UNITE AND FIGHT
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Listen to Goldwater:
Quin Hillyer explains the first half of what conservatives need to do, i.e. grow up, consider the good things we already have, “celebrate them, and consolidate them in an attractive way, and build, build, build upon them.”
I agree. However he leaves out the second half. That is, articulate our vision in the public square, and if need be, get down and dirty to fight our leftwing adversaries in advancing and ARTICULATING our vision in a down-to-earth way (Reagan’s gift!), showing the American people how ridiculous our political adversaries’ vision is and quit just preaching to the choir. It needs to be a full-court press, all day, every day in all the media — print, radio, TV, Internet, etc. That today is the key thing lacking.
All I see is Republicans hiding for cover at the slightest adversity, no matter what it is and conservatives tongue-tied. Their silence and that of our current Chief Executive is deafening — they are all AWOL! They have not only yielded the terms of the debate, but the debate itself to the Democrats and the left (one and the same to me).
Republicans, and conservatives, need to be hungry again; they need to be streetfighters for the cause with a “take no prisoners” approach. (Oh, for another Lee Atwater!!) Limp-wristed, craven, cowardly “go-along-get-along,” weather vane Republicans who care only about perpetrating their own power and position at the expense of the principles which originally got them elected inspire no one — I will not give one cent to them, and forget about even voting for them. If need be, we need to begin our own insurgency within the party, blow the fat, dumb and happy politicos out of the water, and put new blood in a position to take things over.
By way of example, so far, I have heard nothing by conservatives or Republicans in Congress about the recent op-ed piece in the July 30 New York Times by two scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution — Michael E. O’Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack. Even though it is not 100% in our favor, the fact it was written and printed by of all institutions, the New York Times, should be cause for rejoicing for anyone who supports our war effort; it is the political equivalent of Paul’s ride to Damascus. And what have we heard to rebut “Dingy Harry” Reid’s continuing declaration that the war is lost, etc. by our representatives? I am still waiting. These guys should be embraced for “growing up” and seeing progress and the turn-around, particularly in al-Anbar province, which every soldier and Marine has been seeing for the first half of this year.
Unless we as conservatives find our tongues, articulate our vision and put it out there, day and night, in a way to educate and inspire our fellow Americans, who are really waiting for competent adult leadership, AND really fight for our beliefs and principles — not hide from them — then, as many have said, we will soon have to get used to the term, “Madame President.”
— D. Moroco
Colonel, USMCR (Ret.)
Quin Hillyer is bang on in his assessment. In the late ’90s some analysts were predicting a conservative meltdown due to the machinations of Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and paleoconservatives (the people who gave us the Clinton Presidency). George W. Bush was able to forestall that crisis by his extraordinary political victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004. The major political realignment that he and Karl Rove were working for seemed to be guaranteed. Sadly, some conservatives and the media’s token “conservatives” joined Democrats and their media goons in making President Bush and the GOP their targets. The resulting conservative crackup breathed new life into the Democrat corpse resulting in a resurgent Democrat party with momentum headed into 2008 despite the most radical and unqualified candidates in that party’s dysfunctional history.
Even if Ronald Reagan were a candidate in 2008 this group would be cutting his throat on issues like taxes (he raised them 7 times), immigration and borders (he laid the foundation for McCain Kennedy), federal spending and deficits (to defeat the Soviet Union he had the highest in modern history) and fighting terrorism (where he was marginally effective).
Hillary, Barack and their admirers like George Soros and Osama bin Laden will owe this group a major thank you if Democrats take total control of the Federal government in 2009. As for the conservative movement it is destined for the political wilderness unless we return to the pragmatic and big tent conservatism of Ronald Reagan where the 11th Commandment is respected if not honored.
— Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
I must comment on two nonsensical articles from today’s assortment of supposedly conservative thought pieces.
Quin Hillyer encourages us to “listen to Goldwater,” to “grow up” and support whatever fine nominee issues forth from the Republican selection process. As I can actually remember watching that convention on TV as a politically interested teenager, let me suggest that some context is being dropped here. Goldwater was urging Republican unity in support of Tricky Dick Nixon, who embodied the mainstream values of the party, as conservatives worked to move the party to the right (successfully, as it turned out). Since the Reagan years, the Republican Party as taken on reform of the abortion disaster. Opposition to the murder of children in the womb (at least in most circumstances) has rightly become a defining characteristic of the party. Willingness to support Rudy Giuliani is a betrayal of a core conservative value that his predecessors made a major feature of the Republican ascendancy. I consider the toleration of abortion in the late 20th, and now early 21st, century a social issue on par with the foul enslavement of people in our earlier history. As a thought experiment, what would we think about a pro-slavery candidate for President in 1860 nominated by a party established to oppose that “peculiar institution”? This is not an issue of “he agrees with us on so much (itself a question in my mind about this backer of Mario Cuomo) so we can go along on abortion.” Substitute slavery in 1860 for abortion and tell me that such a rationalization makes sense to you.
I also question whether Barry Goldwater could have held his nose for the John McCain of today. Here is an unreliable conservative on economic issues who has beat the drums for the greatest assault on political free speech since the Alien and Sedition Acts. The institutional advantages enjoyed by the left can only be overcome by grass roots opposition, opposition rendered far more difficult by the monstrosity of McCain-Feingold. Once the left closes the loop with the reintroduction of the “fairness doctrine,” conservatives’ ability to be heard will once again be restricted to its in-house media. Yeah, let’s reward John McCain with our support as he participates in returning our influence to pre-1960.
What really slays me is the willingness of credulous conservatives to sign on to a “lesser of evils” argument as these same geniuses criticize and undermine George W. Reality check, guys and gals! Bush II has governed reasonably conservatively, as I have noted in past letters. He certainly compares well with Bush I. Who among the current leading lights of the nomination process, with the possible exception of Fred Thompson, would govern to the right of Bush I? Answer: None of them! With these characters, better we spend our resources in reestablishing the Republican brand in Congress, awaiting a candidate who would actually represent the Republican mainstream.
Then there’s Michael Fumento’s apology for the nanny state, “Obesity Is Contagious.” I don’t mind admitting that I am one of those obese ones, although I don’t stuff my face with Twinkies or eat more than the normal three meals a day (it is true that I don’t exercise any part of my body other than my brain). Yeah, I don’t live a healthy lifestyle, which is my right.
To the extent my lifestyle increases health care costs, it is probably legit to increase my health care premiums –once the effects are actually measured in all their aspects (including the fact I probably won’t be using health care for as many years as others), and other lifestyle choices that are not mine are also factored into the premiums: smoking, drinking, living in dangerous urban areas, participation in dangerous hobbies like hiking and climbing in remote areas, homosexual activity, etc. etc. Yeah, I can hardly wait for the intrepid health fascist who suggests we charge gays more for their health insurance because of the costs imposed by an unhealthy lifestyle! Anyway, according to Michael, it is also my fault that those in my familial and social orbit are obese: it’s catching, don’t you know! Michael, do you suppose it is possible that obese people have obese friends because the non-obese don’t want to associate with one of the two remaining acceptable targets of discrimination (smokers and fat people)? I’m not complaining about social discrimination. If you don’t want to associate with me, that’s your loss — and frankly I have not really personally suffered this to any great extent. I do draw the line at being considered a public health menace.
What’s next? I guess I could be quarantined for my own good and that of society. I don’t have the exact quote (maybe some of the readers would know it), but James Madison had some sharp things to say about a state that involved itself with sumptuary laws and other manifestations of regulation of personal habits. But then, I’m sure that Michael Fumento would consider himself above the balanced wisdom of the author of our Constitution.
Does anyone around here remember what Frank Meyer’s fusion conservatism (economic and social libertarianism fused with strong national defense, commitment to protection of life, and respect for those who practice traditional American values) is all about? Maybe Hillyer and Fumento should take a Meyer break before honoring us with some more of what simply must be their casual “thoughts while shaving.”
— Stephen Zierak
Kansas City, Missouri
Interestingly, in the last four paragraphs of his column, it seems Mr. Hillyer has just proposed a Contract With America, Version II.
Let us see if we can glean the pertinent passages, combined with literary license of course:
1. The American people favor, and elected conservatives shall advocate for, limited government with a strong military. We believe that non-inherent governmental power shall, in all cases, be returned to local control, as specified in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
2. We favor judges who are deferential to the actual text of the Constitution, and of statues passed pursuant to its rules. As such, we oppose a federal right to abortion; the issue shall be adjucated at the state level, as specified in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
3. We favor a communal respect for timeless standards of conduct showcasing an enlightened tradition.
4. We favor strict, clear, and consistent standards of law and order.
5. We favor maximum liberty within the law.
6. We believe that the public square should not be hostile to expressions of faith.
7. We believe private property deserves strong legal protections.
8. We believe in free markets; and we strongly believe in the right of the people to freely participate in economic exchange.
9. We believe that the U.S. national interest is, by definition, a moral interest.
10. We believe that private citizens, left to their own devices, make better decisions and achieve more effective, efficient, and humane results in every sphere of life, than does government.
I believe Mr. Hillyer has hit upon a winning formula — Mr. Goldwater would be proud.
Now, quit the bellyaching and get on with it!
— Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
On Quin Hillyer’s “Listen to Goldwater.”..the candidates had better be careful what they say right now about each other, because anything nasty that’s said about the eventual nominee will just come up again—out of the mouths of Democrats.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
I just want to say that Quin Hillyer’s “Listen to Goldwater is great. Every American should read it.
— John Hench
Quin Hillyer replies:
I appreciate all the many thoughtful responses I got to my “Listen to Goldwater” column. But I must say, Carneal Owen has one-upped me with his brilliant reorganization of my dense prose into a far more accessible format. Bravo to him! Great job!
VETERANS FOR TRUTH
Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Be All You Can Be:
Sometime this week I found an on-line article about the imposter Buddle and sent it to my husband. My husband, a real Vietnam veteran of two tours as a helicopter pilot, found the article to be redeeming. HIs first tour he was hit by mortar fire and received a purple heart. My husband’s second tour in Nam was cut short when his Cobra Helicopter was shot down (or mechanically failed), it was never determined. His crash was, however, the first of its type where both the pilot and co-pilot lived. He was never even given a Purple Heart for this event, having to be quickly shipped homeward with a badly broken back.
In a speech he gave to High Schoolers on Veteran’s Day in 2005, he told of how there are ten times as many folks claiming to have served in Vietnam, as who really served in Vietnam. He also told the students to imagine a time, in their country’s history when the soldiers came home and were vilified by war protesters. He gave them a graphic picture telling them to imagine standing outside the auditorium and when the assembly dismissed and as the veterans filed out to leave, cursing them and vilifying them as they passed by. Students came up by the droves, with shocked faces afterwards, asking if that were really true.
He ended his speech by saying that he came home to hate speech, being spat upon and called a baby killer. But the day before the Veterans’ Day speech he was driving to his work when he passed an old man on his tractor. The old man looked at my husband, then looked down at the Purple Heart on his Texas license plate. He looked back up at him and saluted. My husband said…. “That was all I needed to welcome me home some 35 years later.”
There is a website established for folks to check someone’s military service. Finding so many imposters a Vietnam Veteran established the site. While I am unsure of the site’s name I am sure TAS could provide it.
— Bev Gunn
East Texas Rancher
ENIVRONMENTALLY SOUND EATING
Re: Michael Fumento’s Obesity Is Contagious:
I don’t understand all of this negativity about obesity. Triglycerides are about 2/3 carbon and that should make my carbon gut print worth something in the war on global warming. I’m talking tax write off with long term storage fees to boot. Tax the bony!
If I went on a diet, farmers would grow less and the carbon dioxide would rise even faster. We should shut down every gym in North America to prevent the conversion of fat to carbon Dioxide. Cremation should be stopped immediately. They ought to pay me not to exercise to save the planet.
If you figure ten pounds on 300 million people each that is 1.36 million metric tons of Carbon sequestration and not a tax dollar spent.
— Danny L. Newton
A SNOWMAN’S CHANCE IN HELL
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Small Talk:
Lisa reminds me that, as far as the election is concerned, we should think more about the character of each candidate rather than on which candidate can be more ‘hip’. I think the YouTube debates are a neat idea but if the first one is any indication I they seem to be a waste of time. We are trying to elect the next commander in chief of the largest military force in the world and the highest office of the most powerful economic force that has ever existed. This is no place for snowmen. Let us find our answers with dignity.
— Adam Jones
Lisa Fabrizio is right on about the young voters the Democrats are always threatening us with, but who never seem to find their way to the polls. I’m not looking for them to show up this time around either.
If young people are so interested in the commonweal, how come the biggest advertiser on news and public affairs programs is Cialis?
— Larry Thornberry
Re: James Bowman’s review of No Reservations:
“Remakes,” be they in film or any other form of art, or what the old abbot in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose calls, “sublime recapitulation,” in my view is a sign of a degenerate culture, bereft of any new ideas or any originality. They never measure up to the original. The closest historical parallel would be Rome following the Silver Age. The worse is in children’s entertainment, in which (cry) baby boomers in the business are foisting on today’s children remakes of standbys from the time in which we were growing up in the ’50s and ’60’s, particularly in an animated form. It’s all trash.
My shadow rarely darkens the doors of a cinema — I prefer the originals and classics and my DVD collection reflects it.
— D. Moroco
Colonel, USMCR (Ret.)
THE LEFT SIDE OF TOWN
Re: Bill Croke’s Melvin’s Marvelous Moonbat Hour:
Please add Santa Fe, New Mexico to Moonbatville.
Actually, the “fairness doctrine” would be quite a change in Santa Fe which is a one newspaper city where the letters to the editor section are always worth a good laugh. The paper’s headline writers must have majored in Moonbatism.
There are plenty of showcase million dollar homes. Heck, $200,000 homes are classed as “affordable.” A “living hourly wage” of $9.50 has been mandated and consideration of an annual and automatic “cost of living” increase will soon be considered by the city fathers and mothers.
Santa Fe is a “sanctuary city” and, by golly, is damn proud of it.
The list of Santa Fe’s Moonbatisms is way too long for this letter.
Oh well, Santa Fe’s high school graduation rate is approximately 50%, but never mind, there will be lots of jobs in the government and drug sectors.
— Nelson Ward
Cowles, New Mexico
Yeah, “lefty-talk” radio is alive and well…if only at taxpayer’s expense.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan