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   PoliticsA New Conservative Movement


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From: Brumar892/12/2018 12:42:43 PM
   of 175
 
Why Federal Deficit Spending Will Never Be Fixed. Ever.

David Thornton
by

Rand Paul is right. Neither party cares about the deficit enough to cut their own programs.

If there was any notion that the Trump Administration was fiscally conservative, those beliefs should be reconsidered in light of last week’s bipartisan spending deal and the president’s spending proposals from the State of the Union speech. Despite the Republican victory on tax reform, it seems that the party is veering toward massive spending increases rather than fiscal restraint and entitlement reform.

Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was one of the few congressional voices that spoke out against the spending bill. In a speech on the Senate floor, Paul described why Congress is unlikely to ever resolve the problem of deficit spending. Ever.

Rand Paul on Spending: "When Republicans Are In Power, There Is No Conservative Party"
Sen. Rand Paul speaks about the spirit of why he is holding up the passage of the budget deal through the Senate:

SEN. RAND PAUL: When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party. But when Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party.

You see, opposition seems to bring…
www.realclearpolitics.com
Rand Paul on Spending: "When Republicans Are In Power, There Is No Conservative Party"

“The right cries out, 'Our military is hollowed out!' Even though military spending more than doubled since 2001,” Paul said. “The left is no better. Democrats don't oppose military money as long as they can get some for themselves... for their pet causes.”

“The dirty little secret is that, by and large, both parties don't care about the debt,” the senator charged.

?The truth that Paul stumbled upon is that neither party can spend taxpayer money on its own. The Democrats want to spend on entitlements and social programs, but don’t have the votes by themselves. The Republicans have their own priorities, among them the military and up to $67 billion for President Trump’s border wall. Even though they have majorities in both houses, the Republicans don’t have the votes to pass a budget on their own either. On the other hand, when both parties come together in a bipartisan compromise, they have enough votes to spend like the proverbial drunken sailor.

Neither party sees their priorities as frivolous. Both see themselves as patriotic lawmakers looking out for the wellbeing of their constituents. They agree to each other’s priorities to secure their own and the deficit goes up and the national debt continues to mount.

There have been pauses in the trend. When Republicans won control of the House in the Tea Party wave of 2010, they kept a tight grip on the federal checkbook. Under Speaker John Boehner, the Republicans reduced spending in real dollar terms and reduced the deficit by 70 percent, thanks to the sequester’s spending caps.Nevertheless, the borrowing continued and the debt continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate. In the late 1990s, a booming economy paired with spending cuts actually led to federal surpluses for a few years.

By the end of Barack Obama’s second term, the federal debt had almost doubled. The US debt to GDP ratio reached 108 percent. This is far behind Japan with a 240 percent ratio and Greece at 180 percent, but the level of debt is generally acknowledged to be at a serious problem. The Keynesian ideal of deficit spending in times of crisis has given way to deficit spending to avoid a financial crisis.

Debt to GDP by country 2017 | Statista
Which country has the most debt? This statistic shows the 20 countries with the highest debt to GDP ratio in 2017. In this year, Japan ranked first among the countries with the highest public debt levels; it had an estimated debt of ...
www.statista.com
Debt to GDP by country 2017 | Statista
Where Rand Paul is incorrect is in his hostility to military spending, a constitutional mission of the federal government. Paul argues that “military spending more than doubled since 2001,” but fails to consider how much the world changed on Sept. 11, 2001. Two wars and numerous missions against Islamic terrorism are only the most obvious aspect of the problem. Chinese and Russian expansionism represent serious Cold War-like threats.

In 2016, under President Obama, military leaders said that sequestration was a serious threat to military readiness. Budget cuts have led to difficulties in replacing and upgrading equipment. Financial limitations have also impacted training and troop retention.

Sequestration Poses Biggest Threat to Readiness, Military Leaders Say
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps leaders detailed challenges posed by sequestration in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.,
www.defense.gov
Sequestration Poses Biggest Threat to Readiness, Military Leaders Say
Mattis and US military leaders are trying to get rid of the worst parts of military service
The US military has suffered from readiness and training issues, and the brass is trying new measures to fix the problem.
www.businessinsider.com
Mattis and US military leaders are trying to get rid of the worst parts of military service
Military spending is costly, but it is not the largest share of the federal budget. Defense and security spending (including veterans programs) make up only 20 percent of federal outlays. Over half of the federal budget is made up of health care spending (28 percent) and Social Security (25 percent). It is entitlements that are breaking the federal budget.

Democrats may get the lion’s share of the blame for entitlement spending, but the truth is that it is a bipartisan problem. Conservative voters claim to favor spending cuts, but quickly change their tune when the discussion moves to reforming Social Security. They have bought into the fiction that their “contributions” to Social Security are held into an account for when they retire. In reality, Social Security taxes are quickly spent on current retirees as soon as they are received. (If you think your payments to Social Security are a voluntary “contribution,” try not paying them.)

Speaker Paul Ryan is one of the few politicians of either party to dare to even mention entitlement reform. For his bravery, he is shown in Democrat ads pushing an old lady off a cliff. His own party was no better. When Ryan voted for the 2013 budget deal that included cuts in military retirement pay, he was skewered by Republicans even though the bill was supported by military leaders.

Rep. Paul Ryan defends cuts to military retirement in budget bill
Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, defended controversial cuts to military retirement pay in the budget deal, saying that the need for military compensation reform is "undeniable."
www.washingtontimes.com
Rep. Paul Ryan defends cuts to military retirement in budget bill
In the end, Rand Paul is right. Neither party cares about the debt, at least not enough to allow cuts to their favorite programs, although they are more than willing to cut the other party’s pet projects. The minority party becomes a deficit hawk to use the deficit as a club to beat their opponents and roles reverse when the parties change control. The few politicians who want to make real spending reforms are opposed by both parties.

There will be no spending reform for the foreseeable future. The US government will continue to spend like a billionaire’s wife in Saks Fifth Avenue as long as it can borrow. With the dollar maintaining strength and few other bastions of stability for world investments, many assume that purchases of treasury bonds will never stop.

But one day, sooner or later, interest payments will combine with other budget items to exceed the government’s ability to borrow. The government will not be able to pay its bills. When that day comes, members of both parties will have to get serious about spending cuts regardless of what their voters think.

themaven.net

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From: Brumar892/12/2018 1:20:49 PM
   of 175
 

HARD-RIGHT REPUBLICANS SAY ‘THE SWAMP HAS WON’ AS TRUMP SIGNS OFF ON TRILLIONS IN SPENDING
BY GRAHAM LANKTREE ON 2/12/18 AT 7:43 AM

U.S. DONALD TRUMP 2018 BUDGET DEFICIT

Updated | Hard-right Republicans from the Tea Party–allied House Freedom Caucus condemned a budget deal with Democrats on Sunday that would raise the U.S. deficit. Their exasperation came as President Donald Trump prepared to announce another budget plan that would include trillions more in spending and also grow the deficit.

“The swamp won. And the American taxpayer lost,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows told CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday of $300 billion in spending in the budget bill passed last Friday.

“The real problem with this particular one is that our leadership caved,” Meadows said, suggesting Republicans had given in to Democrat demands that will see both an increase in defense and non-defense spending over the next two years.

The Swamp King was elected President.

Financial firm Goldman Sachs estimates spending in the budget bill would help grow the U.S. deficit—which currently sits at $20 trillion—by $1.1 trillion next year. Trump signed the bill Friday.

“I was expecting him to continue to push back on draining the swamp...but yet, he was given a binary choice: Either you support the military and support this particular budget or you don't,” Meadows said. “Our original play was to make sure that we funded the military, we kept other spending flat.”

During the later days of his 2016 election campaign Trump frequently promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington—a call to rid Capitol Hill of political insiders.

“The swamp won and the American taxpayer lost,” said Freedom Caucus co-founder Republican Representative Jim Jordan on Fox News Sunday in similar statement to Meadow’s.

Read more: Trump's infrastructure plan is heavy on promises, light on details

“Growing the size of government by 13 percent adds to the swamp instead of draining it. This is not what the American people sent us here to do," the Freedom Caucus said in a statement.

The maximum ceiling on U.S. government debt was also lifted until March 2019 when the two-year budget bill was passed Friday, following a request from Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week.

The Trump administration is also expected to add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade as a result of the Republican tax bill passed last December, accordingto the Congressional Budget Office.

During the Obama administration, Republicans loudly opposed Democrat policies that proposed spending on economic stimulus programs, which Republicans said would grow the deficit. GOP members made proposals to eliminate the deficit completely through a series of austerity tax cuts.

Early Monday, Trump is set to announce a $4 trillion–plus budget plan for 2019 that would see an additional $1 trillion added to the deficit and would prevent the federal budget from being balanced in the next 10 years.

The plan outlines a projected $1.5 trillion Trump infrastructure plan that would use $200 billion in federal dollars to lead the way and get states and local municipalities to join in and spend to improve America’s infrastructure nationwide.

Trump tweeted early Monday:

Donald J. Trump
?@realDonaldTrump


This will be a big week for Infrastructure. After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!

6:46 AM - Feb 12, 2018



Some, however, have said the president’s budget is dead on arrival. “A lot of presidents' budgets are ignored. But I would expect this one to be completely irrelevant and totally ignored,” Jason Furman, formerly President Obama's chief economist, told the Associated Press. “In fact, Congress passed a law [last] week that basically undid the budget before it was even submitted.”

newsweek.com


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From: Brumar892/13/2018 10:52:10 AM
   of 175
 
Turn out the lights, the (TEA) party’s over
by David Leach • February 12, 2018



Though the bankruptcy-inducing McConnell/Schumer budget deal was eventually passed by Congress and signed into law by Donald Trump because the “deal maker” was powerless to stop it—we can add “presidential veto” to the list of things Trump doesn’t know is in the Constitution—there was a moment when Senator Rand Paul stood in defiance of Mickey’s hypocrisy and ineptitude.I found it rather fitting that the symbol of the GOP establishment (McConnell) faced off against one of the last representatives of TEA party conservatism (Paul). It was McConnell who referred to conservatives as traitors, bullies, drunks, and fringe leading up to his declared war against them during his 2014 re-election campaign.

“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” McConnell boasted at the time as he targeted several conservative groups he considered to be a threat to his power. McConnell’s approach to eliminating conservatism within the GOP was supported by a host of fellow establishmentarians, “middle-right” GOP PACs, and members of the so-called conservative media such as Ann Coulter.

Though decentralized in structure, the TEA Party movement gave rise to a host of conservative groups dedicated to ideals the GOP establishment opposes, such as: limited government, lower taxes, and reduced spending, along with seeking the repeal of Obamacare and other parts of Obama’s radical agenda.

Perhaps the greatest TEA party success was realized with the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011, a law that House Speaker Paul Ryan claimed would bring an end to Washington’s power to “endlessly spend money it does not have.” However, in the aftermath of last week’s budget deal, it’s safe to conclude that the GOP establishment has clearly recaptured that hill.

Even though McConnell hasn’t kept every conservative from being elected to Congress, he has succeeded in destroying many of them, nonetheless. Evidence of this sad reality can be seen in people like Ted Cruz who, like Donald Trump, voted for the bill because he was “powerless” to vote for something better. In the end, only two conservatives in the Senate voted against it: Rand Paul and Mike Lee.

McConnell’s goal of ending conservative influence was made easier thanks to the political adultery of organizations like the Tea Party Patriots. For example, during the fake-repeal of Obamacare debates last year, TPP President Jenny Beth Martin embraced legislation that she admitted failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but supported the bill co-sponsored by Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy in exchange for a commitment from Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to “get their priorities straight.”

I have long believed that the GOP is a lost cause and is no longer a home for conservatives and how we need to band together to create a new party—a sentiment shared by some of my conservative brethren.



ShannonJoy@ShannonJoyRadio

THIS from @RMConservative —->

2:17 PM - Feb 9, 2018


The demise of conservatism within the GOP brings us to the indisputable conclusion that the TEA Party is over and the establishment is back to doing the same old things as before, which reminds me of an old Willie Nelson song titled The Party’s Over . . .

Turn out the lights, the party’s over
They say that “all good things must end”
Let’s call it a night, the party’s over
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again

Rings true . . . don’t you think?

stridentconservative.com

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From: Brumar892/14/2018 4:09:06 PM
   of 175
 
There Is No Party For Responsibility

by Erick Erickson

The Republicans only care about smaller government when a Democrat is in the White House. Democrats never care about it

Credit where it is due, Mick Mulvaney risked the ire of the White House by saying if he were in Congress he'd vote against President Trump's budget. One can only imagine how much worse the budget would be if Mulvaney were not there. This is becoming a recurring theme at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The budgeting and spending would be much worse without Mulvaney in the same way White House staffers acknowledge the chaos would be much worse without General Kelly there.

What is there is chaotic enough and what is there in terms of budgeting is bad enough. The President's budget embraces deficit spending with a fig leaf of savings. Republicans who voted en masse against Barack Obama's trillion dollar infrastructure plan will vote in lock step for Donald Trump's. They will claim it is smaller and will involve private spending. But the private spending is not guaranteed and you and I both know they'd gladly vote for it without the private spending.

Neither party is willing to be a responsible fiscal steward of the nation. The GOP is only interested in smaller government when a Democrat is in the White House and Democrats are never interested in smaller government. The leviathan must always be fed and we are suckers for voting against the leviathan.

Unfortunately, the leviathan feeds China, which grows stronger and more threatening as we grow fiscally less solvent. Every few weeks we also get new word of Russia's growing nuclear armaments. It seems the Russians and Chinese are betting they can bankrupt us as we bankrupted the Soviets. Given the lack of fiscal responsibility exercised by both parties, it is plausible.

Republicans and Democrats alike have failed at being responsible stewards of our national financial resources and it will not just be our children at risk because of it. We will be at risk in this generation. $20 trillion in national debt is a no man's land and no one in Washington has any real interest or incentive seeing that number reduce. President Trump may get an immigration deal, but those immigrants will be moving into a bankrupt nation.

theresurgent.com

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From: Brumar892/15/2018 8:48:30 PM
   of 175
 
Tom Cotton lacks political will to oppose Trump’s amnesty and citizenship for illegals
by David Leach • February 14, 2018



Before he was elected US Senator of Arkansas, Tom Cotton served one term (2012-2014) in the US House representing the 4th congressional district of The Natural State. As a rising star in the GOP and a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, Cotton became only the second Republican since Reconstruction to represent the 4th district, thanks to the support of both the TEA Party and the GOP establishment—support that he continued to receive in his 2014 campaign for the US Senate.

One of the reasons Cotton received conservative support— I supported him—was due to his positions on a host of issued important to conservatives. One such issue, which is the topic of the week in Washington, was immigration, specifically, what America should do with illegal aliens already in the country.

“We cannot afford to grant illegal aliens amnesty or a so-called ‘earned pathway to citizenship.’ Amnesty would cost billions of dollars that our government cannot afford.

“Also, amnesty would attract millions of new illegal aliens just as the 1986 amnesty did, by advertising to the world that America lacks the political will to enforce its borders.”

SOURCE: 2012 House campaign website, CottonforCongress.com, “Issues,” November 6, 2012

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, 2012 was an election year and in a non-election year, Cotton’s loyalties are the same as every other Republicrat and Trumplican in Washington to the party establishment.

In an interview yesterday with Trump’s morning intel team—a.k.a. FOX and Friends—Cotton issued a strong endorsement of Trump’s plan to grant amnesty and citizenship to 1.8 illegals. Calling it a “popular proposal” supported by “2/3 of the American people,” Cotton admitted that the plan would cause an increase in illegal immigration, a consequence he once believed was reason enough not to support such a plan.

In what has become an increasingly common theme within the GOP, Tom Cotton is another example of how Republicans make whatever conservative-sounding promise they need to make in election years in the interest of political self-preservation but then toss those promises aside when the party machine comes calling.

Using his own words, Tom Cotton’s support of Trump’s DACA displays a “lack of political will” to do what’s right for America—a disappointing reality coming from a war hero.

stridentconservative.com


When people bow the knee to ToxicTrump, principles go out the window.

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From: Brumar893/13/2018 5:34:56 PM
   of 175
 
The Gods of the Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling, 1919

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

The "copybook headings" to which the title refers were proverbs or maxims, extolling virtues such as honesty or fair dealing that were printed at the top of the pages of 19th-century British students' special notebooks, called copybooks. The school-children had to write them by hand repeatedly down the page.

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From: Brumar894/8/2018 4:16:39 PM
   of 175
 
NYT writer knows nothing about TX:

..... Frank Bruni has a new piece where he writes the following:

Cruz is a rare and precious gift. He’s so loathed that any passable Democrat with a picayune chance of toppling him was bound to draw more attention and inspire more hope than the political dynamics warranted. While President Trump’s unpopularity endangers his party’s incumbents far and wide and Texas may indeed be getting bluer, the state has been very red for very long. The last time a Democrat won statewide office was 24 years ago.

But Beto is more than passable. Many of his campaign events are mobbed. People line up for selfies and then insist on hugs.

Borne out of ignorance, Bruni’s assessment of Cruz assumes everybody outside the beltway and New York City thinks as he does. Yes, Cruz certainly doesn’t have a sizable fan base in Washington and the press enjoys any opportunity to express their disdain for the man.

But that’s not Texas, and in the Lone Star state, Ted Cruz has more fans aka voters, than O’Rourke. In the March primary, Cruz, running pretty much unopposed, had more votes than O’Rourke and the two other Democratic candidates, combined.

There are swathes of blue voting enclaves in the big city areas of San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Dallas. That’s the margins. Around the rest of the state, it’s deep red, and that’s where O’Rourke will find he’s not welcome no matter how charming he is, once people learn that he:

An extremist on abortion. He opposes the 20-week abortion ban. An extremist on gun control. He recently said the government should ban all semi-automatic weapons that include most firearms sold today. Supports raising taxes (he voted against the recent tax bill) Opposes any border enforcement.O’Rourke’s policy positions would get him elected in the northeast or California, but for Texas, O’Rourke’s views, not Ted Cruz’s are out of the mainstream. That’s what people like Frank Bruni cannot understand. It is the reason why people were shocked when Texas Governor Greg Abbott easily beat Wendy Davis despite the national attention she drew for her ridiculous filibuster in favor of abortion.

Ted Cruz will likely beat O’Rourke by 8-10 points in the November race. And when it happens, Frank Bruni and the rest of the Acela Corridor press corps will react with shock that Cruz won so handily.

Texans, however, won’t be surprised one bit.

redstate.com

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From: Brumar894/8/2018 4:46:04 PM
   of 175
 
Ten Conservative PrinciplesBy Russell Kirk

Adapted from The Politics of Prudence(ISI Books, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by Russell Kirk. Used by permission of the Estate of Russell Kirk.

Being neither a religion nor an ideology, the body of opinion termed conservatism possesses no Holy Writ and no Das Kapitalto provide dogmata. So far as it is possible to determine what conservatives believe, the first principles of the conservative persuasion are derived from what leading conservative writers and public men have professed during the past two centuries. After some introductory remarks on this general theme, I will proceed to list ten such conservative principles.

Perhaps it would be well, most of the time, to use this word “conservative” as an adjective chiefly. For there exists no Model Conservative, and conservatism is the negation of ideology: it is a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order.

The attitude we call conservatism is sustained by a body of sentiments, rather than by a system of ideological dogmata. It is almost true that a conservative may be defined as a person who thinks himself such. The conservative movement or body of opinion can accommodate a considerable diversity of views on a good many subjects, there being no Test Act or Thirty-Nine Articles of the conservative creed.

In essence, the conservative person is simply one who finds the permanent things more pleasing than Chaos and Old Night. (Yet conservatives know, with Burke, that healthy “change is the means of our preservation.”) A people’s historic continuity of experience, says the conservative, offers a guide to policy far better than the abstract designs of coffee-house philosophers. But of course there is more to the conservative persuasion than this general attitude.

It is not possible to draw up a neat catalogue of conservatives’ convictions; nevertheless, I offer you, summarily, ten general principles; it seems safe to say that most conservatives would subscribe to most of these maxims. In various editions of my book The Conservative Mind I have listed certain canons of conservative thought—the list differing somewhat from edition to edition; in my anthology The Portable Conservative Reader I offer variations upon this theme. Now I present to you a summary of conservative assumptions differing somewhat from my canons in those two books of mine. In fine, the diversity of ways in which conservative views may find expression is itself proof that conservatism is no fixed ideology. What particular principles conservatives emphasize during any given time will vary with the circumstances and necessities of that era. The following ten articles of belief reflect the emphases of conservatives in America nowadays.

First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

This word order signifies harmony. There are two aspects or types of order: the inner order of the soul, and the outer order of the commonwealth. Twenty-five centuries ago, Plato taught this doctrine, but even the educated nowadays find it difficult to understand. The problem of order has been a principal concern of conservatives ever since conservativebecame a term of politics.

Our twentieth-century world has experienced the hideous consequences of the collapse of belief in a moral order. Like the atrocities and disasters of Greece in the fifth century before Christ, the ruin of great nations in our century shows us the pit into which fall societies that mistake clever self-interest, or ingenious social controls, for pleasing alternatives to an oldfangled moral order.

It has been said by liberal intellectuals that the conservative believes all social questions, at heart, to be questions of private morality. Properly understood, this statement is quite true. A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society—whatever political machinery it may utilize; while a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society—no matter how many people vote and no matter how liberal its formal constitution may be.

Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably; the destroyers of custom demolish more than they know or desire. It is through convention—a word much abused in our time—that we contrive to avoid perpetual disputes about rights and duties: law at base is a body of conventions. Continuity is the means of linking generation to generation; it matters as much for society as it does for the individual; without it, life is meaningless. When successful revolutionaries have effaced old customs, derided old conventions, and broken the continuity of social institutions—why, presently they discover the necessity of establishing fresh customs, conventions, and continuity; but that process is painful and slow; and the new social order that eventually emerges may be much inferior to the old order that radicals overthrew in their zeal for the Earthly Paradise.

Conservatives are champions of custom, convention, and continuity because they prefer the devil they know to the devil they don’t know. Order and justice and freedom, they believe, are the artificial products of a long social experience, the result of centuries of trial and reflection and sacrifice. Thus the body social is a kind of spiritual corporation, comparable to the church; it may even be called a community of souls. Human society is no machine, to be treated mechanically. The continuity, the life-blood, of a society must not be interrupted. Burke’s reminder of the necessity for prudent change is in the mind of the conservative. But necessary change, conservatives argue, ought to be gradual and discriminatory, never unfixing old interests at once.

Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time. Therefore conservatives very often emphasize the importance of prescription—that is, of things established by immemorial usage, so that the mind of man runneth not to the contrary. There exist rights of which the chief sanction is their antiquity—including rights to property, often. Similarly, our morals are prescriptive in great part. Conservatives argue that we are unlikely, we moderns, to make any brave new discoveries in morals or politics or taste. It is perilous to weigh every passing issue on the basis of private judgment and private rationality. The individual is foolish, but the species is wise, Burke declared. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice, for the great mysterious incorporation of the human race has acquired a prescriptive wisdom far greater than any man’s petty private rationality.

Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries. Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be efficacious. The conservative declares that he acts only after sufficient reflection, having weighed the consequences. Sudden and slashing reforms are as perilous as sudden and slashing surgery.

Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems. For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality. The only true forms of equality are equality at the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at levelling must lead, at best, to social stagnation. Society requires honest and able leadership; and if natural and institutional differences are destroyed, presently some tyrant or host of squalid oligarchs will create new forms of inequality.

Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent—or else expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk. By proper attention to prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order. But if the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are neglected, then the anarchic impulse in humankind breaks loose: “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell.

Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked. Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built. The more widespread is the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a commonwealth. Economic levelling, conservatives maintain, is not economic progress. Getting and spending are not the chief aims of human existence; but a sound economic basis for the person, the family, and the commonwealth is much to be desired.

Sir Henry Maine, in his Village Communities, puts strongly the case for private property, as distinguished from communal property: “Nobody is at liberty to attack several property and to say at the same time that he values civilization. The history of the two cannot be disentangled.” For the institution of several property—that is, private property—has been a powerful instrument for teaching men and women responsibility, for providing motives to integrity, for supporting general culture, for raising mankind above the level of mere drudgery, for affording leisure to think and freedom to act. To be able to retain the fruits of one’s labor; to be able to see one’s work made permanent; to be able to bequeath one’s property to one’s posterity; to be able to rise from the natural condition of grinding poverty to the security of enduring accomplishment; to have something that is really one’s own—these are advantages difficult to deny. The conservative acknowledges that the possession of property fixes certain duties upon the possessor; he accepts those moral and legal obligations cheerfully.

Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism. Although Americans have been attached strongly to privacy and private rights, they also have been a people conspicuous for a successful spirit of community. In a genuine community, the decisions most directly affecting the lives of citizens are made locally and voluntarily. Some of these functions are carried out by local political bodies, others by private associations: so long as they are kept local, and are marked by the general agreement of those affected, they constitute healthy community. But when these functions pass by default or usurpation to centralized authority, then community is in serious danger. Whatever is beneficent and prudent in modern democracy is made possible through cooperative volition. If, then, in the name of an abstract Democracy, the functions of community are transferred to distant political direction—why, real government by the consent of the governed gives way to a standardizing process hostile to freedom and human dignity.

For a nation is no stronger than the numerous little communities of which it is composed. A central administration, or a corps of select managers and civil servants, however well intentioned and well trained, cannot confer justice and prosperity and tranquility upon a mass of men and women deprived of their old responsibilities. That experiment has been made before; and it has been disastrous. It is the performance of our duties in community that teaches us prudence and efficiency and charity.

Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions. Politically speaking, power is the ability to do as one likes, regardless of the wills of one’s fellows. A state in which an individual or a small group are able to dominate the wills of their fellows without check is a despotism, whether it is called monarchical or aristocratic or democratic. When every person claims to be a power unto himself, then society falls into anarchy. Anarchy never lasts long, being intolerable for everyone, and contrary to the ineluctable fact that some persons are more strong and more clever than their neighbors. To anarchy there succeeds tyranny or oligarchy, in which power is monopolized by a very few.

The conservative endeavors to so limit and balance political power that anarchy or tyranny may not arise. In every age, nevertheless, men and women are tempted to overthrow the limitations upon power, for the sake of some fancied temporary advantage. It is characteristic of the radical that he thinks of power as a force for good—so long as the power falls into his hands. In the name of liberty, the French and Russian revolutionaries abolished the old restraints upon power; but power cannot be abolished; it always finds its way into someone’s hands. That power which the revolutionaries had thought oppressive in the hands of the old regime became many times as tyrannical in the hands of the radical new masters of the state.

Knowing human nature for a mixture of good and evil, the conservative does not put his trust in mere benevolence. Constitutional restrictions, political checks and balances, adequate enforcement of the laws, the old intricate web of restraints upon will and appetite—these the conservative approves as instruments of freedom and order. A just government maintains a healthy tension between the claims of authority and the claims of liberty.

Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society. The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate.

Therefore the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism. Just how much change a society requires, and what sort of change, depend upon the circumstances of an age and a nation.

Such, then, are ten principles that have loomed large during the two centuries of modern conservative thought. Other principles of equal importance might have been discussed here: the conservative understanding of justice, for one, or the conservative view of education. But such subjects, time running on, I must leave to your private investigation.

The great line of demarcation in modern politics, Eric Voegelin used to point out, is not a division between liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal.

kirkcenter.org

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From: Brumar894/27/2018 7:17:44 PM
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Forget lowering unemployment, Bernie Sanders will eliminate it!
by David Leach • April 25, 2018

You may have heard about how the government of Finland has decided to end its universal basic income experiment where people were paid an unconditional salary by the state in lieu of benefits. Designed as an alternative to welfare and intended to provide motivation for the unemployed to find work, the socialistic scheme did little more than create a new form of government dependency.

During his 2016 Democrat primary campaign, Bernie Sanders was “ absolutely sympathetic” to the idea of a universal basic income; however, he felt that his plans for a $15/hr. minimum wage, expanding Social Security to pay for guaranteed healthcare, and providing free college would do more than creating just another government handout.

But now Bernie has apparently found a way to accomplish his goals as well as the goals of the universal basic income crowd.

Yesterday, we learned that the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist is ready to announce a plan that will guarantee every American “who wants or needs one” a lifetime government job paying at least $15/hr. and proving paid family and medical leave plus retirement, health, and vacation benefits.

While the details are still being worked on, Bernie has admitted that he currently has no idea exactly how much his plan will cost or where the money to pay for it will come from. However, if his 2016 campaign is any indication, the cost will be irrelevant, and the money to pay for it will come from “the billionaires and oligarchs” he refers to as the “ top one percent of income earners.”

While it would be tempting to shrug off Bernie’s plan as the rantings of a socialist loon living to the left of the left-wing, we should remember how his Marxist beliefs concerning income inequality caught fire with a generation of Constitutionally ignorant voters raised on the socialist ideology taught in today’s public schools indoctrination centers.

And a poll conducted during the 2016 primary season showed that a majority of millennials rejected capitalism.

Democrats would see a huge voter advantage by creating a new state-run workforce dependent upon them for their jobs. And politicians from both parties would have a new voter-bloc to advance their ideological and political agendas.

Bernie’s plan is being called a guaranteed-jobs program, but the only guarantee it gives us is the destruction of capitalism and Constitutional America.

stridentconservative.com

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From: Brumar895/4/2018 4:14:04 PM
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What Is Upstream From Culture?


by Erick Erickson

If politics is downstream from culture, what is upstream from culture? A well funded PR machine designed to vilify you.

In the book After the Ball, psychologist Marshall Kirk and ad man Hunter Madsen painted a picture of what the gay rights movement should do to normalize and advance their agenda in America. The book came out in 1990. Kirk and Madsen treated their book as a manifesto and we have witnessed their vision.

The propaganda effort the authors set out included inserting gay men and women into Hollywood to start writing shows with gay positive characters, then make gay characters normal characters on shows. They would get friends in the media to positively cover the gay rights movement. Advertisers would feature gay men and women in advertisements as an ideal. Gay celebrities would be championed. Churches too would be involved, with liberal churches rejecting Christian orthodoxy championed and those that kept the faith vilified.

“Constant talk builds the impression that public opinion is at least divided on the subject, and that a sizable bloc – the most modern, up-to-date citizens – accept or even practice homosexuality,” they wrote. They wanted to be portrayed as victims too. “The purpose of victim imagery is to make straights feel very uncomfortable; that is, to jam with shame the self-righteous pride that would ordinarily accompany and reward their antigay belligerence, and to lay groundwork for the process of conversion by helping straights identify with gays and sympathize with their underdog status.”

Likewise, the very unproven idea of orientation as something you are born with, for which science still offers nothing, had to be normalized. The authors wrote, “To suggest in public that homosexuality might be chosen is to open the can of worms labeled ‘moral choices and sin’ and give the religious intransigents a stick to beat us with. Straights must be taught that it is as natural for some persons to be homosexual as it is for others to be heterosexual: wickedness and seduction have nothing to do with it.”

All of this was written in 1989 and the book published in 1990. The implementation of their manifesto has been wildly successful. When people talk about sexual orientation as something we are all born with, we are fulfilling the wish of that manifesto, not talking about anything founded in science.

I bring up this book because I keep hearing people say culture is upstream from politics. What happens in culture flows into our politics. But After the Ballshould serve as a reminder that there are things upstream from culture and often those things are well orchestrated public relations campaigns designed to reshape culture and reshape our thinking.

Using the media, activists on the left truly do aim to divide up this country. Gun owners are increasingly portrayed as a hostile, rogue fringe by the media. Christians are now intolerant bigots who must be stamped out. Large families are bad too. Their carbon footprint must be reduced. Culture is being shaped by PR and the media is so busy generating outrage for clicks and revenue it does not realize it is being played. But of course some of the media is complicit.

“At a later stage of the media campaign for gay rights—long after other gay ads have become commonplace—it will be time to get tough with remaining opponents,” Kirk and Madsen wrote. “To be blunt, they must be vilified.”

The gay rights movement has been normalized through a well orchestrated PR campaign. Those of us who dissent are not only now routinely referred to as bigots, but also increasingly unwelcome on the public stage. It took time on this issue, but the political left in America has lost patience on other fronts. From transgenderism to guns to climate change, the left has moved straight to Kirk and Madsen’s final solution: the vilification and ostracization of dissent.

They have had to go there rapidly because the new fronts in the efforts to change culture are running into common sense. It is hard to convince any sane person that boys can become girls or that snow in April is caused by global warming. So you must be bullied into belief. Bullies with well funded public relations teams are upstream from culture.

themaven.net

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