Here is an Example of Confusion About What Conservatism Is

In his essay titled, “Can Conservatism Be Conserved?” Spencer Klavan questions whether a new “conservative coalition” made up of actual conservatives together with various non-conservatives who have been alienated or even attacked by the “Woke” progressives can form a coherent movement.  But then he concedes that most of these “new conservatives” would reject the title.  Klavan explains,

“An inescapably important reason for this is that many members of the new conservative coalition (especially those who don’t identify as conservative) reject the label because they hold views, and practice ways of life, which the historic conservatism of only a generation ago deemed deeply distasteful, even unconscionable.  Weinstein and Boghossian are atheists. Murray, Doyle, and Straka are openly gay. White is transgendered, and Birchill and Bindel are lifelong feminists.”

Apparently, the only thing all these people have in common is they don’t want to be de-platformed by the “Woke” hall monitors.  Maybe that means they believe in free speech.  But maybe they only want it if it suits their speech.  After all, feminists and the various alphabet people seem plenty willing to call anything they don’t like hate speech and get these people de-platformed or worse.

At its core I think this outreach to non-conservatives is just the latest example of liberals trying to act as gatekeepers and redefine conservatism into something acceptable to their friends on the Left.  It’s kind of like the ecumenism that was supposed to let people of different faiths coexist but ends up by turning Christian Churches into cultural centers devoid of any connection at all to Christ because it might be offensive to the non-Christians.

In my opinion it is a mirage to think that embracing these various leftists as some kind of a partnership will do any good at all.  On the contrary, all it will involve is attempts to disavow any actual conservatives who won’t paper over their rejection of the various dysfunctional and dangerous lifestyles or worldviews that these so-called conservative allies espouse.  A similar thing was done to the paleocons by the neocons a few decades ago.  That was how we ended up in the mess we are in now.  Trump was able to, single-handedly, drag those deplorables back into the fold.  The last thing we want to do is give “new conservatives” another bite at the apple.

So, in answer to the title of Mr. Klavan’s article, yes conservatism can be conserved but not by accepting non-conservative ideas and the people who live by them.  Let the progressives, the liberals, the moral relativists, the feminists and the alphabet people battle with their even crazier “woke” brethren (or whatever gender bent category they prefer) on their own.  We have nothing in common with them and nothing to gain by engaging with them.  I would much prefer to engage with the fringe groups to the right of us and see if we can find some common ground with them.  Their ideas are more extreme than ours but they at least do not reject the values that we embrace.  In many cases I think they have let pessimism radicalize their thinking and pushed them to conclude that only radical solutions to our problems exist.  I think the last few years have shown that progress can be made if the right people get involved.  If actual conservatives have a part in running the country better outcomes are possible.

22JAN2020- OCF Update

So I haven’t bothered to read any detailed reports of the Senate Trial.  But the headlines are amusing and encouraging.  Apparently Mitch McConnell has kept his nerve and stonewalled the Dems on all their requests to extend the trial and showboat for the media.  Good for you, turtle man.  Let him keep that up for another day or two and we can move on to something really important, namely the sign stealing scandal in Major League Baseball.  Perhaps Nancy Pelosi can inject herself into that crisis.  If I remember my history Nancy was involved in that earlier baseball scandal involving the 1919 Chicago Black Sox when she seduced Shoeless Joe Jackson by showing him a not so shapely ankle in exchange for his cooperation in throwing the World Series.  During testimony Shoeless Joe lamented, “That old bag’s ankle was definitely not worth the lifetime baseball ban.”  Or so I’ve heard.

The other political story of interest is Bernie Sanders holding his ground against a full court press by the press.  They have accused him of everything including being “like Donald Trump,” which is as close as they can come to issuing a fatwa against him.  But one story I glanced at claimed that a new nationwide poll has Bernie  leading Creepy Uncle Joe for the first time.  If Bernie gets the nomination I think it would be the first time in history that a U. S. Presidential election featured only men born in New York City.  A definite sign of the apocalypse.  A lot of people are saying Bernie is a bigger threat than any of the other Dem candidates.  Maybe that’s true.  He definitely promises a lot of stuff and he does claim he’s for the people.  Well, either way I don’t think any of these doofuses will give the President much trouble.

Work is a bear right now but I’ll try to squeeze in a post whenever humanly possible.  I’ve got some more country music reviews and of course Star Trek must go on.  I’ll add some more stuff to reclaiming the family and of course The He-Man Woman Haters’ Club but those posts shouldn’t be rushed.  They need time and loving care.

Stay tuned.

 

What Does It Mean to Be a Conservative?

Some very old friends recently sent me a link to the obituary of Sir Roger Scruton, an English conservative.  I confess I was not aware of him and so I read the article and wanting to learn about him first hand I went to his website and watched some of his lectures and read some of his papers.

What I heard and read was very impressive.  He was clear, persuasive, intelligent and even funny.  But what struck me as important was that he defined what conservatism is and why it’s important.  And he did it in a way that was simplicity itself and at the same time showed why it was so important.

He said, “The real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things that they love, and want to preserve them from abuse and decay. They are attached to their family, their friends, their religion, and their immediate environment.”  What could be simpler to understand than that?  And what could be more important than that?

And so, I have found in this an easy way to test if an argument is conservative or not.  If someone tells you that being opposed to gay marriage or transgenderism is wrong, I look at how it affects my family and friends and religion and discover that normalizing these things is harmful to all of those things.  Children will be told things in school that will confuse them and could lead them into great harm both physically and psychologically.  I can thus say that opposing LGBTQ initiatives for these things is conservative and because of the way I’ve just defined it is in the interests of me and my family and friends.  That doesn’t mean I wish harm on these people who advocate for this agenda.  I’m just protecting my family and way of life from the harm they are attempting to inflict on me.

And likewise with something like illegal immigration.  If I oppose illegal immigrants flooding the country that doesn’t make me the aggressor trying to harm these people.  It means I’m trying to protect me and mine from the effects of such an invasion.  I have nothing against the individuals involved.  I am reacting to the problems that such a phenomenon will have on the nation, the community and my friends and family in particular.  Massive immigration will drive up crime, welfare participation, housing costs and the cost of government and will depress wages and quality of life.  Even the loss of the traditions and practices we have grown up with is a degrading of the environment that we live in.  So once again it is simple to see that conservative principles dictate opposition to excessive immigration.

As a final example I’ll look at feminism.  Here is a philosophy that says that women should be encouraged, even propagandized and bullied into thinking that a career is the only acceptable option for a woman’s life.  Marriage and childrearing is a hindrance to this lifestyle and if pursued by her must be done with as little interference to her climbing the corporate ladder.  I can think of no project that has had as disastrous an effect on the modern world as feminism has had.  Our population is dwindling, children have lost the comfort of their mothers in the most critical years and the flooding of the labor market has depressed wage growth to the point that two incomes is barely enough to support a family. In addition, federal affirmative action discriminates against men in the work place to push this feminist agenda.  For these reasons, opposing feminism in general and working mothers in particular is an obvious conservative position.  Does that mean I hate women?  Of course not.  But I oppose feminism because of the harm it does to me, my family, my community and the nation.

I’ll have to thank my friends for introducing me to Sir Roger.  He has provided me with a definition of conservatism that is simple, powerful and easily applied.

Roger Scruton – RIP – A Conservative Giant

Scruton had the honesty and common sense to jump off the radical bandwagon in the 1960s after seeing the Parisian students pretend to be proletariat warriors.  And he paid the price.  He was shunned by the academy.

I like this next quote.

The real reason people are conservatives is that they are attached to the things that they love, and want to preserve them from abuse and decay,” Scruton wrote in 2015. “They are attached to their family, their friends, their religion, and their immediate environment.

https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/18/dearest-roger-rest-in-peace/

The above article contains this quote which also seems full of common sense and honest feeling.

My final episode to recall was at and after Roger’s well-attended and insightful lecture at the Legatum Institute in London, in May 2018, discussing “The Character of Loyalty.”

He reminded us that loyalty is a fundamental virtue on which we all depend for survival because it ties families, communities, and nations together. In defining loyalty, Roger distinguished between personal loyalty, which is a vow, such as a marriage vow or family ties and national loyalty, which is a contractual commitment. The motivation for loyalty may be practical where the commitment is rational and deliberate or sentimental where the commitment may remain despite a cost or disadvantage.

“Above all,” he concluded, “loyalty is a commitment to one’s duty which may include family, friendship, career, religion or country.” These were the things that mattered most to him: first principles.

RIP

A Use for the Senate Trial

I anticipate this trial to be a ridiculous farce with the Dems attempting to use headlines as a way to force the Senate Republicans to cave on a long list of hostile witnesses in order to drag this thing out.  And the MSM will amplify their nonsense incessantly.  And hopefully Mitch McConnell will ignore all this and only provide the minimum time and air time to the Democrats.

What isn’t certain is how much of a show McConnell will allow.  If McConnell had 51 reliable votes, he could go for a preliminary vote to refuse to go through with the trial.  But as I’ll enumerate later there aren’t 51 reliable votes.  The next least offensive choice is to forgo any evidence and after the two sides make their opening statements have the Senate go directly to a vote on conviction.  That President Trump would win such a vote is a foregone conclusion.  After that we get to uglier scenarios.  If the President’s counsel and the House losers get to call witnesses this will be a three-ring circus complete with clowns and a freak show.

If I were to guess I’m going with a vote right after the opening statement.  That would seem to be the option that we know we have the votes for that does the least damage.

But one thing is certain.  A number of Senate Republicans will be turncoats and stab the President in the back.  What this Trial will do is expose all the unreliable and/or hostile Senate Republicans.  We can make a few assumptions ahead of time.  Mitt Romney will be a turncoat.  He’ll immediately start spouting Democrat talking points before even they do.  Susan Collins of Maine is the most vulnerable Republican due to the Massachusetts colonization of Maine over the last twenty years.  And of course, no list of unreliable Senate Republicans is complete without Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.  She voted against Justice Kavanaugh and she’ll vote against President Trump just because she can.  So, these are the knowns.  Who are the unknowns?  That is the good that will come out of this.  We’ll find every single weak-kneed sister and every double crosser in the Senate.

So, there you have it.  I have managed to come up with a bright side to the Impeachment travesty.  Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Nadler and the other nimrods have assembled this sideshow that I will make a definite point to avoid but based just on the voting transcript I’ll have a perfect count of the Senate Republicans that we can and cannot count on when the chips are down.  That’s my silver lining.

14JAN2020 – OCF Update

This truly is a bad week for outrage.  Everything is coming up roses for our side on all fronts.

The Iranian crisis is a crisis for Iran and not us.  Seeing just how much their own people despise the mullahs is heart warming.

Watching the Democrat Clown Car totter forward toward their convention is astonishing.  Not one of their candidates is electable at this point.  This is going to be an epic train wreck.

The Impeachment Farce wends its slow way from Pelosi’s retirement home in the House to the feckless Senate where boobs like Mitt Romney will do their disloyal best to damage President Trump.  I don’t see it working.

Okay, let’s smile for a change.  It just might make us feel a little better.

We’ve Lost Spartacus

He’s gone.  The dream is over.  Spartacus is now hanging from a cross along the Appian Way waiting for Varinia and Batiatus to show him baby Spartacus Junior as they head off to freedom while he dies horribly and painfully.  Okay, it’s not exactly like that but I do enjoy making fun of Booker.

We still have Bernie and Creepy Uncle Joe and Fauxcahantas but it’s just not the same.  Booker was the whole package.  He was sexually ambivalent, unauthentically black, delusional about what America wanted, he had bug eyes and a funny voice.  He had so much to give.

We’ll muddle through without him.  We’ll remember all the great moments during the debates when he told us all about slavery reparations and green new deals and billions and trillions and maybe someday quadrillions of dollars that the government would shower on people who didn’t want to work.  We’ll go on, but we’ll never be that young again.

But I’m really still in denial.  I keep thinking maybe he’ll come back as a running mate or maybe he could become an announcer for the WWE or maybe he could replace Jussie Smollett on Empire.  But no it will not be.  He’s gone.  I’ve reached the final stage, acceptance.

Okay, I’m good.  Now let me listen to how Iran is self-destructing after President Trump delivered a haymaker to their regime’s credibility.

13JAN2020 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Gelato Populism

Niccolo Soldo’s article “Gelato Populism:
The Rise of Matteo Salvini” gives a good overview of Italian politics and the rise of the nationalist movement in Italy.

https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/12/gelato-populism-the-rise-of-matteo-salvini/

 

 

President Trump in the Arena

In 2018 and 2019 I posted Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech as one of my quotes of the day.  Here it is:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I thought of this quote when all the usual suspects started criticizing the President for his courageous decision to eliminate General Soleimani.  Chuck Schumer criticized the President for not consulting Congress.  The stupidity of this argument being that Congress is a sieve of destructive leaks and passing along this information might have compromised the mission and even led to intelligence personnel being captured or killed.

Then you have that nitwit Pelosi claiming that Soleimani was such an important Iranian that killing him was unthinkable.  So, the man who personally arranged for the killing and maiming of thousands of American servicemen and who was currently looking to increase that score shouldn’t be eliminated because his work was too important.  I know of nothing more idiotic said by a top US political leader since Pelosi’s last blunder where she claimed that we had to institute Obamacare before we knew what it included.  She is indeed a dope for all seasons.

And all the talking heads of the networks working overtime to frighten the American public with propaganda about American deaths from the missile barrage and declaring that killing Soleimani was an unthinkable tactical blunder that we would all rue.

All of these naysayers are the critics of Roosevelt’s speech.  Bystanders sniping at the Man in the Arena.  But President Trump is that man.  In a situation like the current United States deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan there is no safe or easy choice.  Every day is fraught with peril and every decision must be weighed.

With the Iranians looking to distract their citizens from their poverty the mullahs used Soleimani to generate good news by attacking their enemies through proxies in other places like Iraq and Syria.  And with the knowledge that President Trump wants to withdraw US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and place them in secure bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait it would be easy for the Iranians to claim a victory if they attacked our vacating troops.  They would spin it that they chased us out.

If the President does intend to redeploy our troops away from Iraq and Afghanistan it would be preferable to accompany such a change with a show of strength to remind the hostile (and friendly) nations in the area that American military strength isn’t something to be despised.

To that end killing Soleimani just as he was ramping up attacks on Americans in Iraq was a high risk, high reward option.  Killing him in such a situation demonstrated our operational intelligence capability, technological superiority and the high regard our President has for the safety of our troops.  He would show that the death of an American contractor in Iraq needed to be avenged with the killing of the man who was ultimately responsible for that death.  And no consideration was given to the rank of either man.

But of course, consideration was given to what the retaliation by the Iranians could have been.  Getting into a major war with a regional power like Iran is a very serious situation.  Such a war would be a horrible problem for an election effort and would throw the advantage to the Democrats in November.

And that risk means that ordering the attack on Soleimani was a very risky decision that called for the most careful exercise of judgement.  None of the other men who served as President in the last thirty years, neither of the Bushes or Clinton or Obama would have taken that risk under the present circumstances.  They would have hunkered down and endured the slow drip of casualties and then withdrawn our troops under fire.  President Trump showed a fine sense of tactical judgement and he has been rewarded by circumstances that put him in a strong strategic position with respect to Iran.  The Man in the Arena deserves praise and recognition for his wisdom and courage.