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Author Topic: The Way Forward for the American Creed  (Read 62127 times)
ccp
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« Reply #650 on: February 01, 2014, 08:40:18 AM »

"We're sending a message to the Democrats, going after seven of their vulnerable seats with an eye towards picking up Senator Mark Warner's seat in Virginia as well"

And what is Warner's response?   He just came out in support of the Democratic candidate.  These establishment guys just think too much of themselves not Americans.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #651 on: February 09, 2014, 05:39:17 AM »

RNC Launches Black History Push

The Republican National Committee has launched a Black History Month ad
campaign that also honors recipients of this year's Black Republican
Trailblazers Awards. The RNC has made minority outreach a priority after the
2012 election, recognizing that Republicans have ceded far too much ground to
Democrats when it comes to engaging minority voters. Democrats have won and
held the loyalty of black voters over the last several decades by claiming to
offer them opportunities while holding them in an endless cycle of government
dependency -- the poverty plantation (http://patriotpost.us/alexander/14816),
if you will.

The fact that Democrats hold such an overwhelming majority of black votes year
in and year out represents a sad historical irony. The Republican Party was
founded in 1856 with an anti-slavery platform, and it was Republican votes
that added the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Jim Crow
was a Southern Democratic invention, and for decades it was Democrats who
stymied the advancement of civil rights legislation. Yet, leftist propaganda
would have us believe that the GOP has a long history of racism. Just the
opposite is true. Democrat President Lyndon Johnson may have been behind the
push to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but he was also responsible for
creating welfare programs that have not done anything to improve the lives of
minorities -- and arguably the opposite -- for over 60 years.

Yet the GOP has a lot of work to do to reverse this long-entrenched lie that
is perpetuated by the Leftmedia. They can start by communicating the real
history of the Republican Party, and explain that the GOP platform is actually
in the best interest of everyone, including minorities. Blacks embrace
Democrats because they have been led to believe there is no alternative but
state dependence. It's up to the GOP to spread the word that opportunity comes
from personal responsibility and Liberty, not government subsidies.

Democrats have very successfully politicized race, making it an issue of
conflict in electoral politics. But all people deserve freedom of opportunity,
and Republicans need to push that message. After all, as Mark Alexander wrote
Wednesday, Liberty is colorblind (http://patriotpost.us/alexander/23173).
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ccp
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« Reply #652 on: February 09, 2014, 10:47:15 AM »

"Tepid" "mild" applause - thus wrong message.  sad Perhaps he could say we will expand government to twice the give away rate and then would have had thundering applause.  angry

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/09/rand-paul-warns-his-former-home-state-texas-could-turn-blue/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #653 on: February 10, 2014, 09:47:20 AM »

Disagree.  Very much a necessary message IMHO and my respect to RP for "getting it" and making a point of saying it.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #654 on: February 10, 2014, 11:04:08 AM »

Disagree.  Very much a necessary message IMHO and my respect to RP for "getting it" and making a point of saying it.

I agree with Crafty here.  I don't like group or demographic politics, but that is the game being played.  Better to be in the mix than to lose by default.

Republicans don't need to win 51% or 100% of blacks or Hispanics, but they do need the people who are like minded to feel welcome and join in. 

It is not true that Democrats have the best  policies for 94% of blacks and 73% of Hispanics. 

40 percent of Texas Hispanics identified as conservative.  Only 18 percent claimed to be liberal.  Sixty-eight percent of Texas Hispanics support increasing border security as part of immigration reforms; 10 percent opposed it.  I know they vote Dem, but there is cause for concern in the numbers for Dems as well.  http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/ted-cruz-and-hispanic-vote
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #655 on: February 12, 2014, 07:51:48 PM »

http://JesseB.opendrive.com/files/NV8yMzU1MTQzNF9yS295Mw/Week%201.jpg
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #656 on: February 13, 2014, 07:22:30 AM »

Week two of my campaign

http://jesseb.opendrive.com/files/NV8yMzU1MTg0N19GRHNhTg/Week%202.jpg
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #657 on: February 15, 2014, 12:07:11 PM »

Week 3 of my campaign  http://jesseb.opendrive.com/files/NV8yMzU1MTkwOF9nOXlSWA/Week%203.jpg
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #658 on: February 16, 2014, 09:39:36 PM »

While awaiting my editor to give me weeks 4 and 5, we now jump to Week 6 from my 1992 Campaign:

http://jesseb.opendrive.com/files/NV8yMzU1MTkwOV9HQ2pKUA/Week%206.jpg
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ccp
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« Reply #659 on: February 19, 2014, 08:47:12 PM »

Some time ago I suggested the way forward for the Republican party is not just to scream smaller government but to scream smaller government that is with the same fairness to all.  We all know it is a rich man's world as put so apply by Dick Morris the other day.  But to not even acknowledge the reality of this is in my humble opinion why Republicans can only hope to win by default.  I know others on the board don't agree with me on this.  

It seems to me this article By Noonan speaks in the same vein I speak though from a different angle.   I like something Crafty said about getting rid of the extravagant overwhelming regulation that only rich people can navigate as one way to speak to making the road straighter for all.  We all abide by the same rules. 

In any case Peggy here is seems to be discussing this phenomenon without differentiating between party lines.  Both sides are amongst the "elite".  And all are decadent:

*****Peggy Noonan's Blog
Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist.
 Search Peggy Noonan's Blog1   . February 18, 2014, 7:58 PM.

Our Decadent Elites.

Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines? Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them?

“House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity.

Or maybe they’re just stupid.

But it’s all vaguely decadent, no? Or maybe not vaguely. America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars. Suggesting this perception is valid is helpful in what way?

I don’t understand why members of Congress, the White House and the media become cooperators in videos that sort of show that deep down they all see themselves as . . . actors. And good ones! In a phony drama. Meant I suppose to fool the rubes.

It’s all supposed to be amusing, supposed to show you’re an insider who sees right through this town. But I’m not sure it shows that.

We’re at a funny point in our political culture. To have judgment is to be an elitist. To have dignity is to be yesterday. To have standards is to be a hypocrite—you won’t always meet standards even when they’re your own, so why have them?

* * *
I wonder if the titans of Wall Street understand how they look in this.

At least they tried to keep it secret. That was good of them!

They are America’s putative great business leaders. They are laughing, singing, drinking, posing in drag and acting out skits. The skits make fun of their greed and cynicism. In doing this they declare and make clear, just in case you had any doubts, that they are greedy and cynical.

All of this is supposed to be merry, high-jinksy, unpretentious, wickedly self-spoofing. But it seems more self-exposing, doesn’t it?

And all of it feels so decadent.

No one wants to be the earnest outsider now, no one wants to play the sober steward, no one wants to be the grind, the guy carrying around a cross of dignity. No one wants to be accused of being staid. No one wants to say, “This isn’t good for the country, and it isn’t good for our profession.”

And it is all about the behavior of our elites, our upper classes, which we define now in a practical sense as those who are successful, affluent and powerful. This group not only includes but is almost limited to our political class, Wall Street, and the media, from Hollywood to the news divisions.

They’re all kind of running America.

They all seem increasingly decadent.

What are the implications of this, do you think?

They’re making their videos, holding their parties and having a ball. OK. But imagine you’re a Citizen at Home just grinding through—trying to do it all, the job, the parenthood, the mowing the lawn and paying the taxes. No glamour, all responsibility and effort. And you see these little clips on the Net where the wealthy sing about how great taxpayer bailouts are and you feel like . . . they’re laughing at you.

What happens to a nation whose elites laugh at its citizens?

What happens to its elites?****
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 09:09:04 PM by ccp » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #660 on: February 20, 2014, 12:27:22 PM »

Although the following WSJ editorial overlooks the point that Bush was a big amnesty supporter, still it addresses questions we must address:
By Jason L. Riley
Feb. 19, 2014 5:51 p.m. ET

Rand Paul, the GOP senator from Kentucky who is eyeing a White House run, recently warned that his former home state of Texas "will be a Democratic state in 10 years" if Republicans don't do a better job of winning over minority voters. Mr. Paul is understandably concerned about the GOP's dearth of racial and ethnic diversity in a country that is fast becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. But Texas may not be the best example of the party's outreach woes.

To begin with, every state-wide office in Texas is occupied by a Republican, which has been the case for the past two decades. Moreover, Mitt Romney won Texas by a 16-point margin in 2012, which was wider than John McCain's margin of victory there in 2008 and suggests that Texas has gotten redder in recent years in presidential elections.


Then there's the Gallup poll released earlier this month, which found that Texas Hispanics trend Republican at a much higher rate (27 percent) than Hispanics nationwide (21 percent). Given that Texas is home to the country's second-largest Latino population after California, that finding is not trivial.

"Hispanics in Texas are more likely to identify as Republican than are Hispanics elsewhere, and the Republican Party in Texas has seen more growth in Hispanic support over the past five years than the Democratic Party," Gallup found. "While this has not changed the overall equation—Democrats still lead big among Texan Hispanics—it does suggest the GOP may be more competitive with this bloc than many assume."

Mr. Paul was making a point about overall demographic trends in the country that are undeniable. Hispanics are 17 percent of the population today and projected to climb to 30 percent by 2050. Some 27 percent of students enrolled in the University of California system, the nation's largest, self-identify as Hispanic.

Still, demography is not political destiny. Many Republicans are too eager to write off the Latino vote, but the Texas experience shows that this would be a mistake. Latinos are proven swing voters and tend to share the politics of their neighbors, as the political scientist Michael Barone has noted. Puerto Ricans in Harlem may be reliably Democratic, but Mexican-Americans living in Orange County, Calif., are more likely to lean Republican. Republicans in Texas seem to be doing a much better job of making Latinos feel welcome in the party. National GOP leaders should take note.
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ccp
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« Reply #661 on: February 20, 2014, 12:32:36 PM »

It is being said Obama may be delaying push for immigration (amnesty) reform till after '14.  If true than isn't this a cynical comment on how pols abuse the intent of voting?

If it is not popular than delay it and not make it an issue till after an election and then when that is over ram it down the voters throats against their wills.

The disdain for wants and needs for Americans is so palpable. 
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ccp
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« Reply #662 on: February 22, 2014, 08:18:02 PM »

I don't agree with this assessment of the Republican Party or where it should go, but this is the FIRST time I recall reading any Economist article that is [sort of] positive on the Republican Party.   Some of the proposals are again new versions of government programs but a few do streamline some things.
 
*****The Republicans

Hell, maybe

The “party of no” is offering some fresh ideas
 Feb 15th 2014  | WASHINGTON, DC | From the print edition

THE House passed a bill on February 11th to raise the debt ceiling (the legal limit to how much America may borrow) without conditions attached. The Senate followed suit the next day. With luck, this marks the end of congressional games of chicken over whether America will default on its debts and torpedo the world economy. It also made the Republican Party look less like a protest movement and more like a part of the government, which in fact it is.

Many Republicans are coming round to the view that they need to be more than “the party of no”. On February 10th Heritage Action, a ferocious conservative campaign group, held a day-long jamboree of policy ideas. Speaker after speaker talked about how important it was to put forward fresh proposals. The notion that policies formulated by Ronald Reagan may need some tweaking 40 years later has also gained ground. “To many Americans today, especially to the underprivileged and middle-class, or those who have come of age or immigrated since Reagan left office, the Republican Party may not seem to have much of a relevant reform message at all,” said Mike Lee, a senator from Utah, in a barely reported speech before Christmas.

Blocking schemes that come from the president or from the Senate, where Democrats have a majority, has an obvious appeal for a party whose unifying idea is that government is too big. “Hell no” may also prove to be a workable strategy in this year’s mid-term elections, which are likely to be low-turnout affairs that reward intensity of feeling. Moreover, recent examples of naysaying, such as the postponing of immigration reform and the refusal to extend unemployment benefits, suggest that the party is not ready to question many of its core beliefs. Yet some Republicans who represent purplish states or have national ambitions are doing just that.

Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida, has proposed rolling the federal government’s many anti-poverty programmes into a single fund, to be spent by states on plans of their own design. Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, has made admiring noises about Britain’s universal credit, an attempt to simplify welfare payments and reduce the high effective marginal tax rates that claimants face when their earnings rise. At the moment the earned-income tax credit, a negative income tax that boosts the earnings of ill-paid parents, does little for the childless. Senator Rubio has also proposed a wage subsidy for low-paying jobs which, unlike the earned-income tax credit, would treat people with and without children equally.

John Thune, a senator from South Dakota, has proposed replacing the extension of unemployment insurance with a payroll tax holiday for companies that hire the long-term unemployed. He also favours a scheme to lend $10,000 to people in this category to help them to move somewhere where they can find a job. These ideas borrow from work by Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute, a think-tank, who suggests that the federal government act as an employer of last resort and hire people who have been out of the labour market for a long time.

If one thread runs through these ideas, it is this: that getting people back to work at a time of high unemployment may require more than just cuts to benefits, and that lower taxes and deregulation may not improve wages for low earners on their own. This willingness to interfere with markets extends to health-care policy, the area where there is most disagreement between Republicans and Democrats. Lanhee Chen of Stanford University reckons that the Obamacare fight has improved the quality of Republican counter-proposals, which now aim to cover pre-existing medical conditions, reduce costs and extend coverage—as Obamacare is meant to do.

The urge to say no to everything is still strong. A reminder of that came when the Senate Conservatives Fund, a campaign group which has spent $8m already in this electoral cycle, responded to the passage of the debt-ceiling bill in the House by announcing its intention to replace John Boehner, the most senior Republican in Congress, as Speaker. “Successful political movements”, says Senator Lee, “are about identifying converts, not heretics.” By that measure the Republicans still have some way to go. But at least the arguments the party is having with itself have become more adventurous.

From the print edition: United States
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #663 on: February 27, 2014, 12:05:18 PM »

Henninger: The Growth Revolutions Erupt
Ukrainians want what we've got: The benefits of real economic growth.
By
Daniel Henninger
Feb. 26, 2014 7:32 p.m. ET

All future histories of the Obama presidency will analyze the phrase "leading from behind"—the idea that the U.S. superpower should behave as no more than a co-equal partner in managing the affairs of the world. Chapters will be devoted to laying this revisionist template over Libya, Syria and Iran. There is one area, though, in which the returns are already in on this new notion of American leadership: For five years, the U.S. has been leading the world economy from behind. It's not pretty.

Across the postwar period, the U.S. has been the "engine" that pulls the world economy. That engine has sputtered the past five years, with annual U.S. growth rotating around 2% rather than the historic average above 3%. Economies elsewhere are faltering or choking. Even China is decelerating. The European Union this week predicted weak growth through 2015.

After the great recession ended in early 2009, the normal post-recession growth spike in the U.S. never happened, meaning the world's people missed out on a lot of productive economic activity. And don't hold your breath. According to the Congressional Budget Office's outlook report this Feb. 4, "The growth of potential GDP over the next 10 years is much slower than the average since 1950." Not slower. Much slower.
Enlarge Image

Hang around the Washington political and pundit class these days, and you get the impression this doesn't matter much. We'll muddle through low growth till the sun comes out again. Raise the minimum wage, create more tax credits or spend $300 billion pouring federal concrete, and the clouds will part.

You think so? Let's try to describe as provocatively as possible the future that a slower U.S. economy will produce, and we don't mean the coming Medicare-cost bomb. If the American economic engine slows permanently to about 2%, you're going to see more fires around the world like Ukraine and Venezuela. At the margin, the world's weakest, most misgoverned countries will pop, and violently.

No one in our politics should be so naïve as to think that in a dangerously low-growth world, the U.S. won't have to get "involved." Weakening economies breed anger and political volatility, as in the 1930s, and if the flames get high enough, there will be U.S. boots on the ground somewhere.

The Arab Spring erupted just three years ago. As in Ukraine or Venezuela, the scenes from Middle Eastern capitals were the same: thousands of young demonstrators (a million in Cairo's Tahrir Square), bonfires and bloodshed. Yes, it's about political freedom and corruption, but left unseen because it can't be photographed in these upheavals is the reality of economic hopelessness.
Enlarge Image

People attend a rally in Independence Square in Kiev on Wednesday. Reuters

Mainly that means massive joblessness, notably among young people. It's 39% in Egypt and 38% for university graduates in Tunisia. We are witnessing growth revolutions. Why are Ukrainians fighting and dying to join the low-growth European Union? Because the EU has a system that makes real economic growth theoretically possible, unlike erratic Russia. Aligned with the EU, a free Poland has grown, even if Italy and France have frittered away what they had. France reported record unemployment this week.

The U.S. and Western Europe have lived through these recent years with the illusion that economic mediocrity can't be so bad because they've had no Orange Revolutions on their lovely streets. In fact, these vain and decelerating advanced economies are living off the accumulated inheritance of a century and a half of good growth.

Angus Maddison, the late and eminent economist for the OECD, produced a famous chart in 1995, depicted nearby. For the longest time—basically from after the Garden of Eden until the 19th century—economic benefit for the average person in the West or Japan was flat as toast. The Mona Lisa aside, there was a reason someone back then said life was nasty, brutish and short. Then suddenly, new wealth spread broadly.

Maddison describes 1820 till 1950 as the "capitalist epoch." He means that admiringly. The tools of capitalism unlocked the knowledge created until then. What came to be called "economic growth" gave more people jobs that lifted them and their families from the muck of joblessness and poverty. Maddison also noted that much of the world did not participate in the capitalist epoch. No wonder they revolt now.

This history is worth restating because the importance of strong economic growth, and the unavoidable necessity of a U.S. that leads that growth, may be disappearing down the memory hole of public policy, on the left and even among some on the right. Both share the grim view that the U.S. economy is flatlining, and the grim fight is over how to divide what's left.

There is no alternative to strong economic growth. None. They know this in Beijing, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Warsaw, Bratislava, Taipei, even Hanoi. The missing piece is a global growth agenda led by a U.S. president and Treasury secretary who aren't fundamentally at odds with capitalism. The revival of tax reform announced this week (and on these pages) by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp is a start.

In a puckish moment, Angus Maddison did say that income inequality was rather minimal in the 11th century. Now those were the days.

Write to henninger@wsj.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #664 on: March 11, 2014, 12:07:09 PM »

CPAC 2014 Highlights: Making the Case for Liberty
 

The American Conservative Union hosted the Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC, this past weekend. Here are some highlights from the roster of speakers, in no particular order:

Rand Paul: "Imagine with me for a moment, imagine a time when Liberty is again spread from coast to coast. Imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of Liberty. You may think I'm talking about electing Republicans. I'm not. I'm talking about electing lovers of Liberty. It isn't good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action, who will lead us back to greatness. There is a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not of the Republican Party but the future of the entire country."

Rick Perry: "It's time for a little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas. ... I am here today to say, we don't have to accept recent history. We just need to change the presidency. It's not too late for America to lead in the world, but it starts by leading at home."

Bobby Jindal: "I spent a lot of 2012 going around the country saying that President Obama was the most liberal and most incompetent president in my lifetime ever since Jimmy Carter. Now having witnessed the events abroad these last several days: To President Carter, I want to issue a sincere apology. It is no longer fair to say he was the worst president of this great country in my lifetime, President Obama has proven me wrong."

Mike Lee: "We have concrete, specific proposals to help lower-income families overcome welfare, improve education and job training, and rescue at-risk communities with too few jobs, too few fathers, and too little hope. We have solutions to end cronyist privilege and corporate welfare, to close the Beltway Favor Bank, and put America's political and corporate elites back to work for the rest of us. And we have introduced legislation to rescue America's working families from the middle class squeeze. To make it more affordable to raise and educate their kids, and afford health insurance and a home of their own. We have an agenda. And contrary to the Establishment's advice, we're not hiding it from the media or the American people, or from you. It's time for the Republican Party to stop talking about Ronald Reagan and start acting like him."

Ted Cruz: "You want to lose elections, stand for nothing. ... Defend the Constitution -- all of it. ... We need to repeal every single word of ObamaCare."

John Bolton: "Our biggest national security crisis is Barack Obama. This is a president that does not believe in American exceptionalism, a president uninterested in national security and America's place in the world, who considers our strength part of the problem, that we are the cause of international tension. This is like looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope. But that is Barack Obama's world."

Marco Rubio: "There is only one nation on earth capable of rallying and bringing together the free people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarianism. ... America must be involved in leading the world."

Dr. Ben Carson: "[W]e have got to get back to the same mentality that Americans had in the pre- Revolutionary days. They got together with their friends and their neighbors and their associates and they talked about what kind of America do we want to have, what we want to pass onto our children. And they encouraged each other, and that is how a bunch of ragtag militia men defeated the most powerful army in the world at that time. You need to go out and talk to people."

Sarah Palin: "I love coming back here because there are always so many young people, or as you're known by the folks across the river, the ObamaCare suckers. ... Turns out you have the change they were waiting for -- you have the fives, the tens, the twenties."
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« Reply #665 on: March 16, 2014, 12:49:36 PM »

This catches my attention:

"This was the point raised in 1953 by Robert Nisbet’s “Quest for Community,” arguably the 20th century’s most important work of conservative sociology. (I wrote the introduction when it was reissued.) Trying to explain modern totalitarianism’s dark allure, Nisbet argued that it was precisely the emancipation of the individual in modernity — from clan, church and guild — that had enabled the rise of fascism and Communism."

=========================================================================================

Ross Douthat


IN the future, it seems, there will be only one “ism” — Individualism — and its rule will never end. As for religion, it shall decline; as for marriage, it shall be postponed; as for ideologies, they shall be rejected; as for patriotism, it shall be abandoned; as for strangers, they shall be distrusted. Only pot, selfies and Facebook will abide — and the greatest of these will probably be Facebook.

That’s the implication, at least, of what the polling industry keeps telling us about the rising American generation, the so-called millennials. (Full disclosure: I am not quite one of them, having entered the world in the penultimate year of Generation X.) A new Pew survey, the latest dispatch from the land of young adulthood, describes a generation that’s socially liberal on issues like immigration and marijuana and same-sex marriage, proudly independent of either political party, less likely to be married and religious than earlier generations, less likely to identify as patriotic and less likely — by a striking margin — to say that one’s fellow human beings can be trusted.

In political terms, the millennials are liberals on the surface, which is why the Pew report inspired a round of discussion about whether they’re likely to transform electoral politics in the short run (no, because cohort replacement is slow, and it’s Generation X that’s actually moving into positions of influence right now), whether they will push our political debates leftward in the long run (probably, because youthful voting patterns tend to persist across the life cycle), and whether this gives the Democratic Party a hammerlock on the future (it doesn’t, because political coalitions always adapt and fracture in unexpected ways).

But the millennials’ skepticism of parties, programs and people runs deeper than their allegiance to a particular ideology. Their left-wing commitments are ardent on a few issues but blur into libertarianism and indifferentism on others. The common denominator is individualism, not left-wing politics: it explains both the personal optimism and the social mistrust, the passion about causes like gay marriage and the declining interest in collective-action crusades like environmentalism, even the fact that religious affiliation has declined but personal belief is still widespread.

So the really interesting question about the millennials isn’t whether they’ll all be voting Democratic when Chelsea Clinton runs for president. It’s whether this level of individualism — postpatriotic, postfamilial, disaffiliated — is actually sustainable across the life cycle, and whether it can become a culture’s dominant way of life.

One can answer “yes” to this question cheerfully or pessimistically — with the optimism of a libertarian who sees such individualism as a liberation from every form of oppression and control, or the pessimism of a communitarian who sees social isolation, atomization and unhappiness trailing in its wake.

But one can also answer “no,” and argue that the human desire for community and authority cannot be permanently buried — in which case the most important question in an era of individualism might be what form of submission it presages.

This was the point raised in 1953 by Robert Nisbet’s “Quest for Community,” arguably the 20th century’s most important work of conservative sociology. (I wrote the introduction when it was reissued.) Trying to explain modern totalitarianism’s dark allure, Nisbet argued that it was precisely the emancipation of the individual in modernity — from clan, church and guild — that had enabled the rise of fascism and Communism.

In the increasing absence of local, personal forms of fellowship and solidarity, he suggested, people were naturally drawn to mass movements, cults of personality, nationalistic fantasias. The advance of individualism thus eventually produced its own antithesis — conformism, submission and control.

You don’t have to see a fascist or Communist revival on the horizon (I certainly don’t) to see this argument’s potential relevance for our apparently individualistic future. You only have to look at the place where millennials — and indeed, most of us — are clearly seeking new forms of community today.

That place is the online realm, which offers a fascinating variation on Nisbet’s theme. Like modernity writ large, it promises emancipation and offers new forms of community that transcend the particular and local. But it requires a price, in terms of privacy surrendered, that past tyrannies could have only dreamed of exacting from their subjects.

This surrender could prove to be benign. But it’s still noteworthy that today’s vaguely totalitarian arguments don’t usually come from political demagogues. They come from enthusiasts for the online Panopticon, the uploaded world where everyone will be transparent to everyone else.

That kind of future is far from inevitable. But as Nisbet would argue, and as the rising generation of Americans may yet need to learn, it probably cannot be successfully resisted by individualism alone.
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« Reply #666 on: March 26, 2014, 09:59:53 AM »

I gave a little rant yesterday over in Monetary policy about how are our problems (and solutions) are not monetary.  That said, I thought the followup should go here - on the optimistic side, or else in a doomsday thread.

ccp:  Doug,  So how long can we go on with this charade?

It hasn't really occurred to me that we won't snap out of this.  The world and the economy looked this bad just before the Reagan revolution.  The table is set and we are one good leader away from solving this, IMO.

When we were poised to win a tea party victory in 2010, GM said and I agreed that this was a two election fix.  From there we won the House but blew TWO good chance to win the Senate and an almost perfect opportunity to take back the White House.  

Yet the same opportunity is still presenting itself, $4 trillion in debt later and with a deteriorating workforce and work ethic.  Is it too late now? No.  Is is to late if we blow it again?  God help us!  I don't know.  At some point if we choose the policies of Venezuela or Greece, we will get the results of Venezuela or Greece - or Haiti or the Republic of the Congo, with our goal of perfect income equality even as it approaches zero.

Nate Silver, of fame for his perfect Obama victory predictions now says the R's will pick up 6 seats in the Senate, plus or minus 5. (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2014/0323/Nate-Silver-s-new-Senate-forecast-could-terrify-Democrats-into-action-video) Assuming he is right at 6, Republicans could easily lose the Senate in 2016 even while taking the White House.  If we are going to turn this ship around, the number of new Republican Senators this year needs to be closer to the 11 that are winnable than the 6 that are expected.

Pew published recently that new voters will soon be majority non-white.  Dems think that means majority Dem because they own non-white vote.  (http://washingtonexaminer.com/pew-white-majority-over-next-generation-more-than-50-non-white/article/2546219)  But they have not earned their vote with the results of their policies and owning non-whites has been illegal for 150 years.  Wise, older black conservative Thomas Sowell says, as I have said, the Republicans don't need to win the black vote but they need to chip the Dem black vote down from 90% to 80%, a critical mass that would allow all blacks to believe they have a choice - especially a school choice!  (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032514.php3)  [Similar arguments obviously can and need to made with Hispanics, women, gays, Asian-Americans, young people etc.]

What we have gained through Obama is clear data that the liberal, leftist policies don't work, for white or non-white, at home or abroad.  What we do with that new data from a policy and marketing challenge is up to us.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 01:02:30 PM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #667 on: March 26, 2014, 10:39:29 PM »

We are past the point of no return.

The hard reboot is coming.
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