't mention whether or not those 'slave patrol militias' would have been too

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Tale of two talks upon the 2nd Amendment - The 2nd Amendment meets Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 2

I have a friend who disagrees with the point I made in my last post, that you shouldn't answer disingenuous questioners, such as Piers Morgan, when you are aware that their questions are far less interested in your answers, than in making you look foolish for having answered them.

While my friend Lloyd agrees with me that the important point is to understand what the 2nd Amendment refers to, and more importantly why (no slouch on the constitution, his proposed constitutional 'fix' (on the legislative end anyway), 'Madison's lost Amendment', is the only promising one I've seen (though I don't want a constitutional conv.)), he is critical of pursuing a 'strategy' that doesn't give them the easy answers they are asking for. He sees no sense in doing as Dana Loesh did, when she recently refused to take Piers Morgan's 'tank question' bait, answering him only that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms.

Lloyd replies, in part, that he would have nooo problem,
"... answering Mr. Morgan's rather absurd question and pointing out that is not really the issue here.

But I guess my "strategy" is not clever enough. Anyone who can READ can quote the words of the 2nd amendment."
, and he feels confident that, having answered him, he would then be able to get on to discussing his points afterwards. Which, IMHO, is ridiculously naive position to take, when you are dealing with someone who's only reason for'discussing' the matter is so as to dismiss it - and you - as quickly and embarrassingly (for you) as is possible.

Happily, we have the chance to see two very different examples of these two approaches in action,

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The 2nd Amendment meets Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 1

The 2nd Amendment meet's Saul Alinksy's lucky number #13 - Part 1
Some interesting points have come up in discussions with friends, other conservatives, leftists and other internet nincompoops, regarding the 2nd Amdt, what it is, what it means, and what it covers. But mostly, in regards to the later, it has done little more than run up against Saul Alinsky's lucky number #13'th rule:
"13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. "
and in such a collision, the position that is least well understood, loses. That should give you pause.

For if your understanding of the 2nd Amdt doesn't extend much further than having memorized a couple quotes from our founders who DID understand it (and so were able to express themselves in those words you are quoting today), or if your understanding amounts to something along the lines of "The Constitution says so, I believe it, that settles it.", if that is the case, then you place yourself entirely under their power, and when they hit you with ol' #13, you will lose and lose badly.

For instance, as good an example of this as any, of Alinsky's 13th rule being flexed against the 2nd Amdt, came up in the comment section to my post on a despicable comment by Jay Carney made in a press briefing. An anonymous aninnymouse commenter was doing his best to avoid discussing whether or not there is a Right behind the 2nd Amdt, and frustrated at my refusal to take his bait, he jumped directly to Rule #13, and you would be hard pressed to find a better example of it than this

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The target is not the 2nd Amdt, or the 1st Amdt, but all of your Rights at once

Ah. Another wacademic professor of law, struts his stuff in the White House. It remains to be seen whether or not we can survive the lessons they've been teaching us, the last one nearly did us in... will this one make us stronger? Listen to this:
"“While there is no law, or set of laws, that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try. And I’m going to do my part.

This will not happen unless the American people demand it. If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, “Enough, we’ve suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue,” then change will come. That’s what it’s going to take..”"

Yeah. One of the more straight forward things he's said.

My understanding however, is that, although it took a couple tries for Mr. Obama and Justice Roberts to get it right, he did take an oath of office, and that oath was this:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Leaving aside the splitting of legal hairs... how does any reading of the Constitution of the United States of America, condone the President, the Chief Executive of the Administrative branch of the Federal Government, issuing executive orders that 'clarify' how individual, private, doctors, should attend to how,
"...The Administration is clarifying that no federal law in any way prohibits doctors or other health care providers from reporting their patients’ threats of violence to the authorities, and issuing guidance making clear that the Affordable Care Act does not prevent doctors from talking to patients about gun safety."
Clarify. Yeah. As Don Corleone's muscular friend Vinny 'clarifies' that
''doz are sum nice kidz youse got dere... it'd be a shame should sumthin' happen to 'em."
One of the more dead on comments I've heard regarding the latest sweep of political doings, came from DaTechGuy (H/T Doug Welch), who quite properly asks our media Esau's to consider something before selling their Rights for tasty treats:
"If this or any president can restrict the 2nd Amendment by executive order doesn’t that mean this or a future president can do the same to the 1st?

If you don’t understand this then you simply don’t get what America is all about."
Very, very true.

But with executive order being issued 'clarifying' what Doctors should or should not ask regarding whether you own a gun... do you really think that the 2nd Amendment is what is being targeted there?

These have NOT been attacks upon the 1st and 2nd amendments, so much as they are attacks upon the very concepts and principles of Rights as such. Getting people to comply with justifying their rights - or not - as I tried to point out the other day, is but a means of sweeping them aside by reducing the One concept of Rights in the public's understanding, to many particular chips, which can then can be easily stacked up, measured and bargained away.

Pay closer attention to what the President said with "This will not happen unless the American people demand it". Worse than targeting specific amendments that protect our Rights, they are targeting our thoughts and the words we think them with. After over a century, they are succeeding in getting people to think of their Individual Rights as being simply a fluctuating set of privileges and pleasures, to be justified, and re-justified (or discarded) as reflects their present popularity. Once that is complete, and it is frighteningly close, then all of our Rights will have been transformed into favors and privileges to be bestowed upon us by those we've given the power to do so.

That is what has been happening to our liberty.

While we've been distracted with this and that amendment, they've been attacking liberty where it lives - in our ability to comprehend it. That was the point of what happened a year ago with 1st amendment, under the cover of attacking religion, and it is happening now with the 2nd amendment, via the push for gun control.

You don't really have to destroy the amendments, only what people believe they are.

Make them think that the Right to bear arms in defense of your life, and all aspects of it, is something to be measured by what might be useful for hunting or taking down burglars - and it ceases to be a Right.

Make them think that the Right of liberty to follow your conscience depends upon making allowances for birth control, or exemptions from it - and it ceases to be anything other than administrative concessions to mollify those who can raise a ruckus.

I'll go a step further. What Obama actually said yesterday, as he signed his executive orders and called for legislation, was no more important than what he said the day before yesterday, in calling for such. Why? Because what is truly important right now, is not how those in power go about doing what they've been saying they're going to do, but in what you say and do about it (Sen. Rand Paul did make a nice start at getting the conversation started).

What is or is not Constitutional, hasn't changed all that much since it was ratified. As I pointed out in an earlier post "♫ ♪ ♬ You say you want a Constitution ... wellll ya know, we all want to change the world ♬ ♪ ♫", when a Federal Roads bill was passed in 1817, President Madison vetoed it as unconstitutional. When a Federal Roads bill was passed, and it was signed, by President Wilson, in 1916, and was not overturned as being unconstitutional, by the courts. Something had changed in that century, and in this regard, it wasn't the constitution, but We The People.

The Constitution records what We The People established for what may, and may not, be considered lawful. If any President or functionary seeks to act in contradiction to the Constitution, they are outside the bounds of law, as defined by the Constitution, which we defined.

If we forget the meaning of what it defines, and the reality behind that, then it's gone. A steady drip, drip, drip corrupting our understanding of what is, and is not, true, has been nibbling away at our Rights for 150 years. The more we forget that that paper serves only to remind us of who and what we are, that our Rights must be recognized and respected, that in order to 'pursue happiness' we must secure ourselves from what those in power would do - the more we forget that, then the more they will get away with doing what they will.

With FDR's outright theft of the citizens gold, where Supreme Court Justice McReynolds stated “This is Nero at his worst,” he thundered. “The Constitution is gone.”, but a case could be made that had happened twenty years earlier with the establishment of the first alphabet agency, the FDA. The Constitution has been dead and all govt actions have been those of outlaws for quite some time... but they can only get away with what you, We The People, forget about what they shouldn't be doing.

At the very least, the govt has been engaging in outlawry for a century. Thanks to an educational system that has taught us how to not only not understand what it means to be an American, but to actively wish that we weren't, we've now got a media, a culture, a President, a Congress, and a Supreme Court, who not only routinely disregard, but discard and disparage, the Constitution which they are formed from.

The Constitution hasn't changed. What Rights are, hasn't changed. You have.

And the more you continue to play along with their arguments, instead of pulling them up short, as any adult should do to an errant 8 year old trying to bargain their way around the rules, then those Rights which the Constitution serves to record for us, and which it does its best to uphold and defend, will be lost.

The secret of America and of the Constitution, is that the document doesn't actually do anything about your Rights - You do. It has always been you. The problem with Conservatives, especially, is that they have been foolish enough to believe in the magical talismanic power of paper. It has no power.

Never has, never will.

The Constitution does nothing more than serve as a reminder to us, all of us, that we do have Rights which are inherent in our nature as human beings, and which require a careful, orderly, defense - from our inherent nature as human beings. If we forget that it is every bit as much part of our nature to desire to exert power to get what we want, which is the reason why those Rights must be recorded, understood and defended - by us -  if we get carried away with thinking that all is well because of some asinine notion that 'We are the people we've been waiting for!", then what chance can Rights have to be respected and defended? And lacking that, what chance does Liberty itself possibly have? If you TRUST those who seek power over you, what chance has liberty got?

If we forget our Liberty and the Rights which enable it, or if we don't bother learning what they mean and require, if we are foolish enough
"... to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power..."
, deluding ourselves into thinking that lines on paper are somehow going to prop your liberty up for you so you don't have to strain yourself - then it will be lost.


Stop looking to politicians and start looking to your own understanding, or lack of it. If you don't understand Liberty and the Rights it requires, then you have already lost it. If that is the case... what are you going to do about it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jay Carney's vicious, blood thirsty comment: "If even one child’s life is saved..."

A quick rant in reply to this ass of a Press Secretary, Jay Carney, speaking on gun control:
"JAY CARNEY: If these things were easy, they would have been achieved already. If renewal of the assault weapons ban were easily accomplished, it would not need renewing because it would have happened already. The fact of the matter is the president is committed to pushing these proposals. He is not naive about the challenges that exist, but he believes that, as he said yesterday, if even one child's life can be saved by the actions we take here in Washington, we must take those actions."
What an unbelievably vicious, blood thirsty thing to say.
"...if even one child's life can be saved by the actions we take here in Washington, we must take those actions..."
Really. Why? Because one child’s life is saved? THAT calculus is what you propose to drive the laws that will govern your lives, America?

So you're going to get into a pissing match of tallying children's corpses? U.S. Grant's "terrible arithmetic"  as the basis of law?!

What do I mean?

What if someone proposes a law that promises to save two children’s lives? Must you take those actions as well? What if it conflicts with the plan you proposed? What if they can show more dead bodies would result from your plan than theirs? Do you then get into a counting match, counting children's bodies... what then, the one that produces fewer corpses, wins?

What if I propose the immediate slaughter of everyone who has ever shown a tendency towards improper behavior towards children... anyone who has ever spanked, beaten or leered at a child... that would undoubtedly save more than one child’s life... must we put that action into law as well?

Is that the sort of life you want for your child?

You cannot make decisions regarding people's right to live their own lives, based upon some utilitarian calculus - such a life would not be worthy even of rising to the level of being nasty, brutish and short.

To be civilized, to live a life worth living, requires that you live your life under the rule of law, but not just any set of laws will do. The Rule of Law must be comprised of laws whose foundations and purposes are derived from the need to uphold and defend the Individual Rights of its citizens, and among those rights they must uphold and defend, are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and the Right to defend that life, from all threats, foreign and domestic, is a requirement of all the rest, or they must become meaningless whims and nothing more.

Anything less than that will soon be reduced to one of counting corpses to justify any evil imaginable... though for the greater good, of course.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

There are no ‘reasons’ for your Rights – stop trying to justify them!

How many times have you heard this one recently?
"Tell me one good reason why you should have an assault rifle?!"
More than a few times?

And I'll wager you've heard it before too, in other forms, such as with
"What are you going to do about the 30 million uninsured?!"
, and again with something like:
"Give me a reason why someone needs billions of dollars?!"
Do you know how to answer those questions?
Now hold on there Charlie Brown! Before you go running at that football again, take a look at Lucy's eyes - take a moment, look closer, her eyes aren't focused on the ball, but on your feet. She's not holding it out for you to kick, she's only waiting for that magic moment when you are committed to kicking at it, so she can whip it away and watch you fly up into the air... and fall down on the ground... flat on your back. So she can laugh at you. Again.

Think about it - have you ever, ever, won one of the arguments you've entered into by answering that question (and yes, they are all the same question)? And no, being willing to kick at the football more times than Lucy is willing to stand it up again for you, is not winning.

When they ask what they always ask of something to do with your Individual Rights: "What reasons could you possibly have for ___?!". Don't try to give them any reasons - they don't want your reasons, what they want is for you to give up your ability to actually Reason with them, and if you answer that question, that is what you will do.

So how do you deal with this type of question? You already know how. Annoying, isn't it? The truth is that you've either had how you should deal with this sort of question demonstrated to you time and again while you were growing up, or, if you're a parent, you've no doubt learned how to do it yourself, on your own.

See if this rings a bell:
"But Dad, it's only 30 more minutes, what is it going to hurt if I stay up 30 more minutes?!"
Yep, that's right, and just as 8 yr old you didn't give a damn about the reasons why it was that your dad thought it might be harmful to your night's rest to stay up 30 more minutes, neither does the leftist Lucy you are arguing with today. They are only looking for a way to help you slip up and abandon your principles and hand the argument over to them.

Again and again and again - flat on your back, is the only place that replying to that 'argument' will get you.

Conservative Catnip
Why this technique acts on conservatives like catnip... or footballs... is that in asking the question, it seems as if they are interested in the reasons Why you hold your position... it seems to be an invitation to discuss your disagreement, but like Lucy and her football, or the 8 yr old and their TV show, nothing could be further from the truth. It is only a pose, a taunt, and the moment you begin to discuss the matter, their interest in discussion vanishes as they begin to supply more and more spectacular examples to overwhelm every realistic reason you come up with for your position, a position that is no longer rooted in principles, but particulars, and on that playing field, their playing field, their impressive quantities sweep away the high ground you were standing upon just moments before.

The technique is to demand that you to give a particular, quantitative, justification, for a qualitative concept, but there's nothing fancy going on here, as every 8-year-old knows. By getting you to focus on a an isolated particular, preferably expressed with impressive sounding quantities ("just 30, more, minutes!'... '30 million uninsured!'... 'billions of dollars!'"), the questioner, be they an 8-year-old child, or a tenured professor (difference?) of constitutional law, just knows that if you bite, and nearly every conservative does, the moment you stoop to providing them with any of the reasons they've asked you for -you lose!

That's the reason why every 8-year-old child loves this technique so much - it wipes out the advantages you have in being an adult - experience and wisdom - reducing the debate to one of emotional appeal and numbers.

There's an old anecdote that illustrates this even better than Lucy and her football, where Winston Churchill, annoyed to no end by a flighty society girl, becomes fed up, turns to her and asks her if she'd sleep with him for a hundred thousand pounds. Surprised, she bats her eyes and answers "Well, ... uh... that is a lot of money, I'd have to think about it... ", at which point he changes the price to fifty pounds. Insulted, she demands "What kind of woman do you take me for!" and Churchill replies coolly
"Madam, what you are we have already established, now we are simply haggling over the price."
Get the picture? What happens, is that in the simple act of answering the question, you have abandoned the principle which determines whether or not numbers should be discussed at all, and any attempt to reclaim it is futile, all that remains is settling on the particular numbers it'll take for you to cave in (30 pieces of silver perhaps?), and in the end they get whatever it is that they desire .

This has been the favored technique with everyone from Utilitarianism’s Jeremy Bentham (you know, the fellow who called Individual Rights, nonsense on stilts), on down the line to the child who wants to stay up late to watch one more TV show.

The immediate answer of course, to the child anyway, is not to answer their question, but to remind them of the rule or principle they are trying to get you to forget:
"No, you can't stay up. Bedtime is 9:00. Get your butt in bed. Now."
Why? Because those are the rules and there are good reasons for them, reasons which have nothing whatsoever to do with any quantity of minutes of TV time they might desire. Reasons which have already been well established and validated, and aren't open for discussion. And the wise adult knows darn well that it doesn't matter whether you are talking about bedtime, or shoplifting, an eight year old, if you let them, will still ask,
"How will this little thing I do hurt anyone? Why can't I have what I want?!"
, and neither the eight year old, nor the 40 year veteran professor of law, has the least bit of interest in what is right or wrong, but only in getting what it is that they want. But of course while the eight year old is usually wise enough to listen to reason (and to avoid the consequences of not listening), the leftist... not so much.

The main difference here, is that with an eight year old you expect this sort of thing, it is part of the learning process inherent in moving from childhood to adulthood. With the leftist Lucy however, although you do tend to expect it, there really is no excuse, except that they learned such disdain towards reason and reasonable behavior, from what we teach them. .. after all, do we send students to school in order to learn what they need to know to become better people?, people more concerned with what is right and best to do? or do we send them to school to learn 'useful skills' for getting what they want to 'succeed' in life in the 21st century?

Don't bargain for your Rights, proclaim them
The next time someone asks you what good reason there is for anyone to ___ (insert the belittled Right here), just remember that they don't care what reasons you might have for your position, they don't want to determine what is right or wrong to do, they only want to overpower you, and their question is the handiest technique (indoctrinated habit) for keeping questions of right and wrong out of the conversation, freeing them to pursue what will be the most useful,efficient, effective means for achieving their desired ends.

So wise up already.

What the ignorant are hurtling us towards, the ultimate point of their asking for 'reasons' to justify your exercising your rights, is this:
'Tell me one good reason why you should have any right to do whatever you feel like, when that might cost someone their safety? Their security? Their health? Why should you be able to do what you want, if it oppresses your fellow man?! Give up your annoying Right' so we can do what is best for you.'
And that is the goal that our leftie Lucy's are focused upon, gaining the power to use your life to their advantage, and your principles stand in their way - and they are just waiting for you to try to answer them, to give them their 'reasons" and abandon your ground, so they can drop you flat upon your back again.

The simple fact is, in regards to the 2nd Amendment, or any other of our Rights, defended by the constitution or not, that my Right to defend my life, loved ones and property, does not depend upon my proving its value to you! And my Rights do not require that I put you at ease about the tools - arms - that I choose to defend them with. There are no valid reasons, no matter how beneficial they purport to be, that justify your seeking to interfere with my right to make that decision myself.

My Rights are inherent in my nature as a reasoning human being, and they are not subject to your, or congress's or any majority's approval. The 2nd amendment does not grant me the 'right' to keep and bear arms, it only defends it from the foolish and the powerful who feel threatened by it.

Our problem today, is not with who is in office, but with a people raised to think along utilitarian lines, rather than moral ones, raised to consider effectiveness and efficiency before considering whether or not something is right or wrong to do. These people do not seek to understand your arguments, they seek to strip you of what they do not understand - and playing their game won't score you any points or safeguard your rights against them. Their ignorance is the problem we face, and it threatens our lives, our liberty, and our happiness.

There are no reasons that justify your having rights - you have Rights because you are a reasoning human being -you don't need to justify your rights, you need to understand them and assert them.
If you want those opposing your rights to see reason, you cannot abandon it when talking with them. Learn what your rights are, learn  what they mean and the principles which they depend upon (hint: it's not legislation) and without which America would cease to exist, and most of all, learn how to defend and to proclaim them.

Originally posted at The Bell News

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Here’s one message conservatives do need to hear

From my second post on The Bell News"Here’s one message conservatives do need to hear"

There was only one undeniable issue in the last election, one issue that was the true cause of Obama winning, and the effects of it are to be found, not in what conservatives did or think they need(ed) to do, but in what it is that they think they are, and in what the nation thinksit is. The most obvious fact about the election was not that Romney lost because 10-15% fewer conservatives showed up to vote (or voted 3rd party), though that appears to be true, or that people when given a choice between a Leftie, and a Leftie-lite, chose the more authentic option, which is also to some extent true; those aren’t the true causes, and neither is whatever else you want to throw in regarding fraud, media spin, etc – those are all simply demographers noise.
The real issue, the true reason why Romney lost, was that given a choice of the policies represented by Obama and the Democrat party he leads,  more than 50% of the populace lacked a sufficient level of understanding of what America is and what its constitution means, is, and requires, to enable them to recoil in horror at the prospect of those policies becoming reality, hissing “No friggin’ way I can allow that – no friggin’ way I can vote for that!
That is the real issue, and the only issue of substance worth thinking about.
If you think your culture, or your memory of it, is attractive to the youth’… er… Millennials .. or appeals to the Hispanic… er… Lat… hell with it… to anyone, then you might want to check out these two articles, one  from NRO’s Kevin D. Williamson, his post “Risk, Relativism, and Resources”  & the other from Bill Hennessy, his post on “This is why I feel sorry for Millennials“. As Conservatives, we tend to think that our ideas are naturally attractive, I mean, who could possibly have a problem with having the liberty to blaze your own trail, making it on your own, etc. – that’s what America’s all about! Well guess what, not everyone seeks to take the risks that it takes to live that kind of life, and many, if not most, feel that a system which enables such risk taking, threatens those who prefer a life of safety and comfort.
Conservatism, the revolutionary ideals of classical liberalism that our Founders fought for, are not a threat to those who want a life of comfort and safety, but they won’t think so, not without  understanding them better, anyway. And not without your understanding them well enough to explain why your ideas are not a threat to the happiness they wish to pursue.
The problem is that our culture is no longer united in believing that, and that means it isn’t there to back you up.
Once the culture has been fragmented, as ours has, once a culture has reached the point where it is more likely to be referenced in mockery, than with respect, or in many cases may simply be ‘gone’ from people’s minds entirely (and thanks to our schools, that is pretty much the case), then it can no longer be referenced by people as an authoritative and substantiated word on an issue – the tank is empty – what it once had to say to the culture at large, is no longer there in their minds to be referenced in an argument, especially not in a political one.
If you try to pursue policies that seem conservative, without grounding them in the truths that conservatism springs from, what you will get will bear a striking resemblance to what John Boehner & Mitch McConnel have been demonstrating to the nation over the last couple months: Political spin on the half shell.
Conservatism, in the United States of America, is supposed to conserve the radical, revolutionary and only authentically new philosophical & political ideas of the last thousand years, ideas which were broadly understood at the time of our Founding Fathers – if neither the culture nor the people within it understand those ideas any longer, then your message will be received by them as the empty slogan it has no other means of being; without the necessary understanding – yours, theirs, or both – that it requires.
That message isn’t something you can ‘reach out’ with, if those being reached out to don’t already have some agreed upon understanding of it, it becomes simply ‘messaging’, spin – and to their ears, words spun in opposition to them.
I hate to break it to you guys, but Conservatism is not a bumper sticker movement, it is not a Gadsen flag movement, it is not an ‘appeal to the youth’… er… Millennials .. or ‘appeal to the Hispanic… er… Latinos, oh excuse me, ulllateennn-Ohhhs’ or an appeal to any goddamn other issue related movement. Messaging is fine and all when everyone understands what the message refers to, but once that is gone, it is no longer helpful.
The entire set of assumptions, of beliefs and ideas, preferences likes that conservatism typically depends upon, aka Culture, needs to be reestablished, before we can refer to them in a way that will again lend its weight to an argument.
  • “Liberty will enable you to live your own life”, is a winning argument. ‘Liberty will enable you to live like Ozzie & Harriet‘ is not, not if that culture was raised on Family Guy.
  • “Family values” are not a winning message to people raised in divorced, remarried, redivorced & reblended households. That culture reference isn’t there between their ears, and the cultural clutter conservatives typically try to prop their message up with, is weighing their message down.
A friend who was at a statewide conservative gathering with me last month, later said to me,
“…. many people don’t really have a consistent philosophy behind what they believe … in other words, they might believe the right things, but they don’t know why. Which is kind of the job of culture. We can’t all be intellectuals. Some of us got jobs.”
Which is exactly the case, and which is why culture, and respect for it, is so important (and why the left has been attacking it for so long) – it conveys the best understanding of the best of those the culture has produced, sparing every person, as it should, from having to do the due diligence of understanding every point themselves (Descartes, J.S.Mill, and other idiots aside, it is NOT sensible or even possible to doubt everything (see In Praise of Prejudice )).
Culture is a reflection of who you are and want to be, and represents the accepted answers to arguments most people likely don’t want to bother delving into. Except in rare instances, you cannot use your cultural example to win an argument against another’s cultural example, because a cultural reference is not a means of discussing an issue, but of answering one.
Cultures are not (and cannot be) won or defeated by means of being preached or imposed (short of total war), but only by means of people in one culture wanting to emulate that of the other. The attractiveness, the sense of something being worth emulating, is the only means of cultural change. It is how ours was changed out from underneath us, and if you don’t understand that, you are not going to be much of a help it righting it.
Are you, as a conservative, conveying your message in a way that anyone who isn’t a conservative, would like to emulate?
Conservatism is not the same thing as your favorite old movies or music, it isn’t allegiance to a party, or even your oh so consistent support of this political option or that one. Conservatism is, and only is, the response that is made by those possessing a particular set of ideas and their understanding; and that understanding, together with a basic knowledge of how they’ve played out in the history of mankind, together with a sense of why it is right that they should (hello to the Arts), such a person becomes one who chooses those choices which command a further respect for their fellow man and for the liberty of all; such a person recognizes their shared nature and Rights which ‘self-evidently‘ leads to those policies, and so seeks to conserve them.
Without that, you get people seeking the power of using networking to advance their causes – nullification, secession, Fed Marriage laws, ‘moderating’ the 2nd amendment… If you get your wish, that people become more effective and efficient in pushing what they want, without understanding what and why they should… we’ll just get the mirror image of what the left is selling… Power, which by any other name, would smell the same.
So… what?
So reach in, identify the core, the essentials that DO appeal to anyone and everyone, jettison everything else, and get on with it!
Don’t change your message – unburden it. ‘Liberty will enable you to live your own life‘, is the right message, it is a winning argument, and if you, and many others go about living a life worth living, others will notice it, and they will seek to emulate it, but not because you messaged your lifestyle or political opinions to them strategically, but because you live them in a way that others would like their own lives to reflect.
You cannot, if you are a conservative, expect to use the law as a means of changing a culture (unless your purpose is to corrode and destroy that culture), but that doesn’t mean that the principles of law (liberty), kept to their essentials, can’t be used to bridge the cultural differences we have, they can. There is no reason why security seeking and risk averse people who find themselves on the left today, can’t find security and safety under conservative ideas as well – it is in fact the only place they can – because those principles Are beneficial to any rational culture, and because those who find themselves within the other cultures can see them as being valuable and worthy of emulation and promotion (if the noise doesn’t keep them away) – that is why people have traditionally come to America.
Today we need to transmit that same sense to the people born in America, so that they will seek to become Americans as well, as did their forefathers.
For you part, present something worth paying attention to, without warding people off with your own personal preferences, and people will pay attention to it. In spite of themselves. The Truth that’s discovered from within, can lead to questions that will change a culture, even your own, from the inside out.
We all know that ‘the Truth is out there‘, find it, bring it in, make it yours, and it’ll spread…  Ring the Bell!

Please read the original posting here: "Here’s one message conservatives do need to hear"

A New Year’s Message: Stop ‘reaching out’ and start reaching in

From my first post at The Bell News:

Since the November election, in conservative gatherings, large and small, in the media and one on one, I’ve heard one consistent point that everyone seems to agree upon; not addressing what the problem with the election was, or how to solve it, but addressing instead what it is that we need to fix (no, I’m not sure how the two are not one and the same either), that being: our ‘Messaging’.
That, and, of course, that we need to ‘reach out’.
We’ve got to fine tune our ‘messaging’, we need to ‘craft’ our messages so as to appeal to the women, and to the mex…(‘wait, they don’t like being called that’) the Hisp… (‘wait, I hear they don’t like being called that either‘)… ullLahteeeenOHhhesss (‘I think they like that), and the Youth… (‘wait, I hear kids today don’t like that) the ‘millenials’ … etc.,etc.,etc.
For 2013 everyone wants to ‘reach out’… ok, fine. Towards what? To accomplish what? With what?
I’ve heard from all quarters, that we need to stop studying and talking about that old Founding Fathers stuff, and concentrate on newer and more popular strategies, winning strategies, no less! Those are sure to help us to reach out! Right?
You betcha!
Well, I’ve got my same old question. How are you going to reach out to anyone, when you don’t really know what it is you believe, and what it is you are for? How? Even among grassroots conservatives at a state wide gathering last month, I saw little evidence for their understanding of what they are for… or maybe I should rephrase that – everyone knew what they were for, but few seemed to understand why they should be for those positions.
The prospects at that point for strategically reaching out and communicating the value of those positions to those who don’t believe as you do… are somewhat limited.What is it, do you suppose, that they would be able to ‘strategize’ about?
Conservatives like to talk about the Constitution, but then in the same breath that they are voicing the importance of a nation united under the rule of law, I listened to them bandying about ideas of pursuing single state nullification, enthusing about such things as a ’10th Amendment process’ (process?!) and of how some states have pushed to nullify this or that national law, and we need to too! (If you don’t see the problem there, you probably have a severely irony deficient diet, take two John Adams and call me in the morning).
And on top of not being able to effectively reach out even amongst ourselves, these same conservatives seem to want to to ‘reach out’ to people who ARE different from them, to entice the Mex…Hisp…ulateenohs, the Yout… Millenials, and democrats too!, with the message of ‘be more like Ozzie & Harriet‘, or some other cultural memory … and they expect to succeed in that by by phrasing it more… strategically?
Well, if you’re going to ‘reach out’, you’d best check that what you are seen to be reaching out from, is more attractive than repulsive. Reaching out with “Hey, I really like Cinco de Mayo, vote GOP & be more like Ozzie & Harriet, si? I really love the beer & salsa and btw, vote republican!“, ain’t gonna work out too well for you.
If you want clever slogans, those slogans have to refer to something, something that everyone knows or knows they should know… if you simply reduce your positions to meaningless slogans, then the competition who is offering meaningless slogans plusbenefits, will win.
As they have been.
I tried putting my two cents in at that meeting, that it’s not a matter of making a message more timely, but more timeless. That you can’t appeal to people by ‘reaching out’ to them, when those you’re competing with are reaching out with goodies… that they have to be made to understand your message themselves and see for themselves why it is important to their lives, or fuhgedaboudit. I got a few nods… but the conversation went right back to the need to craft a more appealing message, which is about all I’ve been hearing ever since.
Fine, you want a message? Here you go:
  • If you want to communicate a message, first make sure that you understand it.
  • If you want us to support candidates, try promoting, and supporting, candidates who actually understand our message, and who are willing and able to articulate it and defend it.
Short of that… please, if you have to make your ‘message’ more appealing to this or that group, or more timely, then you don’t have a message that’s worth their time to listen to. Any message that doesn’t measure up to that, is folly, fad and, in the last analysis, failure, andthat is the only message you will succeed in communicating… which is the message that I intend to press in these pages in the year 2013.
So, please, before you reach out, first reach in. Reach in to find your principles and work on understand them first, you have to understand what it is that you believe and why, before you can communicate a worthwhile message about it – note: that doesn’t mean that I think you don’t know what positions you favor, believe me, we all know you do; what it means is that if you want to sell others on their value, then you need to understand the ideas behind those positions you support, you have to reach in to understand what they mean. I’m sorry it takes time, that’s the way it is. Deal with it. It’s a new year. Welcome.
The fact is, that if you can’t show how those positions you support today, flow from the same ideas that led to those truly radical ideas our Founders expressed (note: Not the quotes Adams & Jefferson might have made, but why they made them), in the likes of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (as proposed), then… you might begin to grasp why it is that conservatism, as a political movement, has failed in the last few presidential elections. No one believes your message – including most of those you elect to legislate it.
Reach in to understand why you are who you are, and believe what you do, demonstrate it in your actions, communicate it in that way to your fellows, consistently, and you may again foster a movement worth reaching for.
That’s the long ball game we are engaged in now, not necessarily to win this or that election (though that too), but to win the hearts and minds of the future.
Please read the original posting here: "A New Year's Message: Stop 'reaching out' and start reaching in"