Reagan 180: Spending And Bureaucracy

The entrenched DC Republican establishment is obsessed with “electability” – good and Constitutional governance be damned. They insist that the only road to electoral victory is through big government glad-handing.


Reagan 180: Spending And Bureacracy

It’s what I call “DC solutionism,” an irrational belief that all real answers and solutions naturally begin and usually also end in the cavernous halls of Washington bureaucracy and legalese. We used to call them liberals and, sometimes, less-specific identified as just Democrats. Now we call them simply “incumbents” without the silly archaic need for specific party reference. The centralized DC mentality has indeed infected the Republican club as well.

The Republican establishment [aka "The Club," (TM)] is in fact more liberal than many of the milquetoast candidates they parade your way every four years. Their livelihoods are in elections, and they churn their own elections by pedaling “DC solutions.” (Read: Someone else’s money.) The longer they are in DC, the more unmoored they become from both localized economic reality and the ideas of Constitutional governance that they maybe, just maybe, might have arrived in DC with originally.

And this drift towards centralized government “solutions” and the necessary accompanying centralized government control has blurred the lines between once distinct political parties.

So when the RNC, its anointed and preferred candidates, their supporters and donor bandwagons cry out about “electability,” what they mean without saying forthrightly is that the key to winning an election is being likable and handing out stuff from the big DC trunk.

How’s that working for “The Club”? For you? For Constitutional governance? Well, let’s see… Aside from two nail-biter wins by George W. Bush, we will have had 16 years of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama in four asswhippings. “The Club” keeps giving us their old guard liberal Republican Senators in Bush 41, Bob Dole and John McCain. Breaking the mold, we end up with a non-Senatorial member of “The Club” in Governor Romney, the inventor of Obamacare. (Yeah, whatever. Save your breath, defenders. You people bore me with your distinctions that don’t resonate with anyone who isn’t a political junkie – the 97% of the country too busy working.)

The last time a Republican really won an election with a confident mandate was also the last time a true Conservative ran. And the blueprint is so simple it inspires disbelief. Yet there it is: Believe in (and understand) The Constitution and its limits on government overtly designed to preserve Liberty, believe in the American people and our uniquely American sense of individualism, and be able to speak in complete sentences.

In this second edition of Reagan 180, a three minute excerpt from Ronald Reagan’s 1979 announcement of his candidacy for president is a short sample of what proved to be the blueprint for two massive electoral landslides. He didn’t promise to give this program or that program. He promised to get Washington the hell out of the way. He wanted to go to Washington to affect it’s doing less, not more.

It seems counter-intuitive to today’s DC Republicans. No way anyone can campaign and win on doing and giving away less. But landslides don’t lie. They’re not close enough to be debatable.

How many are in DC today to reign it in and have it do less, returning many functions to the states to decide and carry out as constructed and instructed by the Constitution? How many “believe in (and understand) The Constitution and its limits on government overtly designed to preserve Liberty, believe in the American people and our uniquely American sense of individualism”? And how many of those left standing can communicate in complete sentences, all by themselves like big boys and girls? Talk about culling the herd.

Well, that’s all it takes to get the American public behind a candidate and his or her administration that moves inside the beltway from somewhere comfortably outside it before the election. The blueprint is right there. But if you don’t share the beliefs, you’ll resist and ridicule the example. And there you have it. In less than 3 minutes of audio.

Reagan 180: Peace Through Strength

The proven principle of peace through strength has no clock of eligibility. Nor is it a theory. It is, as stated, a proven principle that knows no decade nor continent as its home. Peace is derived through strength precisely because weakness inspires aggression. Critics tend to muddy the waters by creating the false parallel between strength and aggression. With strength, real and rightly perceived strength, words (read: diplomacy) carry tangible effect and generate desired action (or vital inaction) from foes.


Reagan 180, Episode 001: Peace Through Strength

With the help from the words of former Ambassador John Bolton in the introduction in framing today’s Russia as the backdrop, Ronald Reagan spelled out quite clearly the principle of peace through strength in 1964.

It took all of three minutes to explain the proven principle of peace through strength with clarity. And it applies as much now as it did then. Like human nature or the laws of physics, principles like this do not go ‘out of style’ or become outdated or outmoded.

That doesn’t mean others won’t argue otherwise. When they do, come back. Listen this first edition of Reagan 180. Ground yourself again and regain your confidence if you need a shot in the arm. It’s straight forward. It’s really pretty simple. And it can’t be outsmarted, no matter how many try to razzle-dazzle with figures and theory.

And that’s the whole idea of the Reagan 180 project. Our conservative principles are really very simple. They’re straight forward. They’re “what works,” in sharp contrast to “who’s victimized” and “who must pay.” No one in our lifetime communicated these realities more effectively than Ronald Reagan.

Reagan 180 is an idea (not yet taxed) that I’ve been mulling on and off for several years. On any given issue or debate on governance or liberty today, there’s about 3 short minutes of Ronald Reagan in an archive somewhere explaining the conservative principle on the subject with a cutting clarity that seemingly no one in the current generation of leaders and/or public figures can seem to muster.

There’s just no sense at all in watching all of this quietly gather dust when it’s in such need today. So, 180 seconds at a time, these short Reagan 180 podcasts will highlight Ronald Reagan’s words to apply conservative principles to today’s issues.

Enter The Canardvark

The Canardvark

The Canardvark

Bittersweet. The graciousness of our common friend, Bookworm, inspires a modeling of our own behavior. Leadership by example, I believe we still call this. And I am pleased and thankful that she has allowed me to share a small corner of her space from time to time. The sweetness.

But for the bitterness, all of this affection would remain privately between us as it has always been. Ah, but for the bitterness. How charmed life would be without it. The very need for The Canardvark’s existence. Frequenters of this space all have an inner Canardvark, sniffing out lies and deception that are either the story itself or the pillars used to support the story under false pretense. Ignorance truly would be bliss. But ignorance is for the intellectually lazy. And ’round here, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

And so it is. The bitterness. I’ve worked hard at ignoring it for a few years. My own “Occupy” movement, distracting my mind with disconnected morsels of personal indulgence and relative quiet. Delving deeper into the work that pays the mortgage. Slipping into the pure fantasy that blowing things up on Playstation affords. Throwing myself at the punishing world of cycling and its hours and hours of self-inflicted misery and pain in search of those fleeting moments of triumph and the undeniable peace of solitude.

I find it hard to really enjoy anything much at all. Not because I am miserable – I’m a pretty happy guy. But rather, I simply don’t enjoy things like most normal human beings do. Thanks in large part to an early and brief career choice of becoming a southern California television station’s program director, I instinctively analyze everything I see and hear. And I mean everything. Most people read the news scroll at the bottom of the screen. That’s what it’s there for. But I am cursed with looking first and instinctively for typos and misstatements. I wish it were different.

I analyze everything. Labels on cans of soup. Advertisements for cars in magazines. Disclaimers on websites. Patterns in phone numbers. Words chosen – and not chosen – in conversation. The background images and small text on big billboards. I look for the sight unseen and listen for the word unheard.

And canards in reporting and rhetoric. My mind gravitates toward the obscure yet vital detail, missed but disproportionately consequential. Whether by design or the subconscious oversight caused by unwittingly trained habit, the canards matter.

And the canards each are a mean to a desired end. Those ends are usually political in inspiration and often destructive in implementation. Take, for instance, the canard of man-caused global warming. Without attempting to provide analysis here, let’s just accept two facts: That A.) the climate has always been changing (explains sea creature fossils in the Arizona desert) and that B.) pollution is bad (go for a run in Mexico City or Beijing.)

In order to push the “big lie” beyond debate, the greater canard is supported by a lesser canard – that the issue of man-caused global warming is “settled science.” If enough newscasts and stories use this phrasing in their daily coverage, it becomes widely accepted as fact among those who are not “in the realm” of science to quantitatively or qualitatively declare otherwise. You know. Housewives, realtors, carpenters, teachers, firemen… Basically, everyone else. If “everyone” is saying it, then it must be true. So it goes.

The problem is that it is not settled science. How then to explain the thousands of signatures of scientists, meteorologists and climatologists worldwide who argue that such a conclusion is not settled science? The problem is that this is not part of what most see, hear and read. And thus, the big lie is supported by other lies. Canards, one and all.

And the problem isn’t that someone lies. It’s about where the acceptance of false conclusions leads. In the case of the “settled science” canard in support of the “man-caused global warming” canard, it leads governments to begin inventing a commodity (carbon credits) and begin taxing industries and individuals by charging them for the rights to these credits, which are nothing more than paper protection from the government in charge of distributing them. The government in question does not distribute anything tangible or provide access to any resource. The industries and individuals in question are merely allowed or disallowed to carry on. In a free society with open markets, we call this a shake down. Protection money. A racquet.

All built upon a canard supported by lesser canards and fueled only by fear and ignorance, not fact and indisputable consequence.

So, unable to just m0ve along with nothing to see here, I am once again compelled to think aloud. At least from time to time. And I’ll usually share what compels me with both attitude and sarcasm, with bitterness and laughing cynicism. Right or wrong, in brilliance or in error. Always open, always honest, and too infrequent to support a blog of my own. And so I am thankful for my wonderful friend, Bookie, and appreciative that she is renting out a small corner of the Bookworm Room to house my wares. I get along well with worms. It’s pissants that drive me crazy.

I am the Canardvark. Coo-Coo-Ka-Choo.