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

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Blessings of Liberty

Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. . . . But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget 'contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal.'
- NY Times columnist David Brooks, March 2, 2009

David Brooks, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, Christopher Buckley and other self-described conservatives who supported the candidacy of president Obama perplexed me. There is a nascent desire to get along and not to confront what needs to be addressed in all of us, even among those who, like Brooks, should have known better. I have discovered a more ominous threat than the desire to get along and that threat is fear, the fear that makes some receptive to vapid messages like Hope and Change. When did this happen, how did so many of us become fearful and susceptible to the irrational?

America has been a blessing to so many for so long that we have had the security to listen to revisionist history, politically correct moral equivalents and accept them as equally valid points of view, because there was no threat. We have been so removed by time and distance from the lack of liberty, that we take our own for granted. Now that our way of life is under threat and people are losing their jobs, their retirement incomes and security that we will endure, we no longer have a national understanding of the blessings of liberty. Even those whose instincts tell them that as the moderate Gerald Ford observed, that the government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have (paraphrasing), are uneasy about standing up to those who would enslave them.

Liberty from the tyranny of government and the free (non-coerced) exchange within a market economy is at the core of what defines my conservatism. I also believe that what John Adams said regarding America is true: "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." My Christian faith, which is core to my being also informs my conservatism. Some will try to characterize that faith as intolerant or impractical and focus on that but my response is that you don't know my God!

I, like Jennifer, am bowing out. I appreciate the invitation to join the fine folks here and to contribute as an author but in ordinary times our differences would be academic. I think there's consensus, even among those of us who disagree, that this is no ordinary time. As I mentioned to Jennifer, I believe I am responsible for the sharp differences and fissures that have revealed themselves here. I am unyielding and stubborn in the best of times but when I sense danger, I am intractable. It is my view that some of the ideas put forward here are decidedly not conservative in the classical liberal, modern conservative tradition. I'm not talking about the difference between Ron Paul followers with neo-cons on the war in Iraq, I'm talking about more fundamental, basic issues about ownership of production, do the producers own what they produce or does the government? I say the producers because that embodies the wisdom of our founding fathers.

I am also unrelenting in the face of a threat to me or mine and I say no to Hitler taking the Sudetenland, I mock those who pronounce "peace in our time." Analogies often fail, so let me be direct. Do I want Barack Obama to succeed with his plans? Hell to the no (forgive the ethnic expression)! I have studied this man and his words, his background and associations, his tactics and his actions, he is a lying Marxist in the Saul Alinsky tradition. My beliefs don't accommodate another view, my family is under threat from this man and his collaborators and I am locked and loaded!

God Bless you all and Good Luck!

10 comments:

Shaw Kenawe said...

CB,

I've copied your screed, especially this part:

"I have studied this man and his words, his background and associations, his tactics and his actions, he is a lying Marxist in the Saul Alinsky tradition. My beliefs don't accommodate another view, my family is under threat from this man and his collaborators and I am locked and loaded!"

The only thing I know that gets locked and loaded is a gun, and one takes up a gun when one believes his family is "under threat."

To be on the safe side, and because there is so much of this sort of hatred and threats on Pres. Obama's life on radical righwing blogs, I'm passing it along to the Secret Service.

This sounds like a threat on the president's life to me.

This isn't about shutting down free speech, either. Remember, you're not allowed to yell Fire! in a crowded public building, and Americans are not allowed to threaten the life of the president on public fora.

CB said...

LOL,

You are an idiot!

Robert said...

CB, our association was short lived on this blog but I hope it continues into the future. I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors.

And of course, you have an open invitation to post as you wish. Your access will remain unchanged.

CB said...

Thank you Robert,

I appreciate the invitation and I believe we share the same values. I'm truly sorry I made Jenn feel uncomfortable but most of my disputes were with TAO trying to pass himself off as a conservative, when there is nothing conservative about his positions. He reminds me of what Rush calls "seminar callers."

I'm convinced that we are at a crossroads, a Valley Forge or Thermopylae moment. To put it in a Navy/Marine Corp context a Midway/Guadalcanal moment, Edson's Ridge!

Semper Fi!

TAO said...

CB,

You are right CB, we are at a crossroads, because we have finally woke up and realized that we made a couple of wrong turns in the past and now we find ourselves with a financial system that is broken and we have 55 trillion dollars in credit default swaps hanging over our heads.

The leadership over the last twenty years allowed our economic system to leverage our future for their own personal gain and for political gains.

Big government allowed big business to flourish and now our country and our citizens have to pay for these sins.

I started in business 20 years ago with just myself and my wife and now I have 250 employees. In the last few weeks I have watched two mills shut down and now I am chasing fabric and I have watched two competitors drop out and fold up.

Since October I have watched as my employees, mostly women, have watched their husbands lose their jobs, or have their pay cut, their hours cut. I have watched as employees, newly married are concerned that they cannot afford to have children. I have watched as employees, with health insurance are struggling to pay medical bills, make mortgage payments, and are concerned that their kids will not be able to go to college.

These are good decent Americans. 30% of my employees have loved ones in the military. I am glad that at last years annual meeting I told them all to pull their retirement money out of stocks otherwise I would have had that disaster to deal with.

I have fought NAFTA and the competition of foreign goods since 1994 and now because mills cannot get financing and then I cannot get fabric I am having to make goods in Honduras because that is where the fabric is at.

Sorry, I do not fit the Rush Limbaugh cookie cutter definition of a conservative. But right now my employees, who the majority voted for McCain are now cheering Obama on...

The tide turned against conservatives because we did not keep our leadership on the straight and narrow. As conservatives we should have known that the leverage that our economy was built upon was not going to lead to good things in the future...but we followed and we supported the folks that said, "deficits don't matter."

We allowed conservatism to be highjacked by special interests and now those special interests are forcing us to bail them out and are forcing us to spend more money than we have ever spent before.

Whatever Obama does can easily be corrected in an election or two....what the special interests and big business and greed have done to our economy will take a generation or two to overcome.

I pay my taxes so that government leaves me the hell alone...

If you would spend more time reading what I write rather than cramming your own tranced induced slogans down your own throat you would realize that I am more of a conservative than you or Rush Limbaugh...you both are reactionary libertarians...

Blogging has been fun but it really serves no purpose...I have an extended family of 250 employees and 400 independent mom and pop retailers I have to worry about and figure out how to maneuver through this economic mess to ensure we all have a future.

So, you fight your valley forge and whatever military visions of bygone wars that you want. This is a democracy and the majority voted and thats pretty much that.

We should have cleaned this crap up the right way when we had our chance...and we didn't.

As we continue to bailout wall street, and we will way until 2010 and as we continue to lose jobs, and we will until late 2009 more and more people will expect more and more from the government....

So, enjoy your blogging CB...and while you and Rush go off and decide who is conservative enough to be conservatives you will find out that your pool of worthy candidates is getting smaller and smaller....

Before you know it you will be blogging to a very lonely audience.

Greywolfe said...

CB, I for one am of like mind in what you posted above. The sentiments you put forth are the same as those that I think and write about. Our Founders had it right, and every bad turn we've experienced in the past is because we left the course they put us on.

Please look at the post I put up yesterday and tell me if you can come up with any ideas. I would welcome your input and would welcome your ideas and wisdom.

For any others who decide to check out yesterdays post, I would greatly appreciate comments and emailed suggestions.

I hope that we haven't read the last from you, my friend.

Shaw Kenawe said...

CB said...
LOL,

You are an idiot!


LOL! You are a conservative!

TAO said...

Shaw,

Technically, CB is a reactionary libertarian who is hiding behind the conservative label.

CB said...

I am a reactionary because I recognize that government is the problem and that people are yielding to fear and willing to give up their liberty for the reassurance of a paternal state? I'm a reactionary because I have knowledge of what made America great and want to preserve it? I am a reactionary because I know it is not the government, regulation, protectionism, the courts that made this country great?

Ok, then I'm a reactionary!

TAO said...

Paternal State? People yielded to fear and were willing to sacrifice their liberty for a little more security after the 9/11 attack.

Yet, that was logical and not questioned.

When you state, "I have knowledge of what MADE America great and want to preserve it?" You are acknowledging that America is no longer great and that had nothing to do with Obama.

We cannot PRESERVE anything; its like winning a sports championship one time and then assuming greatness forever. Greatness is an never ending process...that requires work and constant effort and it requires changing to new realities.

To preserve greatness is nothing more than worshipping a trophy in a trophy case.

I love basketball and played it all my life but I am not interested in returning to the time when people shot free throws from between their legs. Thats the preserving that you are attempting.

At one time you claimed it was not the American spirit or Americans that made this country great but rather our constitution and form of government now you are claiming that it is not our government, regulation, protectionism, or the courts that made this country great...which one is it.

It actually was the checks and balances of our constitution that made our country great and it was the respect for individual achievement and a recognition that freedom, fairness, and equality were what set us apart from other countries.

What we have now is the instituionalization of competitive advantage. That is why we have lost our greatness is because free markets create monopolies and monopolies kill competition.

In time of crisis it is only natural for the citizens to look toward their government, a a representation of a group endeavor for solutions. That is what the concept of society is all about. Any other behavior could only be termed 'anti social'

While we are dealing with complex social and economic issues you want to focus on government, one leg of a three legged stool and you want to return it back a couple of hundred years...without acknowledging that our social and economic improvements over the last 200 years have made that impossible.

Thats why you are a reactionary.

You want to believe that all of our economic problems are the fault of government....which means that then all of the economic advances we made over the last 200 years were all achieved by government.

The issue from a conservative point of view is how do we recapture the qualities that made us great before and bring them to bear on the reality that is today.

You want to believe that the individual is corrupted by government, and that in a natural state of nature will become a superior upstanding individual. If that was the case then our forefathers would have had no need to form a more perfect union. Because they understood that man in a natural state of nature is neither free nor happy. The thing that our forefathers did not have to deal with is a society and economic system as complex and large as ours is today. In their days business decisions only affected the participants while today that acts of a few in some far off place can affect you and I in devastating ways.