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The Way Forward for the American Creed
Topic: The Way Forward for the American Creed (Read 73004 times)
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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.
RNC launches Black History Push
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 (
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 (
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #652 on:
February 09, 2014, 10:47:15 AM »
"Tepid" "mild" applause - thus wrong message.
Perhaps he could say we will expand government to twice the give away rate and then would have had thundering applause.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #654 on:
February 10, 2014, 11:04:08 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog 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.
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.
My 1992 run for US Congress
Reply #655 on:
February 12, 2014, 07:51:48 PM »
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #656 on:
February 13, 2014, 07:22:30 AM »
Week two of my campaign
Week 3 of my campaign
Reply #657 on:
February 15, 2014, 12:07:11 PM »
Week 3 of my campaign
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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:
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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.
Future of the Republican Party
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 “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
Henninger: The Growth Revolutions Erupt
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
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. (
) 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. (
) 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! (
) [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
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #667 on:
March 26, 2014, 10:39:29 PM »
We are past the point of no return.
The hard reboot is coming.
Support the Patriot Post
Reply #668 on:
April 18, 2014, 08:33:44 AM »
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Reply #669 on:
April 18, 2014, 10:22:16 AM »
The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
April 18, 2014
Editor's Note: Jonah will be back to filing your favorite "news"letter next week. In the meanwhile, we editorial lackeys thoroughly enjoyed reading this blast-from-the-past G-File originally sent on November 30, 2012, and we trust you will too.
Dear Reader (Well, maybe not so dear. It occurs to me that going by the logic of the White House, you people should be presenting me with proposals for this parenthetical gag and then I'll decide which one I'll deign to use),
I know it's been a while, and for those of you new or recently signed up to this fully operational "news"letter let me say a few things. 1) Booger! 2) Hitler was a "man of peace," and 3) you are not a zombie.
As longtime readers of this product may recall, point one is a reference to the inaugural episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, where Johnny Fever ("That's 'Doctor Johnny Fever' to you kid" -- The Couch) is lured from his exile in disco and called back into doing Rock and Roll. His career had taken a bad turn when the FCC dinged him for saying "booger" on the air. Andy Travis, WKRP's new station manager, tells him he can not only do Rock and Roll again, but he can even say "booger" on the air if he wants to. Jack Fowler, NR's publisher, made me a similar offer when he asked me to revive the old Goldberg File. The Doctor was well-pleased , and so was I.
I bring this up because I just want to emphasize that I get to write about what I want here. We have a lot of new subscribers coming and, even though in my imagination you all talk to each other, in reality some of you don't know the score and have been complaining. So there it is. B to the double Oh to the G, E-R.
Hitler the Moderate
Twice this week I wrote columns I didn't like that much, and that always puts me off my feed. When you have to grind out two syndicated columns a week, this happens. The muse, that selfish tramp, decides to stay in bed all day watching reruns of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. And you're left hunting and pecking letters on the key board without the power of Greyskull coursing through your fingers. Or something like that.
The first column, on Mohamed Morsi, was perfectly passable, but it wasn't fun to write, and I just didn't get to make the point I wanted to make.
Well, like the cummerbund on a really fat man at a super classy cheesesteak-eating contest, the G-File is here to catch the crumbs so I can take a second bite. Which brings me to point No. 2.
The point I made about Morsi is that simply because he opted not to join Hamas in a war against Israel right now doesn't mean he's a moderate.
The point I wanted to make is that there's no inherent conflict between what we routinely describe as "pragmatism" and being a fanatic or even an ideologue.
Consider the man in the mustache.
In a major speech in May 1933, Hitler proclaimed he had set "only one great task" for himself and his government: "to secure peace in the world." The National Socialist Party craved "from its innermost heart to live in peace and friendship." He continued to hit this note throughout most of the 1930s. In 1935: "National Socialist Germany desires peace from its innermost ideological convictions. . . . Germany needs peace and desires peace."
Historian Ian Kershaw writes, "Since the Munich Agreement, there was, it seemed, little room for doubts about Hitler's diplomacy, and his speeches in the spring and summer of 1939 – especially his highly effective rebuff of President Roosevelt on 28 April – made a considerable impact, seeming to confirm to many Germans that his underlying aims were to preserve peace, not to wage war."
It's also important to remember that Germans weren't the only ones who bought Hitler's peace talk. For years, in America and the U.K. it was respectable, albeit debatable, to claim Hitler was a "man of peace." Wyndham Lewis, an oddball and right-wingish character, said as much in his 1931 book,Hitler. He recanted in 1938 with the book The Hitler Cult. But just as Lewis was coming to his senses, many on the left were losing theirs. Forget Neville Chamberlain. In 1938 former Labor Party leader and president of the British Peace Pledge Union, George Landsbury, proclaimed, "I think Hitler will be regarded as one of the great men of our time." Landsbury was also apparently the head of War Resisters' International and chairman of the No More War Movement.
Hitler's peace propaganda in the 1930s did exactly what he needed it do: buy him time. In a secret speech to the German press in 1938, Hitler explained:
Circumstances have compelled me to speak for decades almost solely of peace. Only through continued emphasis on the German desire for peace and intentions of peace was it possible for me . . . to provide the German people with the armaments which were always necessary as the basis of the next step. It goes without saying that such a peace propaganda which has been cultivated for years also has its doubtful side; for it can only too easily lead to the view being formed in the minds of many people that the present regime identifies with the determination and the will to maintain peace under all circumstances.
My aim here is not to preach the usual -- albeit wholly valid -- sermonettes about the follies of appeasement and the need for vigilance and all that. Rather, it's to point out that even though Hitler meets just about everyone's definition of a fanatic and at least most folks' understanding of an ideologue, he was still capable of what sensible people took to be moderation and pragmatism. And it wasn't all propaganda or Teutonic Jedi mind tricks, either. Hitler was a pragmatist, particularly on the world stage but also with regard to economics, when it suited his purposes. For instance, when the fascist chancellor of Austria Engelbert Dollfuss (yes, you read that right)was deposed in a Nazi coup, the fascist dictator of Italy Mussolini sent troops to the Austrian border to defend Austrian independence from Nazi aggression. Hitler backed down, renounced the coup, and played nice. He was after all, a "pragmatist."
Indeed, pragmatism in political affairs is in no way incompatible with ideology, and yet they are one of the intelligentsia's (and would-be intelligentsia's) favorite false antipodes.
That's right, I used the phrase "false antipodes" and I liked it. But if that bothers you, feel free to substitute "ersatz orthogons."
Yes, yes, I know I wrote a whole book on how pragmatism and ideology aren't what people think they are, but this is sort of a new point. There is something about the modern mind in general and the liberal mind in particular that seems incapable of grasping that ideologically dogmatic people can also be reasonable.
Obama isn't an ideologue, we're constantly told, he's a pragmatist! Why? Because he doesn't automatically and indiscriminately take the cartoonish left-wing position. I can't count how many times I've read or been told that Ted Kennedy was a "pragmatist" because he was willing to work with conservatives to achieve his profoundly ideological goals. And yet, if you call him an ideologue, the Morning Joe types roll their eyes as if calling a left-wing ideologue an ideologue is something only a right-wing ideologue would do.
President Obama marveled at Mohamed Morsi's "pragmatism" because Morsi didn't punctuate his ululating with chants of "Death to Israel!" Moreover, Morsi opted not to go to war with Israel now. Both Obama and Joe Klein took this as proof that Morsi's a "moderate." To me this is like someone in 1935 saying Hitler was a "moderate" for not invading Poland before he was ready to invade Poland.
Note: I'm not saying that I know Morsi will invade Israel. The future is unknowable. He may end up more constrained by the Egyptian people than he'd like. Who knows? What I am saying is that it is idiotic to conclude that Morsi isn't ideologically committed to the tenants of the Muslim Brotherhood (which includes eventually erasing Israel), simply because he refused to let Hamas dictate his agenda to him. The pragmatist Morsi used his success with the cease-fire to parlay it into seizing dictatorial power – power Morsi the ideologue needs to take care of business.
Politics as the Zombie Walks
In other words, ideologues and fanatics (not the same thing, by the way) can be intelligent and patient, too.
And yet, sometimes all it takes for liberals to forget this is to stop saying the obviously stupid stuff and obtusely pushing in the same direction over and over again. We have defined ideology down to the point that so long as you don't behave like a zombie, you're pragmatic. And yes, this brings me to point No. 3, or as my inner Dadaist likes to say, "Melting Clock!"
Just as Charlie don't surf, zombies don't strategize. They smell fresh human flesh and they walk in that direction. If they hit a wall, they walk into the wall or maybe slide around it, gliding along their shoulder, like a drunk trying to find the back of the 7-11 to throw up. What they don't do is think about how to get where they need to go. They take the path of least resistance, but always head in the same direction.
This is how many people think of ideologues. The assumption is that ideology is a high-bleach-content brainwash, making temporary concessions, reasonable adjustments, or intelligent course corrections impossible. The ideologue, like the zombie, walks into walls over and over and over again like a wind-up toy with an eternal spring. But that's not a description of what an ideologue does, it's a description of what an idiot does.
Take Van Jones ("please!"). He's still a radical. But he realized that talking like one turned people off. His epiphany wasn't to have reasonable convictions, it was to sound like he did. "I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends," he once explained when he decided to stop touting his Marxism.
President Obama clearly had a similar revelation at some point in the mid-1990s. And conservatives could learn a lot from him.
I deliberately avoided using this G-File for yet another post-election post-mortem. The stink of recriminations fills the air like the stench of stale flounder in the men's bathroom at a trimethylaminuria clinic. But I just can't help myself.
"Moderation in all things." That was Aristotle's advice. Lost to history is the fact that Aristotle drunkenly blurted this out while swinging from an elaborate sex-trapeze in a Macedonian brothel ("I think you should spend a few more minutes googling that" – the Couch).
I don't think it's great advice, truth be told. Nearly all categorical statements can be falsified. There are certainly areas where moderation is either ill-advised or moderation is simply a trite phrase meaning "something less than extreme." I am not moderate in my hate for Nazis or my love for my daughter. Etc., etc.
That said, Republicans could stand to learn how to sound more moderate. Barack Obama usually (though not always) sounds reasonable as he moves the country on an unreasonable path. Ronald Reagan, almost always sounded reasonable when he was staking out fairly strong ideological positions. Both men took advantage of the fact that their seeming moderation elicited immoderate condemnations from their opponents. Nothing drives your opponents more crazy than being utterly reasonable. And nothing makes demonizing or delegitimizing your opponents easier than letting them shriek unreasonable things for you. The Republicans need to get back to being the party that elicits unreasonable shrieking from their opponents. Not the other way around.
Double Entry Bookkeeping
Reply #670 on:
April 28, 2014, 08:35:47 AM »
I have posted often here about the evils of baseline budgeting because of how it clouds reality. The following article makes a closely related point.
No Accounting Skills? No Moral Reckoning
By JACOB SOLL
April 27, 2014, 9:04 pm
SOMETIMES it seems as if our lives are dominated by financial crises and failed reforms. But how much do Americans even understand about finance? Few of us can do basic accounting and fewer still know what a balance sheet is. If we are going to get to the point where we can have a serious debate about financial accountability, we first need to learn some essentials.
The German economic thinker Max Weber believed that for capitalism to work, average people needed to know how to do double-entry bookkeeping. This is not simply because this type of accounting makes it possible to calculate profit and capital by balancing debits and credits in parallel columns; it is also because good books are “balanced” in a moral sense. They are the very source of accountability, a word that in fact derives its origin from the word “accounting.”
In Renaissance Italy, merchants and property owners used accounting not only for their businesses but to make a moral reckoning with God, their cities, their countries and their families. The famous Italian merchant Francesco Datini wrote “In the Name of God and Profit” in his ledger books. Merchants like Datini (and later Benjamin Franklin) kept moral account books, too, tallying their sins and good acts the way they tallied income and expenditure.
One of the less sexy and thus forgotten facts about the Italian Renaissance is that it depended highly on a population fluent in accounting. At any given time in the 1400s, 4,000 to 5,000 of Florence’s 120,000 inhabitants attended accounting schools, and there is ample archival evidence of even lowly workers keeping accounts.
This was the world in which Cosimo de’ Medici and other Italians came to dominate European banking. It was understood that all landowners and professionals would know and practice basic accounting. Cosimo de’ Medici himself did yearly audits of the books of all his bank branches; he also personally kept the accounts for his household. This was typical in a world where everyone from farmers and apothecaries to merchants — even Niccolò Machiavelli — knew double-entry accounting. It was also useful in political office in republican Florence, where government required a certain amount of transparency.
If we want to know how to make our own country and companies more accountable, we would do well to study the Dutch. In 1602, they invented modern capitalism with the foundation of the first publicly traded company — the Dutch East India Company — and the first official stock market in Amsterdam. But it was through an older and well-maintained culture of accountability that they kept these institutions stable for a century. The spread of double-entry accounting to the Netherlands during the early 1500s made the country the center of accounting education, world trade and early capitalism. Well-accounted-for provincial tax returns allowed the Dutch to float bonds at dependable 4 percent interest rates. The Dutch trusted their managers to know how to keep good books and make regular interest payments, while paying off state debt.
Every level of Dutch society practiced double-entry accounting — from prostitutes to scholars, merchants and even the Stadholder, Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. Painters regularly depicted merchants keeping their books; Quentin Metsys’ “The Money Changers” (circa 1549) showed that even skilled accountants could be fraudulent. In other words, the advantages and pitfalls of accounting were at the fore of public consciousness.
Not only did the Dutch have basic financial management skills, they were also acutely aware of the concept of balanced books, audits and reckonings. They had to be. If local water board administrators kept bad books, the Dutch dyke and canal system would not be well maintained, and the country risked catastrophic flooding.
This desire for accountability was what pushed the Dutch to reform their financial system when it began to collapse under the weight of fraud. The first shareholder revolt happened in 1622, among Dutch East India Company investors who complained that the company account books had been “smeared with bacon” so that they might be “eaten by dogs.” The investors demanded a “reeckeninge,” a proper financial audit.
While the state did not allow the Dutch East India Company’s books to be audited in public, Prince Maurice did do a serious internal audit, and Dutch burghers were satisfied with both company and state accountability. A cultural ideal was set. For the next century, it became common practice for public administrators to have portraits of themselves painted with their account books — sometimes with real calculations in them — open, for all to see.
These historical examples point the way toward achievable solutions to our own crises. Over the past half century, people have stopped learning double-entry bookkeeping — so much so that few know what it means — leaving it instead to specialists and computerized banking. If we want stable, sustainable capitalism, a good place to start would be to make double-entry accounting and basic finance part of the curriculum in high school, as they were in Renaissance Florence and Amsterdam.
A population well-versed in double-entry accounting will not immediately solve our complex financial problems, but it would allow average citizens to understand the nuts and bolts of finance: balance sheets, mortgage interest, depreciation and long-term risk. It would also give them a clearer sense of what financial accountability really means and of how to ask for and assess audits. The explosion of data-driven journalism should also include a subset of reporters with training in accounting so that they can do a better job of explaining its central role in our economy and financial crises.
Without a society trained in accountability, one thing is certain: There will be more reckonings to come.
Jacob Soll, a professor of history and accounting at the University of Southern California, is the author, most recently, of “The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations.”
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #671 on:
April 28, 2014, 10:57:52 AM »
"I have posted often here about the evils of baseline budgeting because of how it clouds reality."
To pick up on your introduction and the theme of the piece, the best replacement for baseline based budgeting is not status quo based budgeting, but ZERO-based budgeting. Every line item of every program should have to justify every dollar requested in every budget, based on past, positive results - and do that in conjunction with an approved Unintended Consequences Impact Study attached to it. We should not be touting only the positives of a program (or tax or regulation) without also acknowledging and measuring the harm that each is doing.
We are fuct , , ,
Reply #672 on:
April 29, 2014, 07:31:45 AM »
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #673 on:
April 29, 2014, 07:46:26 AM »
Yes this is unbelievable.
To think some of these idiots vote. Of course 40% will always vote for the government to continue handing them more and blame someone else for their woes.
These people interviewed appear to be born American. At least they don't have any foreign accents. I've heard years ago that immigrants used to be more up to date on our history than many born here.
I don't think that is even remotely true now in the sense that the people coming here are much less of European ancestry and from countries with less in common than Europe had with us.
They are much more expectant of government subsidies today.
Off the Drudgereport
Reply #674 on:
April 29, 2014, 07:54:29 AM »
I don't often post off of Drudge because I figure we all can see it easily but I think this video highlights the crucial problem facing "America" today. It shows quite clearly the wrapped hatred of the liberals for our country and how they love to foster hatred, anger, jealousy, envy, racism, and the blame someone else game to garner support for more centralized governmental power. This is the central issue we face in America IMHO. Who is going to win this debate. Unfortunately, as long as big gov keeps buying votes 40% will not even listen to the debate. They won't care. They just want subsidies paid for by others. ("The rich") Always the "rich".
The closest people able to respond to the socialist view are some talk show hosts and a few others like VDH etc. I still have not heard one well known politician deal with this effectively. We have no mouth piece in politics. No one represents many of us. I liked Santorum's points on the 2016 Presidential thread that I posted a few days ago.
"After America" arrives early
Reply #675 on:
May 03, 2014, 01:49:57 PM »
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #676 on:
May 03, 2014, 09:23:58 PM »
Well, that was depressing , , ,
One of the biggest threats to our nation; under the Godless
Reply #677 on:
May 08, 2014, 10:46:36 AM »
The cover up of Benghazi and the complicity of the entire Democrat establishment either by ideology, bribery, and extortion is one of the threats to our country @ this time.
I don't recall any other time in history wherein we had top members of a Presidential administration cover up a terrorist attack on Americans and just before an election and there appears to be No accountability.
For those of us who are old enough to remember Watergate the comparison is stark. I was 15 or 16 at the time and I remember vividly how the MSM in newspapers and TV news networks were ALL OVER this story driving it home till Nixon resigned before he was impeached. Most people in the beginning didn't even pay attention or care. Most people still favored Nixon. In retrospect I am not even sure that when he resigned he might not still have had more favorable voters than not.
The MSM were tripping and stepping over each other to get him (the Republican) with hysteria and demonical fervor.
Fast forward to the present. Any objective person can say the Benghazi cover up is far worse then was Watergate. Bernstein says, but Nixon's crimes were not just about Watergate but an entire "shadow" government. Don't we see an entire shadow government and press now??
The entire integrity of the Presidential Office is at stake in my opinion. If there is no accounting of this and it is allowed that it is OK for such deceit to be inflicted on our people without holding those responsible then we are finished. Clinton started this kind of thinking. He may be popular but he did great damage to the integrity of the Office or the Presidency as well as our country.
Republicans must not let this stand. Not just for political reasons but for the future integrity of that office and our country.
If the MSM continues to threaten Fox, talk radio, Republicans away from this. "They risk it backfiring", "nothing there", "already old story", " we already investigated this as did the (Democratic controlled) Senate and all the rest.
Almost all the Dow companies have ties to Clinton Foundation. So what about the 1% ers? Republicans have to reach out to the ALL voters and point this out.
Today the Democratic Party is the Socialist Party. Propaganda and all. Big problem for our future.
Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 10:49:43 AM by ccp
Welcome to Islamphobia, so glad you could join us
Reply #678 on:
May 11, 2014, 12:52:12 PM »
Thanks to Boko Harum somehow, all of a sudden, it has become politically correct to notice Islamo Fascism.
Why is this?
There was what I think to be a revealing comment from the Obamas. "Those could have been our daughters." Forgive me my candor, but the thought crosses the mind that this is because they were nice looking black girls, just like the Obamas daughters. Somehow, the ongoing barbarism of Islamo Fascism prior to the big kidnap and slave sale of Boko Harum did not register for them. What of the Afpakian girls with acid thrown in their faces? What of the pogroms against the Coptics in Egypt, the murderous fascism in Syria and Iraq towards the Christians there?
Those of us for whom these people were real too, even though they were of different races from us, were accused of Islamophobia.
Now, Islamophobia is "in".
It seems to me that this is a wonderful moment for us to welcome the Dems, Libs, and Progressives to Islamophobia.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #679 on:
May 11, 2014, 01:00:08 PM »
African slaves were traded by muslims long before the first European ever got into the game. Muslims still trade in African slaves today, funny how Buraq's minister's friend Louis Farrakhan never mentions this.
Ailibana's long tail
Reply #680 on:
May 12, 2014, 08:39:15 AM »
I found the following piece interesting on more than one level. I post it in this thread for its observations relevant to growth, opportunity, income inequality, and related matters.
Properly understood I think there are some worthy aphorisms that would help us make our case.
Reply #681 on:
May 21, 2014, 10:03:54 PM »
I can't post under "future of Republican party" ; it is locked.
So I post here. Good lead article on Breitbart today:
Rise of the 'Obama Republicans'
Email ArticlePrint articleSend a Tip
by Craig Shirley 21 May 2014, 10:48 AM PDT 710 post a comment
The 1980 campaign brought about the dissolution of the old New Deal Coalition and the rise of the Reagan Democrat, a phrase coined by Newsweek political writer Peter Goldman after that historic election.
Yet all campaigns cannot be viewed as isolated incidents but rather as a river flowing from one through the next. Conservative Democrats broke with Adlai Stevenson in 1952 to support Eisenhower and many broke with Hubert Humphrey in 1968 to support Republican Richard Nixon or George Wallace, another Democrat.
By 1972, many conservative Democrats supported Nixon over George McGovern so at least in presidential campaigns, culturally conservative Democrats were already moving away from their historic home. Only the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, a southern populist reformer--and Watergate--and Betty Ford’s liberalism--forestalled the inevitable.
The Gipper’s massive victory in 1980 was fueled by more that 30 percent of Democrats nationwide, who took a powder on Carter after he moved to the left. Reagan received the same amount in the 1984 election in part because he’d done nothing to disappoint them and the liberal establishment nominated Walter Mondale, a good man who was trapped in a New Deal past.
Reagan ran again as the anti-establishment candidate of the future and swamped the lifetime Democrat, ironically with the help of Democrats. Yet the Establishment Republicans simply could not abide by the realigning elections of 1980, 1984, and 1994.
By the final years of the last century, some inside the GOP wanted the Reagan Revolution to be over, thus the phrase “compassionate conservative.” George W. Bush ran and lost the popular vote in 2000 without once ever calling for a spending cut or the elimination of one single wasteful federal program. After that, the GOP would continue to embrace the persona of Reagan--they had little choice--but no longer would they embrace the American conservative philosophy of the Gipper.
Hence, the stirrings of the Obama Republicans.
What has altered the storyline in the past several years is not the emergence of the Tea Party but rather the permanent entrenchment of Big Government Republicans, aka Obama Republicans. President Obama has had that much effect on the national debate, which has had a direct effect on the national Republicans.
The last gasp of principled conservatism may have come in 2010 with the rise of the Tea Party, but this also gave rise to the countervailing force of the Obama Republicans, resulting in the nomination of Mitt Romney in 2012.
In spite of losing five of the previous six presidential contests, it is the Obama Republicans who now rule the party apparatus of the GOP. Obama Republicans have also spread out among the state bureaucracies, the academies, Wall Street, Detroit, and nearly all of corporate America.
They have bought into Obama’s Oligarchy of big business and big government doing business together, at the expense of the little guy.
Obama supported TARP. Bush supported TARP. The ruling classes supported TARP. Wall Street supported TARP. Therefore, $750 billion--initially--was taken from the rest of the country to “rescue” the corrupt elites of Wall Street.
And never one prosecution or investigation. The greatest wealth transfer in American history and the elites of both parties were in on the score. The Republicans pulled of the heist and the Democrats drove the getaway car.
Other examples abound.
The new Obama Republicans are members of the bureaucratic classes, are pro-government, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, pro-NSA, and pro-amnesty. They are sophisticated, urban, and have utterly nothing in common with the Tea Party Reaganites. Indeed, they are culturally closer to Obama’s and Romney’s view of the world than Reagan’s.
Power is everything. Power vindicates all. The shady forces of the national GOP party committees supported a pro-abortion, pro-Obamacare stalker in Oregon’s senate primary because she is a) a woman and b)…? The national GOP plays the very same identity politics that Obama and the Democrats have played for years by embracing one victim group after another. (Shirley & Banister assisted Jason Conger in Oregon’s GOP primary because he was the ethical conservative candidate.)
The Obama Republicans are fueled in part by old Bush speechwriters and neocons and High Tories who sometimes make a pass at talking about conservatism but that is mainly to keep the yokels at the grass roots guessing. Mostly though, they spend their time bashing the Tea Party Reaganites.
There is a dialectic to American presidential politics which occurs every generation or two. From Jefferson’s “New American Revolution” to Jackson’s “Democratic Populism” to Lincoln and the rise of the Republican reformers to Teddy Roosevelt and then to FDR’s “New Deal” and two generations later to Reagan’s “New Federalism,” and now to Obama, 28 years after Reagan--right on schedule--we may be witnessing a paradigm shift again in American politics.
It should be no surprise that the Republicans on Capitol Hill offer nothing of opposition to Obama. They can best be labeled the “Rollover Caucus.” Oh, they will run commercials and mouth platitudes to fool conservative voters to get their money and their votes for this fall, but everybody knows they’ve signed on to Obamacare because their corporate masters in the insurance companies and pharmaceutical industries told them to do so. They have always supported immigration reform because, again, their corporate masters told them to do so.
The Administrative state is here to stay, as long as the status quo holds. The only question now is how long the Tea Party Reaganites stay with a party which is fundamentally opposed to them and despises them.
A great slogan for us!
Reply #682 on:
May 24, 2014, 07:01:09 PM »
"Separation of Corporation and State!"
Re: A great slogan for us!
Reply #683 on:
May 24, 2014, 11:53:52 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on May 24, 2014, 07:01:09 PM
"Separation of Corporation and State!"
Newt: A third strategy
Reply #684 on:
June 13, 2014, 09:57:30 PM »
A Third Strategy for Congressional Republicans
In the 20th anniversary year of the Contract with America, it is time to confront the need for a new Republican strategy to defeat Obamaism.
Many Americans believe they are watching increasing lawlessness, incompetence and dishonesty in President Obama and his administration, and that this poses an increasingly powerful challenge for the Congressional Republicans. The scale of the threat and the breadth of Obama's activities leaves them feeling angry and hopeless.
In just the last few weeks, President Obama has released terrorists without consulting Congress, failed to coordinate on the collapse in Iraq, allowed thousands of children to illegally enter the United States, issued extraordinarily destructive (and probably illegal) new, job-killing rules from the Environmental Protection Agency--and the list goes on.
Meanwhile, the President has been presiding over the corruption and collapse of the Veterans Administration with at least 51 sites in 29 states and the District of Columbia already implicated in wrongdoing. (See this interactive map for more.)
Most Republican supporters see the Congressional response to the Obama Administration as too small, too slow, or too weak to be effective.
Both their oath of office to defend the Constitution and the rising fear and anger of their constituents require the Congressional Republicans to develop a new strategy.
Most of the Washington elite discounts the depth of anger among conservative Americans about what they see as literally the destruction of their country. Most of our elites shrug off the fears, alienation and hostility these conservative Americans feel toward a president they view as weakening the nation, destroying the rule of law, and undermining the values they believe in and live by.
There have been two initial Republican strategies to respond to Obama. Both have failed.
First, there has been the strategy of heroic but suicidal frontal assaults. Obama has the power of the presidency, the support of an overwhelming majority of the news media and an extraordinary willingness to say whatever is needed with no regard for the truth.
Given the President's advantages, any poorly thought-out frontal attacks are as doomed as frontal attacks against machine guns were in World War I. The shutdown last full is a classic example of choosing a fight where the other side has all the advantages. Luckily for the Republicans, the Obamacare implementation disaster was so extraordinary that it rapidly erased any damage done to Republicans by inflicting much worse damage on Obama and the Democrats.
Second, faced with the enthusiasm of some of their colleagues for suicidal heroics, a number of Republicans decided that a better strategy was to do nothing, pick no fights, and take no risks. This strategy of minimal effort was endorsed by a consulting class which loves to focus its candidates on raising money to buy negative ads (a strategy which blew up disastrously for Majority Leader Cantor in Richmond this week). The power of the consulting community's hostility to positive ideas and positive solutions cannot be underestimated.
The problem with the take-no-risk, pursue-no-ideas, offer-no-reforms, fight-over-nothing strategy is that it is ultimately self defeating.
First, we are told we should take no risks so that we can get through the 2014 election because then we will win control of the Senate and gain 8 to 12 seats in the house. Then we will be told that we should take no risks in 2015 because we want to focus on keeping control of the Senate and wait for a presidential nominee who will tell us what to do. Of course, having taken no risks, avoided all fights, and developed no new solutions, our candidate will have a bare cupboard for a platform and will be told to run on an anti-Hillary ad campaign.
If we win a purely negative campaign in 2016 (remember the 2004 anti-Kerry campaign), we will have no political capital to reform anything.
If we lose the presidency in 2016, we will face a newly elected chief executive who will claim a mandate and will try to move America even further toward big government bureaucracy and leftist values. And we will have had no practice at fighting and winning.
For both practical and moral reasons, doing nothing, avoiding fighting and offering no ideas is a losing strategy.
So if suicidal fights are bad and doing nothing is bad, what is the third strategy?
A THIRD STRATEGY FOR CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS
Republicans need a new strategy of running a John Wooden-style full court press against the Obama Administration.
They can't beat Obama and his media allies in one single, narrowly focused frontal fight.
On the other hand, the are so many different things going wrong that Obama and his media allies can't defend themselves against a hundred different fronts, each eroding the administration's position and building an alternative governing majority for Republicans.
This new strategy requires a series of large changes for the Congressional Republicans.
1. First, they must announce and emphasize a new strategy of dramatically improving America through better solutions. This is not a political strategy. This is a strategy of creating a better future for America. The core concept--that we can break out in virtually every aspect of government by looking for best practices throughout the private sector and by looking for the new capabilities being developed by pioneers of the future--should be emphasized in every committee and subcommittee.
They should contrast the incompetence, inefficiency and at times corruption of the old bureaucratic systems with the potential speed, accuracy, accountability and transparency of new modern systems. Developing a 21st century veterans service system would be a logical starting place since the VA is so clearly collapsing and corrupt. The VA transformation would be a good template for transforming other departments and for thinking through the challenge of an Obamacare replacement.
2. Every subcommittee has to be empowered to hold hearings, undertake investigations, and develop issues. For example, a subcommittee should be on the border this weekend investigating the flood of children pouring into the United States.
The scale of activism required means that leadership has to rely on training and planning to create a culture of decentralized activism. It is impossible to centrally plan and implement a multiple-front campaign. Subcommittee chairs and their staffs need to be trained and then released to learn by doing. The key steps that every member and staff needs to be prepared for are:
• explaining why this hearing matters and what the struggle to change and improve things is all about;
• explaining how this particular hearing or bill relates to the values and goals of the American people so their lives will be better;
• explaining what the current administration and the current systems are doing wrong and how that is hurting people;
• explaining how our replacement would improve things and what the principles that explain it are;
• explaining how your life will be better if we succeed in changing the law and the bureaucracy.
3. Each area of investigation and policy development needs to have language developed which gives Republicans moral dominance in debating Democrats about those issues. We have to train ourselves to understand the importance of winning the argument in the media. We also have to work to talk in common, everyday language so people understand that we care about them and their lives. As Jack Kemp taught us, "People have to know that you care before they care that you know." Learning to both speak about the impact on people’s lives and to win the argument will make a huge difference.
4. Wherever possible, focus the fight on Obama's bureaucrats rather than Obama. The news media may have a lot of sympathy for the president, but they don’t have it for the bureaucrats. Look at the coverage of the VA scandal and you can see the enormous gap between media affection for Obama and willingness to be very tough with his subordinates.
5. Develop new solutions for new coalitions and constituencies. FDA reform, for example, could appeal to virtually every person concerned with finding cures for diseases. Fighting to allow Uber to serve its customers attracts an amazing number of young people. A new veterans service system that put veterans in charge of their health and gave them a smartphone solution that made them (rather than the bureaucracy) the key player in their care could attract a lot of veterans. The opportunities are endless. In many cases the new solutions threaten the old order (often unionized bureaucrats and their lobbyists) and many Democrats will simply not be allowed to be for a better future because of their allies (take the Keystone pipeline as an example).
6. As issues and solutions develop, turn them into bills in the House and amendments in the Senate and begin peppering Democrats with difficult choices. They can be in favor of their folks back home and of a better future, or they can side with Obama and a poorer, less desirable future for the American people.
This new strategy could meet the passionate desire of our base for a fighting party and could erode the Obama administration and set the stage for a catastrophic Democratic defeat in 2016.
There is a lot of operational detail to develop about this new third strategy but it is clearly more promising than the strategies of suicidal defeat or passive conflict avoidance.
Prager: A Republican Letter to Hispanics
Reply #685 on:
June 15, 2014, 12:11:44 AM »
A Letter from a Republican to Hispanics
Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010
I am writing to you as a concerned and sympathetic American who is a Republican. My sentiments do not represent every American — that would be impossible. But I believe the following represent most Americans.
First, a message to those of you here illegally:
You may be very surprised to hear this, but in your position, millions of Americans, including me, would have done what you did.
If I lived in a poor country with a largely corrupt government, a country in which I had little or no prospect of hope for an improved life for me or my children, and I could not legally get into the world’s freest, most affluent country, the country with the most opportunities for people of any and every background, I would do whatever I could do to get into that country illegally.
Mexico and many other Central and South American countries are largely hopeless places for most of their people. America offers hope to everyone willing to work hard. Who could not understand why any individual, let alone a father or mother of a family, would try to get into the United States — legally preferably, illegally if necessary?
Now that I have made it clear that millions of us understand what motivates you and do not morally condemn you for entering America illegally, I have to ask you to try to understand what motivates us.
No country in the world can allow unlimited immigration. If America opened its borders to all those who wish to live here, hundreds of millions of people would come here. That would, of course, mean the end of the United States economically and culturally.
If you are from Mexico, you know that Mexico’s treatment of illegal immigrants from south of its border is far harsher than my country’s is of illegal immigrants. All it takes is common sense to understand that we simply cannot afford to take care of all of you in our medical, educational, penal and other institutions. However much you may pay in sales tax, most illegal immigrants are a financial and social burden in those states to which most them move.
Yes, many of you are also a blessing. Many of you take care of our children and our homes. Others of you prepare our food and do other work that is essential to our society. We know that. As individuals, the great majority of you are hardworking, responsible, decent people.
But none of that answers the question: How many people can this country allow into it?
The moment you have to answer that question is the moment you realize that Americans’ worries about illegal immigration have nothing to do with “racism” or any negative feeling toward Hispanics.
Those who tell you it is racism or xenophobia are lying about their fellow Americans for political or ideological reasons. You know from your daily interactions with Americans that the vast majority of us treat you with the dignity that every fellow human being deserves. Your daily lives are the most eloquent refutation of the charges of racism and bigotry. The charge is a terrible lie. Please don’t believe it. You know it is not true.
Democrats will act as your defenders by telling you that opposition to your presence here is race-based. There is no truth to that. As you probably know in your hearts, you have come to the least racist place on earth. The vast majority of us could not care less if your name is Gonzalez or Jones. That’s why the chances are 50-50 that the child of Hispanic immigrants will end up marrying a non-Hispanic American.
One more thing: Many of you desire to return to your homelands. This is understandable, as many of you did not come here in order to become American but in order to earn the money that would allow you to afford to return home and lead a better life there. But as understandable as that is on an individual level, you must understand that that having millions of people in our midst who feel no bond to our country and who do not want to become one of us is a serious problem. You would feel the same about people who came to your countries to make money and use your country’s medical, social, educational and other services paid for by the people of your country.
It is also a moral problem. There are countless people around the world who wish to come to America in order to become Americans, not just to earn money here. Many of you are taking their places. That is not fair to them or to America.
So, the truth is, in fact, simple: If you were an American, you would want to stop illegal immigration, and if most of us were you, we would do what you did to get into America. Neither of us is bad. You care about your family. We care about our country.
Now, a note to those of you who are here legally and to those of you who are American citizens.
First, while many of you understandably sympathize with the plight of fellow Latinos who are here illegally, you surely must understand that America cannot afford unlimited illegal immigration. This may well create a tension between your mind and your heart, and between your ethnic heritage and your allegiance to America.
If it does, your fellow Americans ask that you be guided by your mind (and we, believe, conscience) and by your concern for America. If anyone knows how extraordinarily welcoming America has been to Latinos — from Mexico to Cuba to South America — it is you. For your sake as well as America’s, please do not succumb to the politics of victimization that are used solely and cynically to get your support for the Democrat Party.
Finally, and most important, by voting for Democratic Party candidates, you are voting for a type of government more like the ones most Latinos fled. Take the Mexican example. The Democratic Party is, in most important ways, an American version of the PRI. For 70 years, the PRI governed Mexico and brought its economy to its knees because of vast government spending, the squashing of individual initiative, a bloated bureaucracy, unsustainable debt and the subsequent devaluing of the Mexican peso.
Why, for God’s sake, would you want to see that replicated in America? The very reason America has been so prosperous and so free — the very reasons you or your ancestors, like almost every other American’s ancestors, came here — is that America has had more limited government and therefore more liberty than any other country in the world. The Republican Party represents all that you or your parents came to America for — and why you left Mexico and other countries: individual opportunity and individual responsibility. It is also the party that represents your social values.
Admittedly, the Democratic Party appeals to your emotions. But a vote for the Democratic Party is a vote to make America like the Mexico of the PRI. And a vote for the Democratic Party is a vote to undo the great American achievement of uniting the children of immigrants from all over the world as Americans.
The Way Forward, The Dave Brat Message, constitutional, free market conservatism
Reply #686 on:
June 16, 2014, 03:54:06 PM »
Is it the Eric Cantor loss, or the Dave Brat win. The Brat campaign was not single issue on anti-amnesty. Immigration came up but was not the center of the agenda that won. Look at what won:
What Dave Brat Taught Conservatives
A real free-market agenda remains more popular than redistribution.
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL WSJ
June 12, 2014 7:14 p.m. ET
With Washington determined to take a lesson away from Dave Brat's rout of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, let's make sure it's an enduring one. Let's talk "reform" conservatism.
Yes, immigration came up in this race, though it didn't get ugly until the end. It happens that Mr. Brat, an economics professor, spent the bulk of his campaign rallying voters to a traditional free-market, pro-growth economic agenda. It centered on a tough criticism of crony capitalism and a clarion call for a flatter and more efficient tax code.
Mr. Brat reprised his themes for Fox News's Sean Hannity the night of his victory, explaining: "We need to take free markets seriously. That means we have to put an end to all these tax credits and tax deductions and loopholes. [Michigan Rep.] Dave Camp had a good bill which simplified the tax code and had a Reagan-esque 10 and 25 percent rate. That made sense and it was going to be pro-growth." This clearly resonated with the 56% of voters who chose to rout a sitting majority leader.
Mr. Brat's victory is surely awkward for a new wing of the conservative movement that has taken to arguing that the whole free-market, supply-side, Reaganesque agenda is passé. Humbly declaring themselves the "reform" conservative moment, this group has made some waves with their manifesto "Room to Grow"—including introductions by former Bush speechwriter Pete Wehner and National Affairs Editor Yuval Levin. "Room to Grow" has some interesting ideas, all overshadowed by the book's central premise: That conservatives need to embrace government to better endear themselves to the "middle class."
The authors are clear that politics, not principle, needs to drive conservative policy. Nowhere is that clearer than in the chapter by former Bush Treasury official Robert Stein on tax policy. A summary: Marginal tax rates are no longer popular because they don't give much to the middle class. Republicans instead need to embrace redistribution and lard the tax code with special, conservative-approved handouts for said middle class—namely a giant tax credit for children, similar to that proposed by Utah Sen. Mike Lee. (The book has many more tax-credit suggestions, too.)
Absent from the chapter is any recognition of why Reagan, and the party, embraced tax cuts. It's this thing called "economics." Cutting taxes on capital—and cutting high marginal rates—spurs investment, which grows the economy, which benefits everyone, including the middle class. The good politics follows. The middle-class beneficiaries of Reagan's economic boom showed their own appreciation by signing up for a conservative political realignment that lasted decades.
Mr. Stein never uses the word "capital" in an entire chapter on tax policy. It's also devoid of a corporate tax reform—perhaps because talking about "corporations" isn't a middle-class thing. Defenders of the new agenda have struggled to explain how tax distortions are "pro-growth." AEI scholar James Pethokoukis has taken to arguing that supply-side economics is about a greater supply of children and to justify redistribution. Mr. Levin and National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru this week explained that conservative redistribution is now acceptable, since it counters liberal redistribution.
The biggest cheerleaders for the conservative "reformers" are liberal commentators such as Ezra Klein. No surprise: They understand that "Room to Grow" is a capitulation to the left's inequality and middle-class talking points. They are more than happy for future tax fights to center solely on which party gets more money to divvy up among Solyndra, parents, welfare, farmers and so on.
What matters to the "reformers," explained New York Times columnist Ross Douthat last year, in praising the Lee tax plan, is moving conservative tax policy beyond "1979." This again confuses policy and politics. Good economic policy doesn't have a sell-by date. ( Adam Smith ? Ugh. He is just so 1776.)
What can require periodic overhaul is political messaging. The "reformers" are right that, politically, selling a cut to a 39.6% top rate is harder than was Reagan's job of selling a cut to a 70% rate. What they miss is that the past 40 years have provided entirely new and powerful selling points for a flatter, cleaner code. Americans have grown frustrated with the insane complexity of taxes, furious over the crony loopholes, and wary of the power all this hands abusive IRS bureaucrats.
Which gets us back to this week's rout. Mr. Cantor never endorsed the more dramatic proposals of the "reformers," though he spoke broadly kind words about "Room to Grow." His "Making Life Work" agenda made him a poster boy of that new GOP impulse to focus on populist initiatives that cater to the middle class.
Mr. Brat openly derided "Making Life Work," referring to its "catchy little phrases to compete with Democrats for votes." As he told Mr. Hannity: "I do not want the federal government trying to make my life work." Mr. Brat also ably tied together the cronyism/complexity/growth arguments to make the case for real tax reform (rather than Democrat-lite tax spending).
The hallmark of conservative policy innovation is the use of markets to limit government and expand citizen freedom and choice. That's reform. The lesson of the Brat-Cantor race is that the traditional reform concept is still popular (and populist). At least when it's delivered with economic understanding and conviction.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #687 on:
June 16, 2014, 04:01:51 PM »
I would note that apparently Brat's opposition to the Ex-Im Bank, a.k.a. the Bank of Boeing, led to a 2+% drop in its stock the next day.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #688 on:
June 16, 2014, 05:06:15 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on June 16, 2014, 04:01:51 PM
I would note that apparently Brat's opposition to the Ex-Im Bank, a.k.a. the Bank of Boeing, led to a 2+% drop in its stock the next day.
The issue of funding the export-import bank splits the right. On the surface, it is a pro-business program helping businesses and jobs. Other countries do it. But more importantly, it is a question of where in the constitution is the federal government empowered to do things like this? If nowhere, then end it.
It is a test your principles (or character) to oppose the over-reaches of government and subsidies that seem to benefit you.
WSJ: Ideas for renewing American Prosperity
Reply #689 on:
July 10, 2014, 09:34:21 AM »
Ideas for Renewing American Prosperity
If you could propose one change in American policy, society or culture to revive prosperity and self-confidence, what would it be and why?
July 7, 2014 7:53 p.m. ET
Editor's note: With the Journal's 125th anniversary coming at a time of slow U.S. growth and reduced expectations, we asked some Journal contributors to answer this question: If you could propose one change in American policy, society or culture to revive prosperity and self-confidence, what would it be and why? Their replies are below.
Return to Constitutional Government
By George P. Shultz
Let's get back to governing in the way called for by the Constitution. In the executive branch, this means that the president governs through people who are confirmed by the Senate and can be called upon to testify by the House or the Senate at any time. They are accountable people.
Right now, the White House is full of unconfirmed and unaccountable people responsible for various subjects and, all too often, the cabinet officers work through them. The right way is for the president to regard his cabinet as part of his staff. That way, you have access to the career people—something unavailable to White House staff. I have had the privilege of leading four units of government and, believe me, when you work with career people, they will work with you and they have lots to offer. Among other things, management will improve, something that is sorely needed today. Of course, for this system to work, presidential slots must be filled, so the Senate should give nominees a prompt up or down vote.
Don't you think it's also about time Congress lived up to its constitutional duties derived from the power of the purse? Continuing resolutions are a total cop-out. The way to build a budget is to set a framework and then work from the bottom up: Hold hearings, understand what the departments and agencies are doing, and help set priorities. That way, the budget will be up-to-date, and such a process, which is in large part operational in character, will get everyone into more of a problem-solving mode. So, better budgeting will also reduce knee-jerk partisanship.
Our country's prosperity and self-confidence will improve when we see an executive branch that can set sensible policies and execute them: management matters. And we will be better off if Congress does the hard work involved in executing the power of the purse.
Mr. Shultz is a former secretary of Labor, Treasury and State, and a former director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Fix the Jobs-Killing Tax Code
By Paul Ryan
If I could make just one change in Washington, it would be to fix the tax code.
No other reform would inspire as much confidence because no other policy is as big a drag on our economy. Today, the tax code is about four million words long. Taxpayers spend six billion hours a year just figuring out how to comply. But the tax code is more than confusing; it's also unfair. Riddled with over $1 trillion in loopholes, the current code punishes free enterprise and rewards political influence. And to top it all off, we impose high marginal tax rates—including the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world—which are nothing more than barriers separating working families from job creators.
A look back at the role of Opinion over the past 125 years and the lasting effects the editorials have had on The Wall Street Journal and the world.
Instead of pushing people out, we should bring people in. True tax reform would both broaden the base and lower the rates, so small businesses would have room to grow and job creators would come back to our shores. Economist Glenn Hubbard says tax reform could boost economic growth by anywhere from half to a full percentage point a year over a decade. And if economic growth were just half a percentage point larger, the federal government would save an additional $1.57 trillion over 10 years. Only by paying down our debt and growing our economy can we create jobs and increase take-home pay. Only then can we expand opportunity for all.
To pass such a vital reform, after years of gridlock, would show the country that Washington can still get something done. And our country would show the world that, 125 years since The Wall Street Journal began, "free markets and free people" is still the way to go.
Rep. Ryan, a Republican, is chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Encourage Two-Parent Families
By Heather Mac Donald
The disintegration of the two-parent family is the greatest long-term threat to American prosperity and cultural health. Nearly half of all births in the Millennial Generation (18- to 33-year-olds) occur outside of marriage; the national average is 41%. Children raised by single mothers fail in school and commit crime at much higher rates than children raised by both parents. These children's social skills—needed to become productive, self-sufficient adults—are weaker on average. Single-parent households are far more likely to be poor and dependent on government assistance. But more consequential than the risks to individual children is the cultural pathology of regarding fathers as an optional appendage for child-rearing. A society that fails to teach its young males that they are unambiguously responsible for their offspring will have a hard time inculcating other fundamental duties.
Unfortunately, family breakdown isn't amenable to public-policy solutions, since it results from something more profound than misguided tax structure or welfare rules. Though many factors are at play, the biggest culprit is feminism's devaluing of males and the conceit that "strong women" can do it all. Reversing the trend of fatherlessness will require public figures, from President Obama on down, to violate feminist taboos and start speaking at every opportunity about the essential contributions that fathers make to the formation of their children. Family decline will be stemmed only when it is widely understood that care provided by both biological parents is the most powerful social and economic advantage that any child can enjoy.
Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Limit Government and Restore the Rule of Law
By John H. Cochrane
America doesn't need big new economic ideas to get going again. We need to address the hundreds of little common-sense economic problems that everyone agrees need to be fixed. Achieving that goal requires the revival of an old political idea: limited government and the rule of law.
Our tax code is a mess. The budget is a mess. Immigration is a mess. Energy policy is a mess. Much law is a mess. The schools are awful. Boondoggles abound. We still pay farmers not to grow crops. Social programs make work unproductive for many. ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank are monstrous messes. These are self-inflicted wounds, not external problems.
Why are we so stuck? To blame "gridlock," "partisanship" or "obstructionism" for political immobility is as pointless as blaming "greed" for economic problems.
Washington is stuck because that serves its interests. Long laws and vague regulations amount to arbitrary power. The administration uses this power to buy off allies and to silence opponents. Big businesses, public-employee unions and the well-connected get subsidies and protection, in return for political support. And silence: No insurance company will speak out against ObamaCare or the Department of Health and Human Services. No bank will speak out against Dodd-Frank or the Securities and Exchange Commission. Agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Internal Revenue Service wait in the wings to punish the unwary.
This is crony capitalism, far worse than bureaucratic socialism in many ways, and far more effective for generating money and political power. But it suffocates innovation and competition, the wellsprings of growth.
Not just our robust economy, but 250 years of hard-won liberty are at stake. Yes, courts, media and a few brave politicians can fight it. But in the end, only an outraged electorate will bring change—and growth.
Mr. Cochrane is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Hoover Institution senior fellow.
Look to the States, Not to Washington
By Darcy A. Olsen
Conservatives often lament, "If we could only find the next Ronald Reagan . . ." The reality is that even President Reagan failed to turn the tide in Washington. The federal government has been tightening its grip for a century. We cannot afford to indulge in this knight-in-shining-armor fantasy.
But what if the solution to the Washington problem isn't in Washington? In the Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote that federal and state governments, each with explicit protections for liberty, would provide a "double security." Alexander Hamilton argued that if either government violated the peoples' rights, they could "make use of the other as the instrument of redress."
The Framers understood that the rival of power is power, and the only power sufficient to rival Washington is the collective body of the 50 states. The Founders didn't give us one constitution—they gave us 51. The Constitution provides a floor for freedom, not a ceiling. State constitutions can augment freedoms far above the federal baseline.
Skeptics say federalism is dead, states have become too dependent on Washington. That is too often true—but not always. When the Supreme Court gutted private-property rights with the Kelo decision in 2005, the solution didn't come from Washington. Instead, 45 states strengthened their own constitutional protections. When the Obama administration threatened to impose "card check" rules to unfairly help unions organize businesses, the solution didn't come from Washington. Instead, states drew up laws that are now protecting millions of workers.
State citizens and state lawmakers must do what the Framers equipped us to do: Put on the full armor of liberty. Then it truly will be morning again in America.
Ms. Olsen is the president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix.
Unleash Molecular Medicine
By Peter W. Huber
In the past three decades, drug designers have learned how to craft molecules that modulate specific molecular targets—hence "personalized medicine" that fits precisely targeted drugs to patient-specific molecular profiles. Now, rapidly emerging are literally personal treatments created by reprogramming the genetic code in the patient's own cells.
Scientists have recently developed precise tools for adding, deleting or replacing genes inside live cells—tools that can do in hours or days what took months or years using other gene-editing tools. Reprogrammed stem cells—the progenitor cells that spawn all the rest of our cells—have the unique potential to provide complete cures for a wide range of currently incurable disorders, most notably the thousands of rare but often deadly diseases caused by hereditary genetic factors. Immune-system cells reprogrammed to attack cancers and other diseases have shown enormous promise in early trials.
Unlike conventional drugs, human cell therapies can be synthesized from scratch, one patient at a time, with tools compact and cheap enough to land in hospitals, clinics or laboratories that serve doctors in private practice. The technologies can be used to generate, at relatively low cost, a limitless number of biochemically distinct therapies precisely tailored to the individual patient's needs.
Washington's drug-approval process, grounded as it is in a one-size-fits-all perspective on how drugs are supposed to operate, and anchored in clinical-trial protocols and statistical methods developed decades ago, is lagging far behind the science. We need a regulatory process that can keep pace with a rapid proliferation of highly customized therapies that are grounded in a mechanistic understanding of molecular biology. This will require fundamental changes in clinical-trial protocols and in the type of evidence that is required for drug approval.
Mr. Huber is the author of "The Cure in the Code" (Basic Books, 2013).
Liberate Uber—and the Lemonade Stand
By Paul Otellini
It seems that hardly a summer passes nowadays without a story about how an enterprising child somewhere had his or her budding entrepreneurial hopes dashed by some bureaucrat shutting down a lemonade stand. Recently we have seen this same drama play out on a larger stage with regulatory moves to impede Web-based "disruptive" businesses like Uber, the innovative transportation service that has had to battle entrenched taxi cartels and sympathetic regulators. America is becoming an increasingly difficult place to do business, small or large.
We can and must be better. We must put in place a comprehensive approach to allowing free markets to function and capital to flow. Markets should determine the success or failure of businesses. What we need is neither hard nor unknown. First, review all of our regulations from the federal to the local level to ensure they make it easier to start and run businesses and employ workers while maintaining the essentials of health and safety that we have come to expect. Second, create competitive tax rates that incentivize U.S. companies to operate here and foreign companies to locate here.
Simply put, make America the best place to open and run a business. Unleash the creative spirit of American workers and entrepreneurs to do what they do better than anyone: create new products and technologies that improve the human condition. This edition of The Wall Street Journal celebrates 125 years of its existence. I can only imagine how readers of that first edition would react to our world today. They would certainly be amazed at the living standards we have and the wonderful gadgets we employ. But I think they would be appalled at how difficult we make it for people to build their dream, including that lemonade stand on the corner.
Mr. Otellini is the former president and CEO of Intel.
Listen to Peter Drucker On Regulations
By George Gilder
In 1966, the eminent management sage Peter Drucker wrote about government regulation in "The Effective Executive" that "at a guess, at least half the bureaus and agencies" in government "regulate what no longer needs regulation." He added: "There is a serious need for a new principle of effective administration under which every act, every agency, and every program of government is conceived as temporary and as expiring automatically after a fixed number of years—maybe ten—unless specifically prolonged by new legislation following careful outside study."
When Drucker wrote, the U.S. was by far the leading force in world capitalism, and most regulatory bodies were relatively new. Today the U.S. is falling far behind Asian leaders in capitalist vitality. Not only is the U.S. less free than Hong Kong, it is less capitalistic by many measures than China, allegedly a communist country. China now boasts government revenues of just 17% of GDP, compared with U.S. revenues of 26% of GDP.
The key problem is the same one that Drucker identified in 1966—a glut of regulations and programs that no longer serve their purposes but which constitute a nearly insuperable barrier for creative new enterprise. Twenty years ago, initial public offerings in crucial technology domains exceeded mergers and acquisitions by a factor of 20. Today there are eight mergers and acquisitions for every IPO. Large companies that can deal with the mazes of government rules increase their dominance by purchasing potential rivals.
Most efforts focus on making regulations more efficient. But efficient performance of futile or obstructive functions makes the problems worse. What we need is what Peter Drucker recommended: expiration dates for regulations.
Mr. Gilder is the author of "Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism" (Regnery, 2013).
Focus on Developing Human Capital
By Michael Milken
The late social scientist Gary Becker once showed that at least three-quarters of national wealth can be found in the knowledge, skills and experience of people—what he called human capital. There are three ways to increase human capital: Expand knowledge and skills through education; extend the length and quality of life by investing in health; and welcome skilled immigrants.
• The focus in education should be on the classroom. We give Oscars to actors, Grammys to singers and Nobel Prizes to scientists. Recognizing that effective teachers and principals are the most important school-based factors influencing student achievement, the Milken Family Foundation launched an awards program nearly 30 years ago to provide similar recognition for great educators. An affiliated public charity, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, has developed extensive programs to ensure skilled, motivated and competitively compensated teachers.
• At least half of economic growth since the Industrial Revolution can be traced to improvements in public health and the results of medical research that have more than doubled average lifespans world-wide. We can now prevent or cure many of the infectious diseases that plagued mankind for millennia. America's greatest health challenge, representing 75% of current health-care spending, is the burden of chronic diseases. Public-health programs emphasizing prevention and wellness will help reduce that burden. And to assure progress against all diseases, the National Institutes of Health budget should be restored at least to the 2003 level, when it was 25% higher in real dollars.
• Immigration restrictions that keep out highly skilled workers, investors and entrepreneurs are counterproductive. These ambitious people can stimulate economic growth and create more jobs for all Americans. We should greet them with open arms.
Policies that expand human capital in these three areas will increase America's productivity and help sustain our global leadership.
Mr. Milken is chairman of the Milken Institute.
Set This Goal: A Great Teacher for Every Child
By Michelle Rhee
Great teachers change lives. They don't just follow lesson plans—they relentlessly motivate and inspire. The students of these teachers emerge from school with the skills and knowledge needed to reach their dreams. So to revive America, I would set this goal: Make sure that every child has a great teacher.
It's no secret that in the U.S. hard work doesn't always lead to success. For far too many families, their ZIP Code or income level virtually guarantees a lifetime of struggle. The problem is complex, but a better public-education system can help fix it. Each day, students across the country are forced to attend schools that fail to prepare them for life—simply because of where they happen to live.
How should we improve America's schools? It starts with great teachers. Research shows that teacher quality is the single most important in-school factor affecting student performance. We need rigorous, practical and accountable teacher-preparation programs. We need comprehensive classroom support and professional development to help teachers improve their craft. We need to recognize and reward the best teachers for their impact on students—not just how long the teachers have been on the job. There is no more important profession than teaching, and it's about time our laws and policies reflected that.
Many states and districts have already implemented some of these reforms, and students are benefiting. Tennessee and Washington, D.C.—both of which have invested heavily in teacher-quality reforms—boasted the largest gains in the country on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, "the nation's report card." And as shown recently in Vergara v. California, the courts have started getting involved in states that haven't passed policies to support great teachers. To move America forward, every state should follow suit.
Ms. Rhee, former schools chancellor for Washington, D.C., is the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst.
Pull the Plug On Crony Capitalism
By Carly Fiorina
To achieve America's economic comeback, we need to end the era of crony capitalism where out-of-control, bloated government and big businesses join forces at the expense of main-street entrepreneurs.
As Washington continues to expand overly complex and expensive tax codes and regulations, written by an alliance of corporate lawyers and government bureaucrats, the victims are the small-business owners who are the country's backbone. As a result of these regulations-on-steroids, innovation, business creation and job growth are being stifled.
Who is looking out for innovative newcomers as well as the neighborhood dry cleaners, the corner taqueria, the coffee shop and the lawn-care company? Not Washington. Government bureaucracies like complexity because it keeps them busy and funded. Americans can see that too much government actually causes the problems that big new programs are meant to solve. Wall Street bailouts, the housing crisis and the tragedy of ObamaCare are just a few examples of overbearing government.
More small businesses are failing and fewer are starting than at any time in the past four decades. This trend must be reversed. Until it is, our economy will not produce the jobs we need, nor will we be ready to lead.
It is time for a great American comeback. We will know we have succeeded when a single mother raising her two kids can easily open a new business in her neighborhood without having to worry about burdensome and costly regulations.
Ms. Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, HPQ -0.31% is chairman of the Unlocking Potential Project.
Move Elections To Weekends
By Juan Williams
Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won the 1876 presidential race by one electoral vote. He lost the popular vote. But he respected Americans who voted: "To vote is like [paying] a debt, a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible." Hayes was right—and we should encourage the "performance" of voting by holding elections on weekends. It is the one step that can enhance voter turnout and boost confidence that the people remain in control of the government. Legislation to move Election Day to weekends has already been introduced in Congress. A group called "Why Tuesday?" has been working for the past decade to highlight the benefits of weekend voting.
The group notes that the U.S. ranks last in voter turnout among Western democracies in the G-8. The key difference is that five of those other countries have weekend voting. Limiting voting to a single day during the week is a big challenge for people who have to get to the polls before or after work. On Election Day, they often have to juggle traffic jams, unexpected meetings and day-care pick-ups or drop-offs—in addition to trying to vote. The No. 1 reason people give for not casting a ballot is "too busy/couldn't get time off to vote."
In the past two presidential elections the nation has seen record turnout. But only about half of eligible voters got to the polls. Meanwhile, faith in the direction of the country and government has plummeted. Giving Americans the best chance to feel a part of the democratic process is key to reinvigorating trust in our elected leaders and the idea of self-government that is the basis of our liberty and prosperity.
With the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act coming next year, weekend voting is an idea whose time is here.
Mr. Williams is a political analyst for Fox News and a columnist for the Hill.
Cut Taxes and Watch The Economy Take Off
By Stanley Druckenmiller
My change in policy would be aggressive tax reform. At the corporate level, I would change the rate to zero and eliminate all subsidies, without exception. At the individual level, I would eliminate all deductions and institute a flat tax with three income thresholds. Capital gains and dividends would be the same as earned income. The only tax subsidy at the individual level would be the Earned Income Tax Credit. My guess is that growth would accelerate and all the talk of secular stagnation would end.
Mr. Druckenmiller, founder of Duquesne Capital, is the CEO of Duquesne Family Office.
Make a Grand Fiscal Bargain
By Kelly Ayotte
My grandfather, a decorated World War II veteran, recently passed away at age 98. He worked two jobs, provided for six kids, and he never used credit cards. The men and women of the "Greatest Generation" understood that you need to live within your means. They also worked hard to leave the country better off than they found it.
With over $17.5 trillion in debt and tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities, our nation's credit card is maxed out. Republicans and Democrats, with presidential leadership, need to finally reach the much talked about, but elusive, grand fiscal agreement that will put America on a strong financial footing and create a pro-growth economic climate.
First, the agreement must address the long-term drivers of the national debt—entitlement programs. Social Security and Medicare are headed for insolvency as early as 2033 and 2026, respectively. If we don't update these programs to reflect the nation's changing demographics, they won't be there for the people who need them.
Second: tax-code reform. The existing code is mired with favoritism and crony capitalism that doesn't drive economic growth. The code should be made simpler and fairer, with rates reduced for individuals and businesses. Otherwise, we'll continue to see American companies relocate abroad, costing jobs in the U.S.
Tax reform should also allow U.S. businesses to bring back the trillions parked overseas because of our uncompetitive corporate tax rate—so they can invest here, creating jobs while also adding money to the Treasury for priorities like paying down the debt.
The "Greatest Generation" had the courage to fight for America's freedom and prosperity. It's time for our leaders today to honor that sacrifice and secure the futures of generations to come.
Sen. Ayotte, a Republican, represents New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate.
Inspire Real Hope, Not The Bumper-Sticker Kind
By Arthur C. Brooks
The one thing America needs most right now is hope. I realize how ironic that sounds. After all, "hope" was exactly the theme of President Obama's winning 2008 presidential campaign. Unfortunately, that promised hope neither elevated the American spirit nor renewed our economy: Six years later, a higher percentage of Americans have lost hope, with more saying the country is "on the wrong track" than when he took office. We are mired in the longest streak of pessimism since Watergate.
The poet Emily Dickinson once defined hope as "the thing with feathers." Hope as a campaign slogan was even less substantial—little more than a nebulous emotional state associated with what we imagined the president could do for us. A 2008 study in the journal Motivation and Emotion shows that this sort of vague hope is actually negatively associated with a sense of personal agency. It is tied to distant goals that we can't control, like hitting the lottery or depending on the largess of a faraway government.
Real hope—the practical kind that America has traditionally possessed and needs again—is very different than a bumper sticker. Social scientists describe it as the combination of two phenomena: possibility and responsibility. Real hope is the intersection of "it can be done" and "I can do it if I work hard." Studies show that this makes individuals likelier to take initiative and earn their success. This is the restless optimism that built our nation.
To revive American growth and confidence, we need real hope, not campaign hype. That requires a policy agenda not of unbounded government, but of jobs, entrepreneurship and education reform. Most important, though, it means leaders who have hope in the American people—to revive our national greatness through private initiative, hard work and personal responsibility.
Mr. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute.
Head Off the Looming Pension Tsunami
By Clifford S. Asness
We have not saved enough for the retirements that we have promised people, public or private. Moreover, that problem is greatly understated by current reporting methods. This may seem an undramatic candidate for addressing one of our biggest problems, but that's part of my point. Unlike hurricanes or wars or debt ceilings, we don't have to deal with retirement funding today. However, this problem grows and eventually will metastasize. Until the looming pension crisis is dealt with, one way or another, no one's retirement is secure, no government fiscal projections are fully credible, and no one's property is safe against extreme and unpredictable taxation.
It is an open secret that many official assumptions about future returns on retirement savings are too high. As a result, amounts put away to fund these obligations are much too low. Furthermore, decisions are made on incomplete inaccurate information. For instance, answers to questions like "can I retire now?" or "can we afford this dividend?" might come out very differently with more honest acknowledgment. A proper accounting for likely portfolio returns and liabilities, and mandatory funding (corporate, state, municipal, everyone) would lend light and discipline to this murky and fractious area.
The system we have now of "you choose how much you forecast you will earn on your portfolio in the future and then back out how much you need to save" is a great moral hazard. Organizations make overaggressive assumptions and ensure that in the not-too-distant future it will be someone else's problem—only likely much bigger. When the inexorable math eventually become unavoidable, contributions will have to go up (leading to rising taxes for government obligations or falling earnings for corporate ones) or benefits cut. We face the same trade-offs now; waiting with eyes closed simply means that the remedies required will likely be far crueller after years of quiet progression and poor decisions based on bad information.
Mr. Asness is managing and founding principal of AQR Capital Management.
Deregulate Labor Markets Now
By Richard A. Epstein
Wide-ranging deregulation of labor markets would produce an immediate economic jolt without costing taxpayers a dime. Labor markets are hobbled every day by ever-more-intrusive regulations and taxes, with two costly consequences. First, they reduce the opportunities for gains from trade between employers and employees. Quite simply, if the cost of regulatory or tax compliance exceeds the joint gains from the transaction, the deal is off. Second, these regulations add huge administrative expenses, both in the direct costs of government enforcement and in private compliance costs. We should never spend tax dollars to reduce productive activity.
So we have to bid farewell to the egalitarian mantra that we can lift the nation up out of its doldrums by raising minimum wages to living wages, by tightening overtime regulation, by strengthening public and private unions, by expanding family-leave protection, by continuing with aggressive enforcement of the antidiscrimination laws based on race, sex and age, by imposing a health-care mandate on employers, and by extending unemployment benefits. The tragic truth is that these feel-good measures hit hardest at the bottom end of the labor markets, especially minority teenagers desperate to gain work experience. Employers won't hire if they think that reforms are short-term gimmicks. Protectionist policies never work. But long-term stable reform could and should reverse those dismal unemployment and labor-participation figures.
Mr. Epstein is a law professor at New York University Law School.
Fix the Way We Do Public Works
By Charles Murray
I have a dream, a modest but inspiriting one, in which the government performs one of its few legitimate functions by repairing and improving the nation's public infrastructure—competently. In this dream scenario, contracts are awarded on the basis of cost and the contractor's track record, and not, as they are today, on whether the workers are unionized or have the correct ethnic and gender diversity. Decisions about projects in this dream are not subjected to review by 13 different environmental and development bureaucracies. Yes, a proposal to build a new superhighway across the Everglades gets a hard-eyed assessment, but a proposal to replace an existing bridge across the Hudson is evaluated on its engineering merits and routine eminent-domain concerns—and that's it.
The inspiriting part of the dream is that as I drive down a highway that is being repaired in the middle of the day, I don't drive past a few miles of idle construction equipment while a lone bulldozer scrapes away. Instead, I see the level of activity typical at a commercial construction site. Projects that once took years are finished in months. Repairs that once took months are finished in weeks.
But then reality crashes into my reverie: How many state and national laws would have to be changed, how many regulatory bureaucracies would have to be reined in? Could Congress or any president—not just this one—ever be expected to accomplish such changes? The American polity is critically sclerotic. If we don't come up with solutions, it will soon be terminal.
Mr. Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Find a Better Way To Tax the Rich
By Sheila Bair
Apple. AAPL -0.80% GE. Caterpillar. CAT -1.03% Google. GOOGL -0.77% These are marquee names in the drama of foreign tax dodges. But really, can you name one top U.S. corporation that hasn't moved some portion of its business out of the country to reduce its tax bill?
Like it or not, foreign tax havens have become a routine part of American business. Maybe it's time for government to throw in the towel. For 25 years, we've left the top corporate rate at 35%, while other (smarter) countries have cut theirs. Corporate tax revenues have eroded, while millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in profits have left our shores.
Is a corporate income tax even feasible in a globalized and digitized economy? We aren't taxing something tangible like people or property, but rather an extremely portable legal structure. It's kind of dumb to impose high corporate taxes on doing business here when it's so easy for companies to go somewhere else (where labor is probably cheaper too). By eliminating corporate income taxes, we would ease pressure on U.S. wages, bring back jobs and repatriate an estimated $2 trillion in profits stashed elsewhere.
Many will argue that this would be a giveaway to the rich. But the current system isn't taxing rich shareholders, it's taxing the corporate entity—and much of that tax is passed on to employees and customers. Today's policies actually favor the wealthy with lower taxes on capital gains and dividends to mitigate the impact of "double taxation." It would be smarter to tax corporate profits once, at the shareholder level, and apply the same, higher rates to capital gains and dividends that apply to us working stiffs.
The corporate income tax may appeal to our inner Robin Hood, but its economic impact has turned into a Greek tragedy. Time to bring down the curtain.
Ms. Bair is a former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (2006-11).
Rediscover Men's And Women's Differences
By Harvey Mansfield
Amid the damage caused by bad ideas in our time, let us not overlook that done by the scourge of feminism—together with the male timidity and misplaced male gallantry that suffer it to proceed unopposed. Feminism has established the rule of gender neutrality in our society, a conclusion drawn from its doctrine that the sexes have no essential differences and are interchangeable. In practice, no one consistently follows this preposterous idea, endorsed neither by science nor by common sense. Only the minority of feminist women assert it (even while demanding special treatment for women). But it is a powerful minority that has been taught at our finest, and our average, institutions of so-called education.
Gender neutrality presents itself in plausible guise as the way to avoid sex discrimination, so as to give women a fair shake in the competition for jobs. But it goes far beyond this reasonable goal to an attempt to erase sex differences. The two sexes are to imitate each other, and each to follow the worst in the other: Women are to imitate predatory and aggressive males, men to imitate passive and submissive females.
The result of gender neutrality is to justify women in more extreme partisanship for their sex than they ever encountered in faltering male chauvinism. It is also to encourage them in the game of charmless, loveless sex that feminists offer in place of romance. The change we need is to rediscover our sexes and to make both of them more assertive of their differences, so that their attraction to each other becomes more interesting (and more fruitful) than under the grim domination of feminism. We may then find that men and women make couples, each sex making its contribution, rather than uneasy partners in selfish pleasure.
Mr. Mansfield is a professor of government at Harvard and a senior fellow of Stanford's Hoover Institution.
Transform Education With the 'Long Game'
By Wendy Kopp
When comparing the American education system with those of other developed countries, the best we can say is that ours performs about average.
In part, our poor standing is due to an enormous and unforgivable opportunity gap between the most marginalized children and their more privileged peers. But even in our top-performing state, Massachusetts, high-school graduates are on average at least two years behind their peers in the world's top performers.
Ensuring America's strength and prosperity will require our making a serious commitment to educating our children. It will mean embracing higher standards that demand critical thinking, just as other countries have. It will mean engaging in what I've come to call the Long Game—the long-term, all-out effort to build the capacity within and outside schools to ensure all students meet these standards.
For years, we've been looking for a quick education fix—giving parents vouchers, for instance, or supplying students with computers. But if we've learned anything, it's that there is no one silver-bullet solution. Vouchers work only if parents have a large number of high-quality alternatives to choose from, and technology is powerful only when used in the service of classrooms and schools with clear missions, strong cultures and capable faculty—not as a replacement for them.
Transforming American education is going to take massive investments over many years, investments not only of dollars but also of our most valuable resource: the time and energy of our most promising, diverse leaders. It is slow and deep work because it requires change from millions of teachers and administrators, parents, policy makers and civic leaders. But embracing this Long Game is the only way to realize the rest of our aspirations.
Ms. Kopp is founder and chairwoman of Teach For America and CEO of Teach For All.
Reply #690 on:
July 11, 2014, 12:21:42 PM »
I have given money to this group:
As it stands now, the GOP will never win another presidential election. Let me explain what I mean:
The American electorate has changed, and with it - so too has the formula to win elections. The GOP's goal of turning out their base of older, white voters and winning over independents is no longer sufficient to win presidential elections. For too long the GOP has been content with just appealing to white voters. We will never heal America and win consistently until conservatives are just as successful in attracting minority voters as white voters. Both President Reagan and Mitt Romney won the white vote by 20 points - Reagan won in a landslide but Romney lost.
The white share of the vote has dropped 15 points over the past 6 presidential elections, and only 20% of the nation's population growth over the next 15 years will be white. By 2016, minorities will account for more than 30% of the vote and more than 80% of that vote goes to Democrats - and that number could surpass 50% by 2030.
Right now, minorities give Democrats a solid base of 24% of the total vote count. Add in the white vote, and Democrats will maintain AT LEAST 51% of the vote in all future elections. At this rate, it will be mathematically impossible for the GOP to win another presidential election without engaging minority voters.
And the best way to engage minority voters is to recruit black conservatives to run for public office and push them to victory - which is precisely what Black America's PAC (BAMPAC) is doing! Please support BAMPAC's efforts with your most generous contribution TODAY.
Let me tell you, the solution to this problem is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, the best solution will result in the destruction of the Democratic Party. For decades, liberals have promoted misguided racist policies that have denied opportunities to the poor, corrupted our morals, and bankrupted our nation. They've done it by manipulating minorities with the Big Lie that Republicans are all racists - and that lie is guarded by the liberal media like the gold at Fort Knox because they know the truth could send their house of cards crashing down on top of them.
This lie is liberal kryptonite - they die politically if the truth overcomes their lies. The adversity currently facing the GOP because of liberal racist propaganda could is a great opportunity that could ultimately end up leading to their political downfall.
You and I must penetrate the fog of lies and get the truth to minority communities throughout America by supporting conservative minority candidates like Mia Love and Tim Scott.
So please make your most generous contribution of $75 to help BAMPAC push conservative minority candidates to victory. Now, I'm not asking you to abandon conservative values by "handing out" support to minority conservatives because they are minorities. Quite the contrary - let me tell you something about conservative minorities...
I speak from experience when I tell you that black, Hispanic, and Asian Republicans are firm in their commitment to conservative principles because they are tested on their beliefs every single day by Americans with ill-conceived notions that conservatism only works for old, white men.
You and I both know that's not true, but that message doesn't reach minority communities because of intentionally propagated lies about conservatism and incitation of racial tensions by liberals hoping to maintain an iron grip on the minority vote.
The truth is simple: conservative minority candidates - like Mia Love and Tim Scott - are on the political front-lines fighting to break down the racial divide in politics.
The message of conservatism easily resonates with minorities, but the message can't penetrate the liberal fog of lies without conservatives like Mia and Tim. It is no longer acceptable for you and me to know the truth without fighting to discredit the lies. So join the fight by making a contribution of $75 or more to BAMPAC TODAY.
BAMPAC is run by black conservatives whose goal is to destroy the negative outlook on conservatism in minority communities in order to bridge the racial divide in politics.
We do this by supporting conservative minority candidates as they spread the message of conservatism where it is needed the most - throughout America's minority communities. That's why BAMPAC is so important. BAMPAC's efforts to overcome the GOP's minority gap are absolutely vital to overcome the lies propagated by liberals to maintain their iron grip on minority voters.
So please make your most generous contribution of $75 or more TODAY to help BAMPAC reach minorities with the message of conservatism. You and I can't allow the recent influx of minority Republican candidates throughout America go down in defeat. We must work together to push these "tried and true" conservatives to victory, so they can protect our conservative values in Washington and spearhead the minority outreach the GOP so desperately requires.
If you and I fail, then we lose this golden opportunity to usher in a new era in American politics by bridging the racial divide that keeps minorities voting Democrat. Those votes will turn into bigger government, higher taxes, increased deficit spending, further erosion of our God-given rights, and the rapid decay of morality in America.
Do your part TODAY with a donation of $75 or more to BAMPAC. If you can't afford $75, then please contribute whatever you can afford.
BAMPAC is committed to pushing "tried and true" conservatives like Mia Love and Tim Scott to Washington. But BAMPAC can't forge a new path for the GOP without your help. Time is running out to make a change in 2014, so please take action today.
Thank you for your support.
President and CEO
The Goldberg File
Reply #691 on:
July 18, 2014, 05:52:41 PM »
The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
July 18, 2014
Dear Reader (including the president of the United States whenever he gets to this after dealing with many important fundraisers),
If you've been reading my stuff over the years, you'll find a number of common themes ("And recycled jokes. Let's not forget those." — The Couch). One such theme is that liberalism hides behind seemingly value-neutral or benign language in order to advance a value-laden and not necessarily benign agenda. That was the basic idea behind The Tyranny of Clichés. Conservatives argue as conservatives. Liberals tend to argue not so much as liberals, but in a variety of disguises, each of which tries to draw on authority unearned by liberalism itself. Indeed, the history of American liberalism can be understood as a series of costume changes. A new nominally non-ideological discipline emerges — political science, engineering, public health, psychology, environmentalism, neuroscience and, these days, various forms of data prestidigitation — and liberals flock to it. They don the latest fashionable version of the white smock and say — à la Bill Murray in Ghostbusters — "back off man, we're scientists." Or to be more fair, they claim to be speaking for the scientists, engineers, psychologists, and other experts. "We're not ideologues, we go with the facts." This game was old when Walter Lippmann came out with his Drift and Mastery. After all, Karl Marx, the Babe Ruth of this sport, had long before insisted that his shtick wasn't opinion or even mere analysis, but a new science.
In 1962, John F. Kennedy delivered the commencement address at Yale. He explained that "political labels and ideological approaches are irrelevant to the solution" of today's challenges. At a press conference the same year, he expanded on the idea. "Most of the problems . . . that we now face, are technical problems, are administrative problems." These problems "deal with questions which are now beyond the comprehension of most men" and should therefore be left to the experts to settle without subjecting them to divisive democratic debate.
Today, the political landscape is littered with earnest, well-intentioned, and often, incredibly sanctimonious liberals who insist that they are simply pursuing truth and fact regardless of ideology. This, of course, remains Obama's favorite pose. It runs through the "scientific consensus" argle-bargle on global warming. When Chris Hughes took over what has long been considered the flagship magazine of American liberalism, he ridiculously vowed that, "the journalism in these pages will strive to be free of party ideology or partisan bias." The same conceit is behind Vox.com and "explanatory journalism," which everyday sinks further and further into liberal Ronburgundyism. (Coming soon at Vox: "Fifteen Reasons Why San Diego Really Does Mean 'Whale's Vagina' in German — And Why That Has To Change.")
It's Biden's Party
Speaking of Ron Burgundyism, remember Joe Biden's vice-presidential debate with Paul Ryan? He'd flash those teeth like a flounder that accidentally picked up a set of dentures. He'd laugh like the crazy guy on the bus who knows the driver is really following the chem trails in the sky because you can still get a Snickers bar for less than a dollar. He'd guffaw at any suggestion he or the president did anything wrong — ever — and shout "malarkey" at the idiots and knaves who thought otherwise. And, sadly, it largely worked. I'm beginning to think Biden was simply ahead of his time. So much of elite liberalism these days is little more than bluster and self-satisfied blather.
For instance, I am so disappointed in John Oliver's HBO show, Last Week Tonight. I like Oliver's stand-up and his stints on Community. But his approach is simply Bidenism refined. The show begins from the premise that liberal conventional wisdom is not only right but obviously so and then simply works backward to "prove it." In Britain, populist tabloids are condemned by people of Oliver's persuasion for simply confirming the prejudices of the working class. Last Week Tonight is a similar effort for the more upscale — and often more prejudiced — HBO demographic. He doesn't tell his audience anything it doesn't want to hear, he just gives them new and occasionally funny reasons to feel good about themselves. The only difference between his show and the typical MSNBC host's is that Oliver is funny on purpose.
The Dogma Business
Anyway, I kind of wandered off from where I planned on going with all of this. For the record, I'm not saying that politicians, pundits, and other partisans should not consult the opinions of scientists and other experts. Of course they — we — should. We learn new and interesting things all of the time. What I am saying is that liberalism is constantly rebranding itself as solely an explanation of reality and it constantly needs to rebrand itself because reality keeps revealing that it isn't.
What worries me — a lot — is that reality is coming to the rescue of liberalism. No, I don't mean that the crooked timber of humanity has grown straight or that it now
makes sense that the Pentagon hold bake sales to pay for bombers. What I mean is that progressives are quicker to seize on the political opportunities created by a changing culture.
What is commonly called "political correctness" doesn't get the respect it deserves on the right. Sure, in the herstory of political correctness there have been womyn and cis-men who have taken their seminal ovulal ideas too far, but we should not render ourselves visually challenged to the fact that something more fundawomyntal is at work here.
Political correctness can actually be seen as an example of Hayekian spontaneous order. Society has changed, because society always changes. But modern American society has changed a lot. In a relatively short period of time, legal and cultural equality has expanded — albeit not uniformly or perfectly — to blacks, women, and gays. We are a more heterodox society in almost every way. As a result, many of our customs, norms, and terms no longer line up neatly with lived-reality. Remember customs emerge as intangible tools to solve real needs. When the real needs change, the customs must either adapt or die.
Many conservatives think political correctness forced Christianity and traditional morality to recede from public life. That is surely part of the story. But another part of the story is that political correctness emerged because Christianity and traditional morality receded. Something had to fill the void.
I wish more conservatives recognized that at least some of what passes for political correctness is an attempt to create new manners and mores for the places in life where the old ones no longer work too well. You can call it "political correctness" that Americans stopped calling black people "negroes." But that wouldn't make the change wrong or even objectionable. You might think it's regrettable that homosexuality has become mainstreamed and largely de-stigmatized. But your regret doesn't change the fact that it has happened. And well-mannered people still need to know how to show respect to people.
Identity politics is only part of the story, and not even the most important part. Medical, technological, and economic changes are almost surely far more important than changing demographics alone. A society where individuals are vastly more autonomous than they were a century ago is simply going to have different codes of conduct and manners. The telephone, television, and the car did more to liberate young people from the moral cocoon of their families and communities than any libertine intellectual fad (you can be sure that driverless cars, for instance, will change society in unimaginable ways). Democrats recognize this, which is why they've cynically exploited changes in family structure, female labor participation, and reproductive technology and declared that Republicans have declared war on women. It's not remotely true, but it is effective.
Now, I don't actually think Christianity is necessarily inadequate to the task of keeping up with the changes of contemporary society. (The pagan Roman civilization Christianity emerged from was certainly less hospitable to Christianity than America today is. You could look it up.) But Christianity, like other religions, still needs to adapt to changing times and the evolving expectations of the people. I'm nothing like an expert on such things, but it seems to me that most churches and denominations understand this. Some respond more successfully than others. But it's hardly as if they are oblivious to the challenge of "relevance."
My concern here is more about mainstream conservatism. I think much of what the Left offers in terms of culture creation is utter crap. But they are at least in the business of culture creation.
The New Manners
And that brings me back to where I started. I began this "news"letter talking about how liberalism hides behind seemingly non-ideological language in order to advance an ideological cause. Think of political correctness in those terms. Progressives are steadily dismantling the beautiful cathedrals of traditional manners and customs, arguing that they're too Baroque, too antiquated. They use the sledgehammer of liberation rhetoric to destroy the old edifices, but their fidelity to liberty is purely rhetorical. In place of the old cathedrals they build supposedly functional, modern, and utilitarian codes of conduct. But these Brutalist codes are not only unlovely, they are often more prudish than traditional approaches. Like some Six Sigma seminar participants holed up in a Holiday Inn conference room, Harvard is currently gathering its finest minds to draw up the procedures for sexual conduct and consent. The end result will surely be a clipboard check-list to rival that of any Jiffy Lube manager's in both romantic appeal and sexiness.
What I would like to see from conservatives is recognition that some of the cathedrals are outdated. But instead of arguing that they should be razed and replaced with Jacobin Temples of Reason with rites and rituals grounded in abstraction, why not argue for some long overdue updating and retrofitting? I guarantee you more women prefer a modified version of the traditional process of wooing, courting, and dating before sex than the "modern" schizophrenic system of getting drunk enough for a same-day hook up but not so inebriated to forget to get a signature on the consent form. Traditional notions of romance and respect are far better tools than the mumbo-jumbo campus feminists have to offer. The problem is that the mumbo-jumbo feminists are fighting largely uncontested.
Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed
Reply #692 on:
July 19, 2014, 09:00:33 AM »
Great article. Jonah is evolving into one of the great writers and *thinkers* on the right.
He has excellent points. I guess he is saying the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewry should be more socially liberal yet still promote and uphold many traditional tenets.
This part below is hysterical and great.
Did he really come up with these electrically funny jokes:
****What is commonly called "political correctness" doesn't get the respect it deserves on the right. Sure, in the herstory of political correctness there have been womyn and cis-men who have taken their seminal ovulal ideas too far, but we should not render ourselves visually challenged to the fact that something more fundawomyntal is at work here.****
Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 09:51:29 AM by ccp
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