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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Passions Ignited, But Minds Doused

It would seem that several of my comments have inflamed the passions of some, yet have doused the ability to apply critical thinking to the problems at hand. The comment threads have taken on a life of their own, and could not have missed the entire point by a further distance.

Originally, the comments began on two other blogs where I visited yesterday. To summarize, the comments dealt with how stupid conservatives were who sat home and "gave" Obama a victory. I thought "there were many conservatives who sat out the election, so let me see where this goes." Unfortunately, the critical thinking stopped there.

To take the reasoning to the next level, we must ask ourselves WHY conservatives sat home. Apathy? Laziness? Ignorance? I posit that it is none of the above. REAL conservatives worked their tails off to give Reagan a 49 state victory in 1984. So I was hoping to hear some explanation of WHY conservatives sat out this election, but it never happened.

I voted for McCain. I don't know how much more clearly I can state that. I would never sit out a major election. I don't think that anyone else should either. Regardless of the candidates, one is a better choice for the nation. I am not sure where anyone found that I said differently. I made a couple of posts inquiring down the next line of thought, and I understand why conservatives weren't motivated to vote. There was NOT a conservative candidate in the race. There was a less liberal candidate, but there was no conservative candidate.

In the comment threads here, there is little said about what conservative credentials McCain possessed, nor what he has done in the Senate to carry the conservative torch. "He is a war hero!" Of course he is. As a combat vet from a line of combat vets, few men enjoy my respect as much as John McCain. However, what the hell does that have to do with championing and leading a three quarter of a trillion dollar bailout for poorly managed companies? Do you find that a conservative approach? How about health care? "Senator Obama has a plan? Well, look at OUR plan." You find government control of healthcare to be a conservative position?

There are neither pro-Obama nor pro-liberal comments in my postings. I have no idea where anyone gets that perspective. A few points:

1) Obama wasn't defeated despite the attempt to undermine his credibility with William Ayers, his preacher, and other associations. NEWS FLASH: It didn't work. The country is turning to the left because there is no real right. This "liberal monster" didn't work in the campaign, and it won't work running up to 2010 and 1012. People really did vote for a change, they just didn't have a choice of changes to make.
2) McCain lost the election because it was poorly managed.
3) There is not a single bit of data that implies that conservatism is alive and well. For goodness sakes, SOUTHERN states turned blue, such as North Carolina. Virginia? The home of Thomas Jefferson? BLUE STATE IN 2008!
4) New voters picked Obama 80-20. Voters under 30 picked Obama 73-27.
5) Obama won the popular vote by 6.7 percentage points. Do you really believe that 9 MILLION conservatives sat out this race?
5) Not a single one of you can give me five core beliefs that McCain possesses.

When are you going to stop and ask why? It is because the GOP is not conservative and has not been for quite some time. What I see in the passion ignited here is that we at CC are not passionate because we are not all pissy about Obama. Guess what? You are right. I don't look forward to the next four years. I see disasterous things on the horizon. But we aren't going to win in 2012 by continuously pointing out that conservatives didn't vote. We are going to win if we can demand that we have true conservatism in the party. This blog will not be like every other blog out there and spend the next four years sounding like a bunch of whiney-asses because of the last election outcome. You can blog your hearts out for the next four years but guess what? Without changes to the GOP the same thing will happen again. Obama acted like a liberal. Is that a big surprise? It isn't to me. You expect the dems to roll over and play dead because we trot out a war hero? Not going to happen....Dems could care less about that, and few respect it. The demographics that the dems target don't even know what decade Vietnam occurred.

Our purpose here is to make long term changes to the GOP and to the hearts and minds of America. It is place for all the conservative voices to get their points across to each other...and to the party, so that we aren't presented with mediocre candidates any longer. The next step to defining conservatism, for the party and for America, and to determine a new paradigm is to take the thinking past "who" stayed at home and discover "why" they stayed at home.

I am not, nor have I suggested that Obama is going to do good things. What I know is that we need to prepare for the future, not languish in the past. People MUST open their minds to move forward....


The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Robert, you are correct in saying that the GOP lost manly because it is not conservative anymore.

But I think that ther are more reason as to why conservatives sat home other than losing interest in the party.

I will use the 2000 election as an example. When the MSM jumped the gun and reported that Gore had won in Florida BEFORE the polls closed in tha panhandle which is very conservative and always votes GOP, the posy election stats showed that thousands left the long lines and thousands did not even bother to vote because they were told that it was over.

I beleive the ridiculous press bias toward Obama even to thepoint of giving him the election before November 4 had a great deal to do with conservative not going to the polls. But the GOP vote was down by only about 2 % from 2004, so that does not totally contribute to the out come.

Some of the information that has come out in the last two days show that the youth vote actually gave the election to Obama. It came to 18% of the vote and actually played a significant roll in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

If the youth vote had been at the usual 5% in past elections the post election stats show that McCain won in most catagories of voters.

So one problem is educating the youth who are greatly uninformed as to what the difference is in conseratism and liberalism.

Returning the GOP to its conservative roots woll go along way in beginning that education.

Having candidates that attract youth also will help and I beleive people like Palin and Jindal as well a Mark Sanford of SC can do that.

But agaij it all falls back to getting conservatism alive and strong again as well as placing a face in it that doesn't make it look like the ideology of the elderly only!

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

BTW Robert, I personally have always enjoyed your writing! Both here and over at your place!

Don't let disagreeing comments discourage you. If that were the case I would have quit along time ago, especially when the libs hit the comment thread. LOL

Robert said...

Ken, you are spot on to the point of my comments. We serve no purpose by directing our ire at conservatives who didn't vote. It would not have made a difference, according to the actual numbers. Further, the trend is to the left because there is no REAL right educating and defining itself.

My daughter turned 18 this year and voted for the first time, for McCain. She can articulate why she did so. Unfortunately, the youth of today, as a rule, cannot do that.

Thanks for your comments, and I agree with your view. The discussion about presenting conservatism as "not your father's Oldsmobile" is exactly some of the discussion we have been having here.

Robert said...

Thanks Ken! Stand easy, I am a Marine and therefore will die before I quit.

LASunsett said...

As time passes things will become clearer, because the debate will purge the differences. That's the only way conservatives can have any hope. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Of course, some things will always have to be overlooked. Conservatism is not a monolithic entity, it's very diverse.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Education!... that should be the main and ONLY target to our sights. If we A/B the benefits to regular American from conservative applications of governance, vs those of liberal thought, and we stay positive and educate, educate and educate the next torch-bearers of our beliefs, we will have done some good.

Joe said...

10-4 Good Buddy (Does anyone say "10-4 Good Buddy any more?)

Greywolfe said...

Truth, you stole my thunder! Education is indeed the key. The educators go out of their way to downplay our forefathers and their ideas of individual responsibility. They don't teach any of the core aspects of what our country was supposed to become or why it went so far off track. Why? Simple, it's not in their best interests. I believe that by and large most 18 to 24 year old "young adults" still think with their adolescent mindset of "that's not fair, mom! Make him share!" So the youth that have not tried to make ends meet and pay a mortgage and car payments and child support and utilities, and so on and so forth just don't get what is going on when government wants to just get into our pockets more and more.

And as a last tangent, I notice truth that you have a pic of Ronald Reagan as your ID pic. That really does say it all. He won because at a time when we were sliding down a deep dark hole and Jimmy Carter had aparently gone off his anti-depressants, he stood up with a clear message, given with a clear belief in that message, and a passion for the greatness of America.

We have had nothing like that since the "Contract with America". Our so-called conservative leaders have sold us down the river time and time again. It's time to burn the lawn off and start over.