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Wednesday, November 5

Final Victory in the War of Ideas?

A friend of mine believes that this recent election may signal a final defeat for the ideals of conservatism, that no genuine right wing alliance will ever again regain control of the country.
While I fundamentally disagree, I'll grant him certain points.
  • On some social issues (homosexuality, immigration, and other types of xenophobia) the conservatives will moderate significantly over the next 10 years.
  • Conservative aversion to changes to the patent law may reduce as changes in the software industry make those changes more evidently necessary.
  • On environmental issues, the conservatives will drop the issue of whether global warming is an issue, and focus on policies that help the market incorporate environmental cost into their decision making (carbon tax or 'cap-n-trade' vs. arbitrary per-company pollution controls).
There are a few other issues where I wish they would change the party line, but these are the ones I think will actually change. Once these changes are made, the conservative party will have a far more focused platform based on consistent principles. It will still be necessary to find a leader who can articulate those principles well to the masses, but those come in time.
The modern GOP is very different from the 1950's GOP which was far away from the 1900's GOP. Political platforms change to fit the times, but some ideas don't become less correct.

To justify 'spreading the wealth around,' one has to accept that wealth does not belong to the individual who creates it. Is wealth created by the social environment that created the person, or is it the creative and motivated character of the person that creates both the wealth and the social environment? If you claim that the social forces created the person's character, than it becomes one social duty to do everything possible to forcibly improve the social environment. That can and will be used to permit government control of anything that affects the social environment, words, print, businesses that compete with government programs, etc. If you deny the basic premise that a person owns the product of their work, then you deny the basic freedom that a person even owns his/her self.

3 comments:

Jerry Holsworth said...

I read your two blogs on the election. Interesting stuff. I really think that the economy is going to drive the Obama presidency whether he likes it or not. It is so fragile now, and confidence in him is so low that if he makes even a little mistake it could send the economy into a serous tailspin. The stock market dropping 900 points in the first 48 hours after his election is very telling, but the main stream media will never analyze this fairly. I also believe that the stock market down turn before the election was Wall Street’s way of disapproving of the most likely election results.

I really don’t think that the answer is to compromise on anything, but to stick to our guns right now and let nature take its course. If the Republicans want to do that we should just let them die. That’s just as true on social issues as it is on economic ones. McCain lost because of the two things that I stated to you earlier this morning. The most important of the two was the, “I’ll cross the aisle and work with the Democrats line.” That’s defeatism at its worst. The one weapon that we have is the internet. It’s still free, and uncontrolled by the government. Your blog is a good start, and you should do everything you can to improve it and make is more accessible

As a military historian I’m sure you expect (and I won’t disappoint) a military analogy; so here it is.

At the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the Civil War a Union regimental commander was faced with an impossible situation. Outnumbered, isolated, and surrounded by an overwhelming force closing in on him for all sides (not to mention hanging on on the side of steep mountain) he and his unit were faced with the likelihood of being wiped out. He decided to fix bayonets and charge to the top of the mountain. His small unit broke through the Confederate line, made the top of the mountain, and won a stunning victory for the Union army.

In his report after the battle he briefly described the situation that he faced and said that he felt that his only choice was to, “Fight like hell.”

His name was Arthur MacArthur and he awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. Eighty years later his son (they are the only father and son to win that medal) was also awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II. The son’s name was (you guessed it!) General Douglas MacArthur.

“In war, there is no substitute for victory!!!”

We don’t need to compromise. We don’t need to surrender or give up. We don’t need to lose hope. What we need to do is, “FIGHT LIKE HELL!!!”

Sunny said...

Thanks for pointing out the economy, I now realize I haven't said much about that. I'll make that a new post.

I'm not saying here that conservatives should give up on social issues, but that they should focus their efforts on ideas will be winning propositions.

The vast majority of gen X and Y have little if any animosity towards gays. So a platform that emphasizes free speech for churches (as long as they don't use state funds) on political issues could have the same effect on the culture, without the political cost of restricting the individual rights of gays.

People feel entitled to free health care. Instead of simply saying 'No,' the conservative party would get a lot more benefit out of attacking the monopoly system and excess regulations that increase the real cost of health care. Provide a greater freedom of choice in the market.

Right now, the republicans are fighting issues that most voters just don't care about, and ignoring the democrats on issues that are front and center.

I'm not saying compromise, I'm saying to level the bayonets directly at the top of the moral high-ground and run in only one direction. That will be far more productive than staying on the side of the hill shooting in every direction. If they keep doing that, you'll eventually be overrun.

Jerry Holsworth said...

“Feminism does not make women strong, it makes men weak” I didn’t say that Will Durant did. Homosexuality is a product of feminism; weak men wanting to be strong women. Homosexuality has been with us for thousands of years, and those people have always been the most successful when they kept quite about it. When they “come out” is always ends badly for them. The last, but by no means only example of this was Germany in the 1920s. That’s the last time homosexuals “came out” in large numbers. When Hitler was elected (Yes, he was elected) in 1933 homosexuality vanished in about six months. I wonder where they went.

The defeat of the gay marriage law in California was a product of Obama, not the religious right. You see black people really don’t like homosexuality. They came out to vote for Obama in record numbers last Tuesday. When they voted on the gay rights issue they voted 70-30 against it. That’s what defeated the gay marriage law. Do you really think that Obama would have won so overwhelmingly in California if the religious had that kind of voting power there?

Instead of rioting in Compton or Watts though, the gays rioted in front of a Mormon church. What courage!! That was a sign of their weakness, or at the least their inability to deal with reality.

Generation X and Y may not care about a lot of things now, but that could change in a heartbeat. Minority groups are best served when they do everything they can to blend into the majority. That’s how Italians, Germans, Irish, and Jews made a successful life here. That’s also true of religious minorities. If any of those groups had decided to start a revolution they wouldn’t be here today. My grandfather and father were German Americans living in the US when the two world wars started. Both made it a point to be “the first one on their block” to enlist. That’s how minority groups succeed.

“Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance.” General George S. Patton Jr.

He also said “God I love it” so he may not be the best source here.