When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Guest Post From: Always On Watch

Always On Watch -

Now that the intitial weeping and gnashing of teeth following the election has diminished a bit, the conservative blogosphere has a task ahead, that of contrarian dissent. In my view, that dissent shouldn't descend into the lowest of the tactics shown by many of the lefties in the blogosphere and the media. On the other hand, being too refined and too dignified won't likely yield results, with either the electorate or the rebuilding of the Republican Party. Certainly, remaining quiet and sulking will have no outcome.

On January 20, Barack Hussein Obama will take the oath of office and become President of the United States. Like it or not, he will become our President. Certainly, based on what we know about him and his political philosophy, he may lead our nation in a leftist direction, as he attempts to keep even some of his pie-in-the-sky campaign promises. And he will have the partnership of a leftist Congress to help him accomplish his goals. Still, we should also remember that often Presidents govern in a more centrist manner than in the manner in which they campaigned. We'll be finding out soon enough in precisely what direction our new President will lead our nation.

Today's electorate apparently responds to and needs a leader who offers "shock and awe." These same voters also seem to respond more to contrarian dissent and derangement syndrome than to the analysis of political philosophies. Say what you will about the importance of political ideology and integrity, the Democratic Party's campaign was successful. Voters may well suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder and respond to sound bites around which to rally!

In my view, the Right needs to begin anew by offering contrarian dissent — patriotic dissent with just a tinge of Leftist Derangement Syndrome. Appeal to the people may be a logic fallacy, but we've just seen that such an appeal is indeed effective, much like the teachable moment in the classroom. The Right needs to learn and to employ some of the same tactics which the Left used to win the election.

Consider the following video, not only from the perspective of observing the apparent idiocy of those interviewed but also from the perspective of how such an electorate can be moved in a different direction:

Perhaps we truly have entered a new era of voters, ones who need a different kind of appeal from the Right. Based on the above video, we may not have the option of or the time for educating the electorate.

Your thoughts?


Brooke said...


The leftists do indeed respond to a shock and awe candidate because they don't take one moment to educate themselves before they vote. They will follow whomever is "cool" and will give them the most stuff.

By contrast, the GOP does so poorly because the conservatives DO educate themselves. We won't follow just anyone.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

While your point is well taken and to an extent true, the real underlying reason that Obama was elected was more in packaging than an ideological leftists apporach by the Democrats.

Obama is charasmatic, appeals to anyone who rather than research themselves is looking for an icon in whom to follow.

Plain and simple an almost cultist appeal with the help of the MSM in creating the icon status of Obama elected him.

As your video and the Zogby poll that followed the day after shows almost 80% of those who voted for Obama had no idea who he was and what he stood for. They bought the hype and the MSM messiahship of Obama and that decided their vote and nothing else.

Still your point concerning the approach that conservatives need to take in getting the message out and gaining appeal to the masses is partially right on the mark.

But I do not think we need to go to the extreme of the cultist status that was created around Obama.

Fresh faces with youth appeal and a strong conservative message that has that same type of youth and across the board voter appeal will get the message to voters and catch on if it is handled correctly.

The difference in those on the left and conservatives is that the left will follow anyone who looks good to them and tells them what to think.

Conservative make up their mind of their own accord but having an attractive package of energetic candidates and a strong clear message will still help considerably.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Obama the ultra Lib? Is he turning into a ultra Conservative? Hillary voted for the war in Iraq…so she’s being made the Secretary of State. Gates to remain at Defense. Looks like the doves got thrown under the bus with his typical white grandma.
Or is he t A Hawk in Dove’s Clothing. Beware of Obama, he is not to be trusted.

Perri Nelson said...


Obama the ultra Lib is also Obama the man with no management experience or friends with management experience. He has no team of his own other than campaign staff, so he has to pick and choose from the staff of previous administrations.

Which effectively leaves former Clinton staff and former Carter staff. And the less objectionable staff from the Bush administration.

It could be worse. He could pick Olbermann to run the treasury, Matthews to run the State department and Dan Rather as press secretary.

You're right, he's not to be trusted. At least he's not trying to compound his inexperience with more inexperience, but his picks certainly won't bring change.

As for the sheeple like the ones in the video, We've got to try educating them, on a personal level. Talking to people in a civil manner can do wonders, even if it's only one at a time. I've managed to persuade a few people to switch from indifference to conservatism that way.

On the other hand, committed liberals won't be swayed by logic or appeals to reason. To reach them, we'll have to find a way to appeal to their emotions. About the only choices Obama's made that would hurt him with his constituents are the ones that have to do with the anti-war crowd. He'll throw Gitmo and civil trials for the detainees to them as a sop.

Anonymous said...

I have been saying this all along, and it appears I have been right! (patting myself on the back a little)

The uninformed won this election for Obama, among many other things. People voted for charisma, and the media's spin on things without ever really knowing the facts! It's very difficult to fight ignorance but that is exactly what we have to figure out how to do!

Anonymous said...

You can't fix stupid! I argued lightly with a co-worker this past summer after she made an ignorant comment about the war... "If McCain gets elected the troops will never come home." So I had to educate her on the fact that regardless of who would get elected we were actually working towards bringing them home, only safely and as we are able.

Her comment, blind and naive yet typical among so many who don't care to educate themselves.

I'm not convinced that Obama won only becsuse of his winning personality. There were strikes against the GOP: one example, when one party has held the office for 8 years, the election has historically switched sides. I am not saying no mistakes were made by the GOP because there definately were mistakes. I just don't give Obama that much credit. I wouldn't jump too quickly towards adopting his campaign style. Two reasons: if (when) he screws this up, anything that reminds the public of him will not help and also the right does not respond the same way the left does.

Joe said...

There is an insidious and very stealth prejudice going on in that video that is as deep as, or deeper than, the prejudice of America's "racist" past.

TAO said...

Ah, folks....

Based upon what I have read here I can only conclude that conservatives have never had a candidate run for President and that conservatives are some new and minority force in politics.

By discussing "the Left" then we have to lump conservatives in the opposite, which would be "the Right." Which would mean that conservatives can be lumped with GWB and all the hysterics of the 2000 and 2004 election.

I actually view most Americans as moderates....and thus the Democrats are center-left and Republicans are center-right...and then they attempt to pull as many moderates away from the other side.

But lets not get on a high horse of being above the political mud or being more intelligent, or being more educated or whatever. The Republicans, which is the party that the conservatives have blindly supported for the last 20 some years, are just as guilty of doing whatever it takes to win elections and pamper their supporters as the democrats are. Thus, guilt by association makes us Republicans however we may try to argue otherwise. We might love to blame the fact of a lost election on Obama and his personality or Obama and the ignorance of the masses; But Karl Rove was successful not because he appealed to intelligent voters but because he appealed to FEAR. As he stated, "...we can create our own reality...."

Well, it appears that once again we are attempting to create another reality right here on this blog.

Reality IS in the eyes of most Americans, that conservatives are corrupt, they talk one thing about values and then they do another in their personal lives, they cannot run a war, they cannot run a government effectively, and they can spend more money and get the least results of even the most wild eyed liberal...

GWB did not call himself a Republican he called himself a CONSERVATIVE. Now, whine as you might, but to the vast majority of Americans GWB has defined conservatism and we can argue all we want about him not being a conservative but we are a very small minority. So, if you are ever going to regain power you need to start with the perceptions of the majority and work from there.

Everyone here wants to somehow believe that America has been duped by Obama and that somehow he will be exposed and then America will come running back to Conservatives...remember, America sees conservatives as GWB, Foley, Craig, and Cunningham...so translate that to incompentent, perverts, and corrupt.

I believe if things remain the same and if America finds out that Obama is not who they think he is then America will seek out a real Leftist. That is what scares me the most. This economic downturn is not going to end next year...it is actually going to be worse next year and that means the perceptions of conservatism will be worse next year.

REMEMBER, GWB never claims to be a Republican but always claims to be a CONSERVATIVE. That is why I voted against him in 2004 because he was destroying everything I believe in.

There has been NO integrity in politics for quite sometime and that is not the fault of the democrats. There has been no arguments based on principles or ideology and that has not been the fault of democrats.

Blame Karl Rove...not the democrats. Obama ran a positive campaign of HOPE and CHANGE....the Repbulicans ran one on FEAR.

Right now without any new ideas the best we can hope for is that Obama does fix the economy and rights the ship of state and then we can jump in and take over.

Otherwise to focus as this article does will get us nowhere....we are exactly in the same position the Republicans found themselves in with the election of FDR.

You have a man in the White House who bills himself as a COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE who has lower approval ratings than Nixon did after Watergate...that is not only a vote against GWB but also against conservatism.

I give Obama credit...he is building a coalition administration and he is one tough opponent. The extreme left will be angry with him as much as the extreme right but he is building his future on the moderates of both parties and that is where the majority of Americans are....

NEVER underestimate your opponent....and quit excusing reality. Conservatism got blown out of the water this election and we are a long way from thinking about how to run a winning election.

We need to focus on why after the mandate of 1994 we lost control of our own representatives and we have need to focus on how our beliefs could be kidnapped by GWB in 2000 and 2004. Basically, we forsake our principles for power...WE SOLD OUT!

Start from that point....that was the real reason we lost in 2008 so focus on 1994, 2000, and 2004 and you will understand why I supported Obama in 2008....it has nothing to do with McCain and or Palin.....

We proved to America that we did not believe in our values enough to find and support candidates who truthfully believed in the same values. We sold ourselves out.

Anonymous said...

The people who needed to vote for McCain stayed home! To say that the Conservatives did not have a candidate in this election is a cop-out.
The did have a very clear choice and they blew it.
That may not be the reason why McCain lost. But it sure was a great deal part of it.
How are you to win if your own base sit-it-out? It just ain't gonna happen So I say to you so called "Conservative's with principles" Shame on you!
The people who needed to vote for McCain for him to win did not vote. So they wound up voting for Obama. The people who needed to vote for McCain stayed home!
The concept of using your vote to protest the choice of candidates makes sense only if there is truly no significant difference between them, and no rational case can be made that this is the situation in this election. I, too, would like a different choice But we got what we got and there was nothing to do about that...But I feel it is more important to VOTE even if it's the lesser of 2 eveils...However this was NOT the case in this election. In my opinion McCain was Clearly the better choice.

I also don't understand why anyone who intends to make a protest vote
The Myth That McCain Wasn’t Conservative Enough Was Exactly That, A Myth!"If you don't vote, then you can't complain!
Not voting is not the answer.

TAO said...


Even if every conservative you could find would have gone to vote McCain still would have lost. Robert has covered that in an earlier post.

I am an American FIRST and FOREMOST. So, when the party that claims to share the same values and principles I do runs this country into the ground with mismanagement, arrogance, and loads of debt and leaves us nothing to show for it then I have one of three choices: 1. Remain loyal to a party and accept the fact that my values and principles are reflected in the party. 2. Vote against the party for only giving lip service to the values and principles that I believe in. 3. Accept the fact that my values and principles are the reason that this country is in such a mess and then adopt new values and principles.

The issue for me was not McCain but rather the Republican Party...and I refuse to believe that my values and principles are to blame for our current situation...so I gave my vote to the other party because I believe that the democrats are more focussed on what is important for this country and the Republicans were torn between trying to defend the last 8 years and trying to establish a new direction...if they had stayed true to their principles they would not have ended up where they found themselves at.

We have lost 18 trillion dollars of wealth, we have 100,000 Iraqi's burning our President in effigy, we have installed a President in Afghanistan who only rules over the capital, our government is in debt at levels this country has never seen before, and you believe that if another million or so voters would have shown up the conservatives would have won?

Believe what you want but Americans are not stupid....and if you wanted McCain to win you should have seen to it that he had a better record to stand on....

One thing conservatives need to learn is to quit following their elected leaders so blindly; democracy is not only about attacking the other side it also involves making sure your party toes the line based upon the reasons they were voted into office. We conservatives let democracy down....not by not voting for McCain but by defending a party out of loyalty.

Robert said...

Belinda, a couple of interesting idea there...

When discussing the war, I always ask people "What is your idea of the mission being accomplished" and they really don't know. Of course a stable government, and beyond that their entire focus is on bringing the troops home. They often say that we shouldn't have been there in the first place because the terrorists are somewhere else.

It seems to me that we have killed a bunch of terrorists there, and that there is more than finishing in Iraq in this war on terror. It is as if people think that the world will be at peace once the evil United States brings their troops home.

Secondly, I think the party MUST utilize some of the same campaign tactics. Like it or not, persona is important. Reagan was successful because he was the "GReat Communicator" and often took his case not to Congress, but directly to the American people which placed pressure on the COngress to enact his proposals. We need to learn marketing and assemble a solid structure that enables us to give a positive appearance and sway voters with charisma as well. I don't thik people will be turned off to that if the ideas are different and convincing.

Anonymous said...

["Reality IS in the eyes of most Americans, that conservatives are corrupt, they talk one thing about values and then they do another in their personal lives, they cannot run a war, they cannot run a government effectively, and they can spend more money and get the least results of even the most wild eyed liberal..."]

That is why our goal here is to CHANGE the perception of how the rest of the country views Conservatives. By calling himself a conservative, George Bush has given us a huge obstacle to overcome. I agree with you that the majority of people connect Bush with conservatism and we need to show people in black and white, how we are different, starting with government spending.

["There has been NO integrity in politics for quite sometime and that is not the fault of the democrats."]

Agreed! I don't think one person here will tell you that we have seen integrity out of the Republicans in a long time. (McCain's military service excluded) That is what we are trying to do. Give the GOP a candidate that people can really vote for. That holds the principles and beliefs that are important to us.


I am going to say this for the last time. We did NOT lose the election because conservatives stayed home. We lost for many reasons, the most important being that the GOP forgot about us conservatives. They did not represent us and it cost them the election. Obama ran a brilliant campaign and yes the media, had a BIG hand in helping his cause. You keep ranting and raving about staying home, but NONE of us here did that. We VOTED for McCain. This discussion is getting very old. It has been explained time and time again, and we need to change our focus to where it belongs. How do we reach people and tell them what TRUE conservatism is. If you have an opinion on that, by all means, give it to us. You seriously need to get over the election already. We lost and now we need to everything we can to change the outcome in 2012!

If you need to vent on your own blog, go for it. This blog's goal is to CHANGE America's perception of conservatism and your rants, (as good as they may feel)do nothing but take us off course.

TAO said...


In regards to your comment about the Iraq War...if you had asked me the same question I would have looked at you and asked you how many new terrorists have we created because of our stupidity in Iraq? If GWB had said he was going to invade Iran and Pakistan and he was going to have the CIA assinsinate 300 of the top mullahs in the middle east then BY GOD I would have supported THAT war!

Jennifer....we must first define conservatism and I think we need to start with the concept of THE COMMON GOOD, which I just explained in my blog. Then we need to find politicans who we will keep on a short leach...

First our own beliefs, then our politicans, then the country.

Anonymous said...

TAO....I think we all agree with you that we have to define it and that is what we are working on first. We actually have a post in the making that defines conservatism.

Anonymous said...

The main point isn’t just finding people who were woefully uninformed. That would be like shooting fish in a barrel and could be done with voters from either party.

It was that they were completely uninformed about Obama, Reid, Pelosi, etc. while they knew lots about Sarah Palin - and generally not the truth, but rather the falsehoods and exaggerations communicated by the mainstream media.

Also, when asked questions about negative things (Obama and the 57 states, Bill Ayers, Biden and plagiarism, Obama and bankrupting the coal industry, etc.) they almost always attributed them to McCain or Palin. The 18-to-1 bias against Palin by the Big 3 obviously had a big impact.

The people interviewed were generally wrong across the board:

- Ignorance of basic facts such as which party currently controls Congress
- Believing lies about Republicans
- Unaware of the truth about Obama / Biden

Robert said...

Simpsons, it is disappointing that there are so many who have no idea regarding the candidates and politicis in general. I even detected a smugness about the fact that they were about to elect Obama, and they weren't embarrassed that they had the facts completely wrong. In the video, it was obvious that they were about to vote, not for issues, but for a person because it was cool or because he was black, or because he was a dem.

We have to save us from ourselves.

Robert said...

And thanks for visiting! I encourage you to come back daily and participate...we can only succeed with continued interactions!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer said...

I am going to say this for the last time. We did NOT lose the election because conservatives stayed home. We lost for many reasons, the most important being that the GOP forgot about us "

Well so much for your statement.."We encourage all of our readers to submit posts as often as they wish"
But that’s fine with me, there are plenty of OTHER blogs for me to read and comment on. If you can’t take the heat. And if Roberts screws up and makes a stupid remark that you no longer want to be called out on. So bye, bye.

Robert said...

David, you are welcome to comment on anything you wish, but we are also free to comment on anything we wish. Jenn didn't delete your comments.

We have discussed that topic and would prefer that the comments be directed at the post for which they are submitted. It gets old to have someone make the same, unsupported comments on every new post when those comments have nothing to do with the subject.

ZmudasExpress said...

I take issue with what you are saying to David. If you indeed welcome him to comment then why do you remark about his commenting?

I'd like to put in my 2 cents on that subject, if I may??

There were a lot of conservatives that didn't want to vote for McCain but did so after he chose Palin. A few in my own family, in fact, and Ann Coulter for another. The sad truth, in my opinion, is that Obama won because he had the majority of Americans on his feel good, it’s time for change bandwagon. And those people didn’t bother to look at the facts, they just went with what was popular. As Michael Savage says, too many sheeple in this country.

Robert said...

Zmudas, you have stated exactly what I have said all along. The number of conservatives who sat out the election was not enough to overturn the support for Obama.

It was the desire for change, and Obama presented that change. It matters not what that change will be, for none of us truly know. The worst part is that when many are feeling buyer's remorse, most will still support him because he makes them feel good.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope we become a regular place for you to sit on the porch and chat.

ZmudasExpress said...

No, That is not exactly what you have said all along.

You have twisted what I wrote to satisfy your comment.
Good spin, but no cigar,

Anonymous said...

[We encourage all of our readers to submit posts as often as they wish"]

Ok, first of all I stand by that statement. The statement you are referring to above is regarding posts. As far as your comments, they are also welcome. That does not mean that I have to agree with them or give them any credit. When you repeat the same tired comment over and over again, you lose credibility. I don't understand the need to for you to beat something to death. It was a comment made on one post, for pete's sake.

So let me make sure I understand what you are asking of us. You expect us to put ourselves out there and for you to comment as you see fit, but we are not supposed to call you on your comment? It's a bit hypocritical. If you leave a comment here, you cannot realistically expect that we should not respond to it.

Always On Watch said...

Thank you for publishing my essay. My apologies for getting here several days later.


In no way am I implying or stating that the Republican Party should promote a cult leader or cult following.

In this long, long, just-ended campaign for the White House, many factors combined to produce the results. Not the least of those factors was the media's control of the information reaching the voters.

Political ideology is what determines my vote. Then again, I'm not a product of the Information Age, nor was I reared to get all my information from the one-eyed idiot (TV and, now, YouTube). But a sizeable portion of the electorate do get information by those means.

Also, let us remember that one reason for JFK's and Reagan's victories was their looking good on camera and having a certain "mystique" and a certain comaraderie which connected with voters.

We need to look at all the factors which resulted in what happened on November 4 and use the ones not abhorrent to conservative principles.