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

Monday, November 17, 2008

Passionate About Conservatism

"Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion." George Wilhelm

We've defined what conservatism is. We've discussed what things we need to do to bring conservatism back into the GOP. We've come together on ideas such as small government and personal responsibility and differed on where Reagan fits into the scheme of things. There has been some great discussions and debates and we've exchanged many different ideas. In all this banter though, I've felt one thing that has been decidedly missing and that is passion!

"My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose." Bette Davis

I once heard that passion has no place in conservatism and I heartily disagree. A person without passion has no more value than a heart without love, or a candle without a flame. Passion is a burning desire to a commitment and a cause. It has brought us Picasso, Beethoven, William Shakespeare, Walt Disney and Mother Theresa, who would have been nothing without the passion that they all shared. Every great endeavor has been fueled by passion in some way, shape, or form. Passion is power, an unstoppable force that nothing can hold back. Passion can be magical, it can turn virtually nothing into something glorious. It can change the ordinary into the extraordinary. It can change something boring into something fun and exciting. Passion is severely lacking in conservatism today and we need to change it. With our words and with our actions.

I sometimes joke that I don't always have the right words, but what I have in abundance, is passion. Passion for this mission and the goals we have set and in my vision for the future of America. Without it words don't mean a thing. Without passion where is your drive, your ambition, your hunger for a better tomorrow? This is an uphill battle and without passion, the battle has been defeated before it ever got started.

"Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things." Denis Diderot

Think about the last thing that you have been truly passionate about and remember that feeling that you had. Where there were no limits, no goals too high, no endeavor too small. Channel that into our goals and mission here at Conservative Convictions and nothing will stop us. The passion we feel will motivate us every day in our fight for conservatism. I want a better America for my kids. That is the most important thing that drives me. It may be different in all of us, but we need to look within ourselves and find the passion that lives there and use it to accomplish whatever we set out to do.

Something that I think we all realize, is how imperative it is to reach the young'uns! ( I tried some of that southern slang, but I have no idea if that is even a word) Anyway, it is vitally important in our mission. One way to reach them is through the truth and through our passion. The combination of them is the key in getting their interest and keeping it.

"The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to it's fulfillment." Earl NIghtingale


Dave Miller said...

Great passion and intense feelings about an action, or point of view do not necessarily make it right.

The question is how do we come to those passions.

rockync said...

Excellent post, Jennifer! Passion is a driving force that makes you get up and start again, over and over if necessary. Passion is what makes you want to perform, excel at and then share with everyone else. And no, Dave, passion may not make something right, but without it all the "right" in the world may not be enough to inspire and drive.
I used to work in a position in the medical field that exposed me to international researchers. I was pretty low on the totem pole, performing certain procedures and producing viable data. I was part of a large study that involved a new testing procedure and I struggled to understand the data I was producing. At an international symposium I met the scientist who developed the test. This guy had such passion for his work that he sat down with me and explained it to me using language that I could understand, but never did I feel like he was patronizing me. I became much more adept at my job and that is what passion is all about - achieving,improving, perfecting and sharing.
BTW - south of the Mason Dixon, young'uns is definitely a word! :)

Anonymous said...

[Great passion and intense feelings about an action, or point of view do not necessarily make it right.]

I'm really curious how you got that statement out of my post. Did I say that because I am passionate about conservatism that is necessarily right? I simply said that to do something without the passion that drives it, makes it harder to accomplish.

As to your question as to how to come to those passions, you either have it or you don't. There are no magical words for me to say to make you passionate about conservatism. That is something that you have to decide for yourself. You have to look inside yourself and evaluate how you feel and how strongly you feel about it. Think about your vision for the country and what you can do to make it happen. It that stirs something up inside you, then GREAT! If not, then no one can do that for you.

Joe said...

Jennifer: Great post. Passion may not guarantee that what gets done is "right," because "right" is a moral thing. But without passion "right" will never get done.

I love that you quoted Earl Nightingale. I used to hear him on the raido often, and he used to have a restaurant where I lived called, what else, Nightingale's.

Clay Bowler said...

I believe the passion you claim is absent is the very reason why conservatives didn't come out and give full support for McCain. Moderates have never lit the passion of conservatives.

Patrick M said...

Passion is necessary. It's what gives us the relentless drive to refine, define, and opine on our beliefs and ideas. It's what makes our blogs full of meat (and bone, and marrow, etc). And without it, we'd all sound like John McCain.

Oh, and if you want to confuse people more, Jenn, use younglings. It comes from Star Wars (from the lips of Yoda, no less), so it can't be that bad.

Anonymous said...

I completly agree with Clay Bowler; How can you say anything that would alloow a political enemy to win?
The Obama Administration, along with his Democratic trifecta partners, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, are going to try to shut down all that us Conservative/Republican stand for. And you clain the ther is no defferance btween the two? Chuck Schumer compared conservatives who exercise their Fist Amendment Constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech to that of pornographers, do you condone that as well?
This talk that wev’e been hearing about shutting down Conservative talk show is just the beginning. “Censorship Doctrine” was responsible for impeding open discussion of public policy issues on the radio. When Ronald Reagan finally was able to abolish it. And now they are threatening to bring it back ..This the Liberial FREE SPEECH .. Is this no difference to what John McCain stands for?
I can not believe that you really feel that way and call yourself and this blog “Conservative Conviction's” I’m sorry I can’t see it. You claim to be a ex military man and so am I, do you believe in what his plans are for the military and for our Troops in Iraq?
Sorry Robert, but I can not be a follower of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Patrick M said...
Passion is necessary

Patrick, Passion maybe necessary, if it is true passion and put in it's proper place.
I don't find any here.

Patrick M said...

Conservative: Give us all a little time. Passion has been running high for a year up to the election. The people on this blog, and many others, are still recharging the batteries.

And wait until Obama starts dropping the lib legislation (chumming the waters). Then you'll see the passion you somehow missed.

Anonymous said...

Great post Jennifer.

Brooke said...

Excellent post.

Without passion, what's the point? I hope the GOP is learning this lesson!

Myself said...

Sorry folks, if you are a conservative, then you don't let a superliberial walk into the white house without a fight.
That to me is passion. To have passion you have fight.

Myself said...

Patrick M said..." wait until Obama starts dropping the lib legislation. Then you'll see the passion."

And then it may be too late.
We needed the passion, the fight, and the support on November 4th. Not the indifference, and not the "who gives a damn attitude"
and not the "I could care less about who wins the election in November because i don't like John Mccain"
All that did was give us Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton on the same plate. If your satisfied with them, then so be it.
You got what you deserve.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Being passionate about ones convictions makes one fight for what they beleive.

That is why Obama does NOT deserve a , "honeymoon," and why I cannot support him being successful as President. I can respect the office but not support the office holder and as such I beleive it is my Constituional obligation as a citizen of the Country to fight Obama tooth and nail in order to keep his agenda from becoming fact!

Our Founders included free speech in the Constitution not as an avenue for placing a cucifix in urine and calling it art but free speech was included as the ability to give desent when we beleive that our leaders and government are not following Constitutional principles and taking this country down a path of distruction.

That is our duty as Americans to stand firm on the principles that have made this country free and Obama according to his agenda wants to change those principles and as an American and as on of the Constitutionaly mandated owners of this country it in my responsibility to fight someone who seeks to destroy the very foundations of this nation.

The Constitution states that We the People give government its authority and we the people also must fight when that authority is going down the wrong path! And fight I will even if I have to stand in the galleries of Congreess and quote the Constituion.

I am willing to bet that most of those elected have never read it and those that have do not understand it!

We do not bow to the govewrnment but it is subject to us and it is we the people who must hold government and those in Washington especially the President accountable. I vow to do my part to hold Obama's feet to the fire!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Very possibly, the entire purpose of this blog is to rekindle the interests of those who do not subscribe to liberal political ideology. That won’t happen until people begin to dialogue with one another. I should also like to add there are a few circumstances in which “my way, or the highway” might work; politics isn’t one of them. Quite possibly, this is why Tancredo didn’t make the cut. Most Americans distrust radicals of any persuasion, so it hardly seems reasonable to assume that McCain lost simply because the far right refused to endorse his candidacy. That was part of it, but the fact is that McCain is a RINO and Obama put together a more effective campaign.

Our founding fathers modeled the Senate on the House of Lords, and the House of Representatives on the House of Commons. They believed that the people (and their Representatives) tended to react emotionally, and that intellect and wisdom must temper that emotion. So too must intellect and wisdom temper our political passion; we can do that by thinking through the challenges that confront us. Perhaps it is a matter of believing that if a solution is good for America, then by extension, it must also be good for individual Americans. I think this is a good rule of thumb, even though we must understand that not everyone will ever be happy with every political decision. Yes, let us pursue our passions — but let us also not allow raw passion to cloud our judgment.

David999 said...

I vow to do my part to hold Obama's feet to the fire!!!!!

And I think Robert should think before he types

Robert said...

Jenn, as always, your passion motivates me! In this case your passion about passion is outstanding...

Anonymous said...

Okay, you want passion...you got it. If some of you cannot see past one comment to the bigger picture then I feel sorry for you. I have known Robert for a long time, and he is a conservative to the core. Because he chooses to place blame where it belongs people start suddenly leaving this blog? If you were TRUE conservatives then you would join with us as we fight for conservatism. Okay, so in one comment he words something differently then he probably should have, all the sudden you turn on him and tell him and us here at this website that we are not conservative. That's crap, and from some of you that I thought were true friends, I find it insulting! I really expected better of you. This blog takes a lot of hard work and dedication and we have committed to giving it everything we have.

So Robert doesn't place the blame with the voters like some of you, that makes him non-conservative? If you read this and you still think that we don't care about bringing conservatism back to the GOP, well then that is your loss. We will continue regardless of whether or not a few of you have thin skin and can not see past the anger and bitterness you have felt since the election. When we named this Conservative Convictions we did so for a reason. We ALL are on a mission and we share the same goals.

It's one thing to let passion drive you but it's quite another to let it take over your common sense. I really thought we were all fighting for the same goal, but maybe some people would rather sit back and whine then try to get to the real problems. I am sorry if this pisses anyone off, that is certainly not my intention, but I can only overlook things so far until I get tired of it. If bitching and whining is all you want to do, blog away. If you really want to make a difference then put aside this petty crap and rise above it.

Patrick M said...

Jennifer: Sometimes people need to be pissed off to spur them to action. That was a part of the equation (anger at Bush) that energized the liberals to many of their victories.

Strangely, they then mistake this for passion.

David999 said...

No fly by night posting Jennifer, no I am nothing like you said in your post. You wanted to give us “passion” well ok ( I wanted to return it. (in spades)
I am not someone to leave a bomb and run!!!!
I’m still here to debate your comments.
We keep hearing he's getting this (counseling) from experienced advisers, etc. I get the real impression he will not be running the country, but he is a puppet of George Sores and the rest of the Leftist Marxist gang. Hence all these Clinton has been appointees. . Do you still feel that these were NO difference between Obama and McCain? Well it’s pretty darn clear to me that these are a BIG difference. All these appointees only reaffirms my belief that he has been a manufactured President all along. It was very clear then and there is no doubt about it now.
So I think these comments were justified.

You said that you have “known Robert for a long time, and he is a conservative to the core. Because he chooses to place blame where it belongs”
Well I don’t agree!! It may be HIS opinion about where to put the blame, not mine and apparently not the opinion of many others here either.
And that to me IS the “bigger picture” I personally find is comment unjustified and I don’t care to participate in his blog for the sake of satisfying him and his opinions that do not coincide with mine. I do follow many, many blogs , but not to get into arguments with the author, but rather to participate in a discussion. And that’s why I will be leaving this one. People will only want to return to a blog site if they have some content that interests them. This one does not.
I just stumbled on this site form a link that Robert left on another site that I follow. So far I have read nothing but flimsy promises on your blog about how great it is going to be. But those promises have left a lot to be desired. I am only writing this comment in reply to yours. Otherwise I would have not even bothered to. Loyalty to a blog can only go so far. But when someone that on one hand tells us how much of a passionate Conservative he is and then goes on comparing Barack Obama to John McCain and see no difference between the two, that my dear friend is too much for me to digest.
I think that we're resolved the issue… at least I think so. And I think that your rebuttal was nothing but flimsy accusations. ...

Robert said...

David, you are most welcome to your opinions.

I challenge you to do two things, and you are most welcome to submit the work and we will post it here.

1) I would like to see you make the case that John McCain is a conservative, without using a single comparison to Obama.
I don't think you can do so. Call it symantics if you will, but I never said there were NO differences, I said there were no substantial differences. Your post-election examples mean nothing when evaluating the campaign itself, and the messages portrayed during that time. I have asked several times for someone to show me McCain's conservative, core beliefs. So far no one has done so.

2) Explain with some relevant data where there were 9 million conservatives who sat home and "gave" Obama the election. The actual turnout shows that there was only a decrease of 2% in Republican voters. That roughly tranposes into a little over a million votes. There was an 8 million vote difference. Explain with facts.

We have no desire here to waste away our days ranting and raving about how left the Obama administration leans. I don't think that will come as a surprise to anyone. If you feel nothing but the need to vent and you find comfort in that, then by all means you should do so. At this site we are elevating the discussion and rising above name calling and bomb throwing.

To only take in information/opinions that agree with you is the epitome of close minded thinking. If you choose to bury your head in the sand and refuse to engage in an actual debate, feel free. Refusing the facts, and data, and reality only serves to assure your continued disappointment.

"I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits."

-John Locke

Greg said...

I come late to this discussion (I was a little confused - I would log on and see the "Welcome" post and assume nothing new had been posted!)

Anyway, I wanted to point out that it's not McCain's fault that Obama decided to become a moderate Republican after the primaries! Obama ran a spectacularly dishonest and cynical campaign, but it was very effective. McCain's campaign focus should have been, "I'm the real moderate here. Obama didn't become a moderate until last week." He could have run commercials showing how the guy took diametrically opposed positions during this very campaign. Instead of "Not Ready to Lead," the slogan to the commercials could have been, "Who Knows What This Guy Really Thinks," or "Who IS Barack Obama Anyway."


Robert said...

Sorry Greg! I was attempting to keep the welcome post there for new readers, but I see how that might be confusing. I will correct it immediately!

Myself said...

Robert said;
Explain with some relevant data where there were 9 million conservatives who sat home and "gave" Obama the election. The actual turnout shows that there was only a decrease of 2% in Republican voters. That roughly tranposes into a little over a million votes. There was an 8 million vote difference.

That sounds ridiculous to me. Robert, did those 9 million conservatives who sat at home know at the time how much it would effect the election, suppose it was 11 million or 20 million that sat at home, and how do we know how many it was? What would the excuse be then?
I agree with the person that originally said that the conservatives who sat it out or that wrote in 3rd party protest votes were nothing but lousy turncoats and the it IS possible that that caused McCain to lose. And now look at what we have. We have a nit-wit like Eric Holder as his attorney general. May as well bring back Janet Reno! Oh but maybe he did!
Sorry but I have to be objective, but I do respect your opinion even if I think its way off the wall. .... I can’t support this blog either when you engage in this kind of rationality.

Patrick M said...

A quick point about the millions of conservatives who didn't vote for McCain:

They have the right to do so, and it is most certainly not their fault that McCain lost. It is the job of a candidate to rally his base, attract swing voters, and define himself. McCain was lax in all three categories. He continually pissed off his base until he got the nomination (and then only did so half the time), he fought to attract much of what was Obama's base by leaning toward the liberal philosophy (and trying to appeal to conservatives at the same time), and he let himself be defined primarily as "not Obama." And while that garnered some votes (including mine), it does not lead to victory. A winning campaign gets people to vote for them, not against another candidate.

Robert said...

Still waiting on someone who can do some basic math. There was a 2% decrease in republican voters from 2004. That is about 1 million. The difference in 2008 was 8 million. If all 1 million had turned out to vote, we still would have lost by 7million.

Rational thinking scares you? You are apparently not alone.

Robert said...

Great point about rallying the base, Patrick. It is as I have said all along, conservatives were not McCain's base. Many conservatives, including me, voted for McCain but only because he was not Obama, as you stated. I would much prefer someone I can vote for, and opposed to taking a defensive stance.

Anonymous said...

From time to time I take a few minutes to troll around to keep an eye on who might be linking to my site, and today I found this site.
I have read many of the comments here and I would like to throw in my “Two Cents” for what it’s worth.
It seems that “Robert” put his foot in his mouth when he made that dumbfounded statement about the two candidates being alike. This was foolish speculation on his part to say the least.
And it was not "the basic math" Robert.. It was your assuming that something is true.
The people who needed to vote for McCain for him to win did not end up voting for Obama. The people who needed to vote for McCain stayed home! Conservatives did not have a candidate in this election. Those on the right who did vote for McCain – did so while holding their nose. They were not voting for McCain – they were exercising their only option to vote against Obama. And that was as it should have been. We can not always get a candidate that we love. We can not always get a “dream candidate” or so to say another Ronald Reagan, that my friends is not going to happen for a long time. So, where are we and what do we do? We DO vote for the lesser of the two evils if you want to call it that. In this case the lesser of the tow was very clear. But those that sat home or who made any other STUPID decision like writing in a protest vote of Elvis or a third party guy, KNEW DAMN well that they were giving their vote to Obama, if they didn’t then they were even dumber than I thought they were. An in the end conservatives that had abandoned John McCain and the Republican Party gave the White House to the Socialist Democrat Party for next last eight years.
The alternative may have been compromising but it would have saved us from Obama and that bunch of Clinton re-treads

Robert said...

Once again I am still waiting for someone to give me McCain's conservative credentials. What I find interesting, and yet disturbing, is that you have some expectation of a certain vote from conservatives without offering a conservative message. It would seem that those who have this mindset are the ones who set the stage for defeat. Had you wanted to assure conservative support, then there should have been some conservatism in McCain's platform.

American, you were almost there. Yes, McCain would have been a compromise for conservatives and his election would have prevented liberal extremism for the next four years. But then you stopped...why didn't it happen? Why didn't the GOP add millions to the voter rolls? Why weren't conservatives motivated by this election, considering the opponent's stance of liberalism?

Who said anything about conservatives voting for Obama? No one at this site. Some conservatives stayed home, and it is not "presuming" the truth. It is actually looking at the real data from the election. There was no surge in republican registrations, outside of that expected of an election cycle while the democrats added significant numbers to their rolls. The republican vote decreased by only 2%. It isn't something I presumed. Therefore, we have to ask why those 2% stayed home, and why the country voted for Obama. That is what we are trying to do here, NOT spit venom because we lost.

Greg said...

Robert - McCain has SOME conservative credentials! He's at least in favor of a strong military. I think he is a fiscal conservative. He is firmly anti-abortion, which I guess is a conservative trait. Had he been elected, I think he would have appointed strict constructionists to the SCOTUS. McCain favors free-trade.

I agree that by the time people voted on Nov. 4, Obama looked a lot like McCain. But that's because Obama copied McCain, not vice-versa. Seriously - in the primary race, Obama was anti-missile defense, anti-free trade, all abortions are awesome, anti-Patriot Act, out of Iraq now, talk to Ahmadinejad with no preconditions, etc. By Nov. 4, he had done a 180 on all of those issues (and more). And it appears not a single voter held that against him!

rockync said...

How does anyone over here on the conservative side plan on getting anything done if you don't read the post carefully and then engage in meaningful debate about the topic of said post!?!
Jennifer did a really nice, well researched post about passion and SOME of you (not the majority - I still see some thoughtful comments here - thank goodness!) determined to use the comment section for unrelated rants, dragging Robert into the mix until this whole thread is such a jumble of complaints and accusations that it is impossible to unravel!
I realize many people are angry, disappointed, feeling betrayed and cast adrift, but in-fighting isn't going to move conservatism forward. Hey, I'm a moderate who voted for Obama, but I have no desire to see the demise of the Republican party - let me rephrase that - I have no desire to see anything less than at least a two party system. I'd prefer to see political reform that allowed for multiple parties to be viable.
Back on topic then; Jennifer, this is a great post about how passion can ignite and keep alive a movement. While passion doesn't define what is "right"; after all, it gave us both Hitler and the Cisten Chapel, without passion many great ideas and accomplishments would have fizzled away.