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  1. Mike Devx says

    Book,
    I have disagree with the author of that article. He’s done an Obama – constructed a straw man argument as his axiom.

    The first paragraph sets it up:
    This past election showed that Republicans in America are in trouble. [...] President Obama’s startling ascendancy [...] indicates that the Republican Party’s problems run deeper than fatigue and campaign ineptitude.

    Oh really?

    Allow me to construct a scenario that the author doesn’t.

    - Fatigue with the Iraq war

    - In every other way except these three: the Iraq War, Supreme Court justices, and tax cuts – Bush operated as a Democrat-lite. He instituted huge Statist programs, and then refused to pay for them, creating huge national debt and, incidentally, insulating Democrats from charges of creating even larger Statist programs while running massive debts.

    - The financial crisis exploded under Bush. The public *always* blames the current administration, no matter who the real culprits are. (See Bush’s problem above with insulating Democrats from charges.) The independents (too many of them) turned on the Republican party.

    - The Republicans had absolutely no coherent message beyond “tax cuts! tax cuts!” Libertarians recognized that as insufficiently fiscally responsible and became ambivalent about the whole corrupted system. Social conservatives recognized a complete abandonment of social issues and many stayed home. Enthusiasm bottomed out.

    Obama ran promising all kinds of contradictory promises to everyone, and the American people bought it. They rejected analysis and simply decided: “The Republicans have screwed the pooch. Let’s try this New Guy. We likes him!”

    The author would have conservatives reject all litmus tests, and become feel-good community activists of one sort or another. Being active within the community is a good thing, for sure, but is it the path to rebirth for conservatives?

    Should you volunteer at your local abortion clinic?

    As is usual these days, you can peg an author within the Conservative War as either A. conservative libertarian or B. social conservative. This author is a conservative libertarian. Read through his article for social conservative positions… He has NONE. In fact, he demands no litmus tests, and defines core Republican values as solely based on individual responsibility and community activism. I gently suggest that if your brand of community assistance relies on socially conservative values, he doesn’t want you – unless you hide what is most important to you. Conceal it from the public, so you don’t scare them away.

    Support strong national defense.
    Support strong two-parent families.

    Support clean, law-abiding communities, free of crime, drugs, and street-visible evidence of decay such as collapsing infrastructure, broken windows, graffiti, prostitution, public intoxication.

    Discourage abortions.

    Support constitutional Supreme Court justices.
    Reject internationalist Supreme Court justices.

    And so on.

    These are all Social Conservative positions that have little or nothing to do with libertarianism. (Perhaps the first of them – strong defense – does, but many libertarians are isolationists, so that one at best is a wash.)

    I would suggest that all of these positions are critical for a strong run at the Presidency. Fiscal Sanity and individual freedom are important as well, but we appear to have those parts under good control. It’s this massive push to isolate and repudiate the social conservative positions that has my back constantly up against the wall and fighting back. This damned war by the fiscal conservatives against the social conservatives will leave me yet in despair.

  2. says

    Mike, you point to all the things that aren’t the Republicans’ fault to explain the Democrat sweep in 2008. You are absolutely right about every one of them — but they still spelled trouble for the Republicans at the ballot box. So there is trouble.

    The Democratic victory also revealed a new American mind, one uninformed by concrete information, and easily swayed by slogans. Keep in mind that we, the more thoughtful generation, are dying out. The up and coming generations have been fed on a steady diet of computer games, manga novels, and MTV, and all of these media, plus the instruction they receive at school, tell them over and over that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. They learn no facts. They just learn slogans.

    The American Thinker article, even if you disagree with its reasons for believing that Republicans are in trouble, offers very concrete solutions to offset the propaganda that infects the younger generation (as well as any one who watches only Oprah and Ellen). Since people seem incapable of thinking deep, we’ve caught to give them some solid, honest, inherently truthful shallow stuff to hold on to.

  3. Mike Devx says

    I understand and agree book.

    It’s sad that the KISS principle can be interpreted these days as “Keep It Shallow, Stupid!”

    We can do that and still emphasize all the socially conservative positions that the author avoids. Keeping it simple and shallow would mean to simply beat in short messages:

    “We Love the Military” (The Democrats and Obama hate our military)

    “Mom and Dad and the Children” (I’m not quite sure how you say this one, but emphasize that we LOVE the traditional family and recognize how crucial it is to the survival of civilization, and the Democrats don’t love the family and don’t recognize how important it is.)

    Life – What a Beautiful Choice (Abortion is not beautiful or sexy. Abortion is not cool.)

    And so on. I believe the social conservative messages are important and I think too many people want them suppressed. I know I am beating a dead horse, but we cannot win without the fiscal conservatives, the liberatarians, nor the social conservatives. And I’m dismayed that the war by libertarians and fiscal conservatives against social conservatives appears to be succeeding, which spells DOOM for elections in 2010, I am certain.

    And so on.

  4. Charles Martel says

    Hi, everybody.

    I just finished reading an article in “First Things,” called “Demographics & Depression,” which analyzes why the current recession is probably going to morph into a long-term depression. The writer’s thesis is simple: The developed world, by refusing to have children, now has nobody to buy its overpriced houses or other goods. You cannot create wealth for your old age if there’s nobody willing to go into debt to get access to your wealth; access for which he will pay back with interest.

    A telling statistic in the article is that the U.S. has far more houses that are large enough to accommodate two-parent/multi-child families than there are such families to buy them.

    The only hopeful note the writer sounds is that Obama’s Keynesian-style nostrums simply won’t work. They will be like trying to revive a fresh corpse. But even if we’re able to eject The Narcissist in 2012, we’re going to have to get used to a much lower standard of living for the next generation or two—until we learn to love children again.

    http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6564

  5. Mike Devx says

    Charles, #7:

    That article in first things was written by David Goldman, aka the famous and brilliant “Spengler”.

    He’s written as Spengler for at least a decade, at Asia Times Online. He recently decided to come out from behind the pseudonym. Many, many brilliant articles.

    Here’s the article where he explained his decades-long journey from secular semi-liberal to religious (Jewish) conservative, and discusses his time high up in the investment/finance world:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/KD18Aa01.html

    You can find many more of his awesome, wonderful articles at:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/others/spengler.html

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