“Conservatives” Are Single-Largest Ideological Group

 

“Conservatives” Are Single-Largest Ideological Group

Percentage of “liberals” higher this decade than in early ’90s

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ — Thus far in 2009, 40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This represents a slight increase for conservatism in the U.S. since 2008, returning it to a level last seen in 2004. The 21% calling themselves liberal is in line with findings throughout this decade, but is up from the 1990s.

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These annual figures are based on multiple national Gallup surveys conducted each year, in some cases encompassing more than 40,000 interviews. The 2009 data are based on 10 separate surveys conducted from January through May. Thus, the margins of error around each year’s figures are quite small, and changes of only two percentage points are statistically significant.

To measure political ideology, Gallup asks Americans to say whether their political views are very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal, or very liberal. As has been the case each year since 1992, very few Americans define themselves at the extremes of the political spectrum. Just 9% call themselves “very conservative” and 5% “very liberal.” The vast majority of self-described liberals and conservatives identify with the unmodified form of their chosen label.

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Party-Based Ideology

There is an important distinction in the respective ideological compositions of the Republican and Democratic Parties. While a solid majority of Republicans are on the same page — 73% call themselves conservative — Democrats are more of a mixture. The major division among Democrats is between self-defined moderates (40%) and liberals (38%). However, an additional 22% of Democrats consider themselves conservative, much higher than the 3% of Republicans identifying as liberal.

True to their nonpartisan tendencies, close to half of political independents — 45% — describe their political views as “moderate.” Among the rest, the balance of views is tilted more heavily to the right than to the left: 34% are conservative, while 20% are liberal.

Gallup trends show a slight increase since 2008 in the percentages of all three party groups calling themselves “conservative,” which accounts for the three percentage-point increase among the public at large.

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Thus far in 2009, Gallup has found an average of 36% of Americans considering themselves Democratic, 28% Republican, and 37% independent. When independents are pressed to say which party they lean toward, 51% of Americans identify as Democrats, 39% as Republicans, and only 9% as pure independents.

Ideological tendencies by leaned party affiliation are very similar to those of straight partisan groups. However, it is worth noting the views of pure independents — a group usually too small to analyze in individual surveys but potentially important in deciding elections. Exactly half of pure independents describe their views as moderate, 30% say they are conservative, and 17% liberal.

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As reported last week on Gallup.com, women are more likely than men to be Democratic in their political orientation. Along the same lines, women are more likely than men to be ideologically “moderate” and “liberal,” and less likely to be “conservative.”

Still, conservatism outweighs liberalism among both genders.

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The pattern is strikingly different on the basis of age, and this could have important political implications in the years ahead. Whereas middle-aged and older Americans lean conservative (vs. liberal) in their politics by at least 2 to 1, adults aged 18 to 29 are just as likely to say their political views are liberal (31%) as to say they are conservative (30%).

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Future Gallup analysis will look at the changes in the political ideology of different age cohorts over time, to see whether young adults in the past have started out more liberal than they wound up in their later years.

Bottom Line

Although the terms may mean different things to different people, Americans readily peg themselves, politically, into one of five categories along the conservative-to-liberal spectrum. At present, large minorities describe their views as either moderate or conservative — with conservatives the larger group — whereas only about one in five consider themselves liberal.

While these figures have shown little change over the past decade, the nation appears to be slightly more polarized than it was in the early 1990s. Compared with the 1992-1994 period, the percentage of moderates has declined from 42% to 35%, while the percentages of conservatives and liberals are up slightly — from 38% to 40% for conservatives and a larger 17% to 21% movement for liberals.

Survey Methods

Results are based on aggregated Gallup Poll surveys of approximately 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older, interviewed by telephone. Sample sizes for the annual compilations range from approximately 10,000 to approximately 40,000. For these results, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Saving the Republic

Saving the Republic

By Larrey Anderson

“What can we do to win back our country?” Conservatives are asking themselves that question — with increasing urgency — every day.  They are desperately groping for a way to stop the twin avalanches of deficit spending and socialist programs that are hurtling down and shattering the once great mountain of a free republic that was the United States of America.

Most of the conservative remedies offered to date (including mine) have been specific policy recommendations: cutting taxes, imposing term limits, or reforming entitlement programs.

 

Something is missing in these propositions. Conservatives have some good suggestions for how to fix our runaway government — but we have failed to convincingly address the issue of why the government needs to be fixed in the first place.

 

This article is all about the why.[i]  Understanding why America is America (and not some third world country) is crucial knowledge. The why of America is information that must be not only be understood by conservatives; the “why” must be promulgated and shared with all of our fellow citizens before conservatives can convince their fellow citizens the need for the “how”  — for adopting any specific conservative solutions.

 

There are three “whys” that ground America’s historical success and prosperity. They are tradition, the Constitution, and education. These three concepts are interrelated and interdependent. If one of them falls then all three fall. And, at least at this moment in time, all three are in jeopardy — not only of falling — they are in danger of being destroyed.

 

Tradition:  Private Property

 

Stated as simply as possible, America was founded on two truths. Both of these propositions were manifested in traditions that were established initially by the observation and practice of Judeo-Christian principles and then, over several centuries, were further developed under British common law. The first, and the most important tradition, was the right to private property.

 

John Locke, the British philosopher, explained the importance of the right to property as the foundation of any secure and free political regime:

 

Men, therefore, in a society having property, they have such a right to goods, which by the law of the community are theirs, that nobody hath a right to take them, or any part of them, from them without their consent; without this they have no property at all.  For I have truly no property in that which another can by right take from me when he please against my consent.  Hence it is a mistake to think that the supreme or legislative power of any commonwealth can do what it will, and dispose of the estates of the subject arbitrarily, or a take any part of them at pleasure.[ii]

 

Locke stumbled upon a fascinating political truth. The stability of any polity is directly related to the government’s ability to protect its citizens’ rights to buy, sell, own, exchange and/or keep their private property.

 

The Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, has done groundbreaking research that has proven the John Locke was correct. Professor de Soto’s monumental book, The Mystery of Capital, explains in shocking detail what happens when governments hinder, refuse to protect, or actively intervene in preventing the free exchange of private property.

 

In his review of de Soto’s great work, Thomas Sowell gives us this insight into the results of incongruous governmental meddling with private property:

 

Third World peoples “have houses but not titles, crops but not deeds, businesses but not statutes of incorporation.” Why then do they not get legal titles? Because it can be an unbelievable ordeal, especially for people with little education and in countries where red tape is virtually boundless.

 

When bureaucracy and frustrating legal systems drive economic activities underground, the losers are not simply those engaged in these activities. The whole country loses when legal property rights are not readily available because investment is stifled.

 

De Soto gives this stunning example:

 

In Egypt, the person who wants to acquire and legally register a lot on state-owned desert land must wind his way through at least 77 bureaucratic procedures at 31 public and private agencies. This can take anywhere from 5 to 14 years. To build a legal dwelling on former agricultural land would require 6 to 11 years of bureaucratic wrangling.
America, until just a few months ago, had a two hundred year tradition of protecting the free exchange of property between its citizens. One of the most important aspects of that process of exchange is called bankruptcy. If a business fails, the property or assets of that business are offered for sale to other citizens or businesses.[iii]

 

In other words, the state, in a self-governed and stable society, does not enter into the business of saving businesses.  In a free society, the government allows its citizens to “sift through” the remains of a failed enterprise and to either restart the business or to salvage whatever valuable assets remain in the failed enterprise.

 

But rather than let the market place sort out the value of the abandoned homes, the heavily mortgaged properties, and the over promised benefits that resulted from the burst of the “housing bubble,” the collapse of the auto makers, and the incompetence of the insurance industry, many Americans seem more than willing to put the federal government in charge of “solving” these problems.

 

In allowing the government to not only intervene, but actually purchase, these failed businesses and at risk assets, Americans have abandoned the most important and cherished tradition that grounds our freedom: the right to property.

 

The ultimate result of this kind of capitulation by the citizens to the state has been known for centuries. Once the government becomes involved in the actual distribution of private assets the result is always the same: corruption, ineptitude, injustice and tyranny:

 

Then the LORD said to Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, “Go to King Ahab of Samaria.  You will find him in Naboth’s vineyard, about to take possession of it.  Tell him that I, the LORD, say to him, ‘After murdering the man, are you taking over his property as well?’  Tell him that this is what I say: ‘In the very place that the dogs licked up Naboth’s blood they will lick up your blood!’[iv]

 

Read the entire story of the state’s seizure of Naboth’s property. Many citizens of Jezreel were complicit in the king’s successful attempt to kill Naboth and take his vineyard. The parallel between the biblical story of Naboth’s vineyard to our government’s current “bailouts” (rapidly turning into buyouts) is stunning.

 

Tradition: Privacy

 

I have argued at length elsewhere that the right to privacy can only exist in tandem with, as an addendum to, and as a corollary of the right of property. Put as simply as possible — privacy takes place. And it must have a private setting in order to take place. As I have demonstrated, the venue, that is both sufficient and necessary for the existence of the right of privacy, is the right (and the sustained existence) of private property.[v]

 

When people loose their right to property they loose, and they loose it quickly, the right to privacy. We have witnessed, in the last few weeks, dramatic examples of this fundamental political truth.

 

Within weeks of “bailing out” AIG both state and federal governments demanded the release of the names of the employees who worked for AIG who had signed bonus contracts.

 

AIG employees’ lives were threatened and “concerned citizens” picketed some AIG executives’ homes.

 

Within weeks of receiving financial aid from the federal government, the Chairman of General Motors was forced to resign by President Obama. The right of the shareholders to hire and fire the head of the company that they own is an example of the right of privacy that stems from the right to property. (A contract is a private agreement between the owners of the company and their employee — the CEO.)[vi]

 

These are but two examples (there are others) of losses of the right to privacy that have occurred within months of the passage of the first TARP bailout and since President Bush’s infamous declaration, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

 

Abandoning free market principles does far more than increase the federal deficit. Abandoning the free market not only devastates free markets … it destroys freedom.

 

The Constitution

 

Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the twin principles of the right to property and the right to privacy. In fact they knew that the two concepts were inseparable:

 

Government is instituted no less for protection of property, than of the persons, of individuals.  The one as well as the other, therefore, may be considered as represented by those who are charged with the government.[vii]

 

If the government protects the right to property, it protects the persons and their rights to privacy within their property (their homes and their businesses.)

 

The Constitution was specifically written to limit the power of the federal government and to protect the citizens’ rights to property and to privacy.

 

For example, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution specifically itemizes the power of Congress. In fact, that’s the name of Article I, Section 8: “The Powers of Congress.”

 

So how many powers does the Congress have and what are they? You can read them here.  There are less than 20 powers and the particular capacities of Congress are fully enumerated in less than 500 words.

 

That’s it — at least according to the Constitution that’s it. No mention in Section 8 of buying up auto companies, or bailing out banks, or providing medical services, or spending money on schools, or windmills, or building bike paths or … well, the list of what Congress has done, compared to the list of what Congress is allowed to do in the Constitution is almost endless.

 

So who has the power to do all of the things that Congress now does — powers that are NOT specifically listed in the Constitution? You do. And I do. And, to a certain extent, so do the individual states and local governments in the United States.

 

To emphasize and to make it perfectly clear that the new federal government was a limited government intended primarily to protect the property and the persons of the new nation, the Founders added a list of ten amendments that we call “The Bill of Rights.”

 

Of particular interest in our discussion are the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.  Here is what the Ninth Amendment says:

 

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

 

The list of rights granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8 (the enumerated rights of the Congress) contains all of the “Powers of Congress” granted under the Constitution.

 

If any particular right is not granted to the Congress in Article I, Section 8, then that right belongs to you and me. We, the people, retain all of the rights that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

 

In order to make the Ninth Amendment absolutely explicit, the Founders added the Tenth Amendment. I like to call the Tenth Amendment the “And We Really, Really Mean It” amendment. Here is what it says:

 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

The Founding Fathers really, really did mean it.

 

Education

 

America is founded on the right to property and the accompanying and complimentary right to privacy. Our Constitution was written to protect these two most precious forms of freedom  — the joint liberties from which all other rights and human dignities flow. These are the two simple truths that, for more than two hundred years, made America the most powerful and prosperous nation on the face of the earth.

 

We have failed as a nation to teach the majority of at least the last two generations of our citizens these fundamental truths. This is why we a loosing our republic. The Founders warned time and time again that they had given us a free republic “if you can keep it.”[viii]

 

The first step conservatives must take to preserve our republic is to understand the importance of these truths and to teach them to our children, our friends, and, yes, even to our political opponents.

 

Start with our children. Millions of Americans study the scriptures with their children — some on a daily basis. How many of these same Americans study the Constitution with their offsrping? The Bible and its message are available in almost every country in the world (including autocracies like Cuba and Venezuela). But God blessed only America with the Bible and with our majestic Constitution.

 

My advice for the millions of religious conservatives in America: read your kids the Bible and the Ten Commandments but don’t neglect reading them The Constitution and the Ten Amendments.

 

There are some great resources available for teaching our children the history of the founding of America. National radio talk show host Mike Church has produced an entertaining series of recordings on compact disc that tell the story of the struggle for independence and the founding of America. The series includes The Road to Independence and The Fame of Our Fathers.

 

These fascinating, and historically accurate, CDs are a must for home school history classes. Children who attend public schools would greatly benefit listening to these CDs. New citizens, or adult Americans who don’t know much about early American history, will enjoy them as well.[ix]

 

Take the time to sit down with your like-minded friends and study the Constitution. Are you in a book club? Insist that the Federalist Papers be included on the reading list.

 

Learn the Constitution. Understand the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. In an argument with any one on the far left, being able to refer to specific sections of the greatest political document ever written is the most effective debating tool you can possess. Be able to show them that the Constitution is all that stands between their inalienable rights to property and privacy … and tyranny.

 

Larrey Anderson is a writer, a philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. His latest award-winning novel is The Order of the Beloved. His memoir, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market, has just been released.


[i] My suggestions in this article for solving the current crisis in our republic are very simple and straightforward. But the principles behind these ideas are not so simple. My proposals are based on philosophical premises that I have published over the last several months here on American Thinker. I suggest that the reader review these articles before considering the manifesto that follows: (1) Privacy and Property Rights; (2) The Myth of Relativism and the Cult of Tolerance; and (3) Intellectuals and Philosophy vs. Conservatives and Tradition.

 

[ii] Second Treatise, Section 138.

 

[iii] The state’s role in the redistribution of the assets of a failed enterprise is fair and just judicial oversight of the sale of the remaining holdings. It is also important to realize that a corporation is a legal fiction created to be able to allow a business to act as a single “person” to buy and sell property, to provide goods and services, and to enter into the contractual obligations to do so.

 

[iv] I Kings 21: 17-19. See also Exodus 22:1-4.

 

[v] Here was the summation of that argument: “Whenever the state restricts a private activity, thus limiting the activity to a specific site, if there is no private property (no specific site) then there is no place in which that activity can occur.  Prisons are not private.”

 

[vi] See note 3. The traditional (and constitutional) role of government in contract law is to act as a referee (once again through the judiciary) when one side or the other fails to keep its part of the contractual agreement.

 

[vii] The Federalist, Number 54.

 

[viii] The Federalist, Number 10 outlines the need for continuing education and the frailty of a free republic to be captured by “factions.”

 

[ix] Professional actors read from the actual historical letters and documents. The CDs were recorded with convincing sound effects and a stunning musical score.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/04/saving_the_republic.html at April 17, 2009 – 10:51:12 AM EDT

We Need Something Stronger than Steele

We Need Something Stronger than Steele

By Selwyn Duke

Most of us place politicians down at the level of used-car salesmen, personal injury lawyers and Hollywood actors.  In fact, they’re much like actors, only their acting is generally a bit better.  But we tend to miss the point about our leaders.  The problem with politicians is that they’re trying to please us.

Mind you, I don’t mean they’re trying to please those of us who read and render commentary. They don’t have to worry about us fringe types – we don’t really command many votes.  We’re like a pesky fly they can’t quite swat (although they’re trying to with measures such as the Fairness Doctrine).  My point is that if they were trying to please God, they would be godly men.  But as the great Alan Keyes has proven, that doesn’t tend to win elections.  So the successful ones try to please the masses, but this doesn’t make them massive men.  It makes them minor men.
A case in point is Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who recently proved his Lilliputian status in a now notorious GQ interview, one showing that the best way to get a politician to change positions is to change his audience.  And the problem wasn’t confined to just what has drawn him the most criticism: Abortion.  But let’s start with that.  Here is the portion of the interview dealing with it:
Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.
You do?
Yeah. Absolutely.
That’s pretty clear, right?  Well, this is perhaps where Steele said to himself, “Oops!  Did I really say that?”  So, after opining that Roe v. Wade should be overturned for constitutional reasons, here is what transpired:
Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.”
Is this what you call a “save”?  Women have the choice to opt for abortion because they can vote along with the men in their states on the matter’s legality?  So now Steele can go to leftists and claim he has said that abortion is “absolutely” an “individual choice.”  He can talk to traditionalists and say that he has touted states’ right to settle the issue.  He’s pro-choice.  He’s pro-life.  He’s pro-states’ rights.  He’s pro-whatever you want him to be.  He’s for everything and against nothing.
Given how Steele has also stated that Republicans needed a hip-hop strategy, interviewer Lisa Depaulo also asked him about rap music.  And after saying he enjoyed P. Diddy quite a bit, he said,
“I guess I’m sorta old-school that way. Remember, I came of age with the DJ and all this other stuff, so I’m also loving Grandmaster Flash, and that’s not hip-hop, but… Um, you know, I like Chuck D. And I always thought Snoop Dogg was-he just reminded me of the fellas back home. So I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed him.”
But then Steele said he also liked “Bing Crosby, Sinatra, [and] Dean Martin.”  Hey, you wouldn’t want to offend any musically-inclined constituency.  And reiterating his old-school passions, he continued, “I’m a big Pack Rat.  I love the Pack Rats from the 1950s . . . .”  Depaulo corrected him and pointed out that the proper name was the “Rat Pack.”  He’s a great fan, though.
Now, since I guard my tongue, I’ll characterize hip-hop simply by saying it’s cultural trash.  Of course, if I were a hip-hop aficionado, I’d use a different word (I also wouldn’t know the term “aficionado”). I’ll also say that an affinity for hip-hop indicates greatly corrupted judgment and taste, and I’d like leaders who operate on a slightly higher cultural plane.  Then again, it’s also possible that Steele doesn’t really listen to the Pack Rats or the Rap Rodents and was just being a pandering possum.  Perhaps it’s like Hillary Clinton’s statement when running for the Senate in New York, “I’ve always been a Yankees fan.”  No, Hillary (and Steele), actually, you’ve always been a ceiling fan – you specialize in spin.
As for the GOP’s political fortunes, if your only concern is getting people in office with “R’s” after their names, slouching commensurately with the culture certainly helps.  But leave me out of it.  My primary concern is spreading Truth, not spreading R’s.  For if a political movement is to do any good at all, it must represent and extol virtue.  And, for such a movement to succeed, it has only one viable option: Address problems on a cultural level and raise people up morally so that they’ll be receptive to the message (this is why I’ve written so much about the culture).  Trying to present a package of virtue in a wrapping of vice won’t work.
Then Steele said, “And some call them [rappers] urban terrorists, which I think is an offensive term.”  Really?  I find it offensive that he thinks validly labeling cultural terrorists is offensive.  He went on to say,
“But you know, they miss the point of what hip-hop is. Hip-hop is about economic empowerment. You’re talking about a generation of men from, you know, P. Diddy to Russell Simmons and the like who have created empire from their talent.”
Uh, yes, so have the Mexican drug cartels.  So have Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner (note that pornography is among the most lucrative of rackets).  These are empires of sin, and it’s no secret that vice sells better than virtue.  But is this to be congratulated?  Does it profit a nation to gain the world but to lose its soul, Mr. Steele?
Following up on this topic of “minority outreach,” there was this exchange,
Why do you think so few nonwhite Americans support the Republican Party right now?
Cause we have offered them nothing! And the impression we’ve created is that we don’t give a damn about them or we just outright don’t like them.”
Wrong.  The leftist media have given minorities this impression of the party of Lincoln and abolitionism while casting the party of George Wallace in a positive light.  Steele went on to say,
“I think the way we’ve talked about immigration, the way we’ve talked about some of the issues that are important to African-Americans, like affirmative action… I mean, you know, having an absolute holier-than-thou attitude about something that’s important to a particular community doesn’t engender confidence in your leadership by that community.”
So what is the strategy?  Are we supposed to say, “Look, we were wrong to be right, but here’s why we’re right”?  Are we supposed to embrace open-border policy and affirmative action?  Should we compromise our principles just a bit and offer them an affirmative fraction?
I’m also sick and tired of how conservatives have been cowed into being apologetic.  Who has this “holier-than-thou attitude,” Mr. Steele?  All I see are pandering Republicans such as you.
But this is another example of entertaining corruption.  Securing our borders is a matter of upholding the rule of law, maintaining cultural cohesiveness and public safety.  And opposing affirmative action stems from a desire to be fair and to avoid facilitating irresponsibility and mediocrity.  If people won’t accept this, the remedy is not to lower the principles but elevate the people and make them worthy of the principles.
Steele also played the race card in the interview, saying,
“There are people in this country right now who would look at Barack Obama and still refer to him as ‘boy.’ Period.”
Who would these people be, Mr. Steele?  When was the last time you actually experienced such a thing?  Now, if you mean that someone somewhere in this nation of 300 million people may be so inclined, perhaps, but insignificant fringes don’t warrant mention.  It has been estimated that we have about 100 active serial killers in the country, too, but it would be silly to speak of them as if they’re a political and cultural force.
The interview touched on education as well, and Steele made this comment,
“. . . there’s a black kid who just left a public-school system in which he’s using a ten-year-old book in a classroom that barely has lights, and he’s getting a poor education.”
Yes, he is getting a poor education, but it has nothing to do with lights or books.  It’s a function of a spirit of permissiveness, relativism and corruption that besets our whole culture, leaving schools and families bereft of Truth, love and discipline.
Steele is right about the problem of using a 10-year-old book, however.  Students would be better off using 60-year-old books.  Then they would be exposed to more Truth and less politically-correct social engineering.
If I were a standard commentator, I would now emphasize that Steele is a sub-standard politician.  But the truth is that he is quite standard.  He isn’t evil; he isn’t even Machiavellian.  He’s just an example of what political parties tend to produce: Men of our time.  But what we need are men of the timeless.  Only people who aren’t slaves of their age, and thus can penetrate the veneer of lies obscuring the Truth today, can transform the culture.
And “culture” is the word.  When I say “We Need Something Stronger than Steele,” the “we” doesn’t refer to Republicans, as salvation doesn’t lie in the political realm.  I don’t even mean conservatives.  I mean that we need spiritual and cultural revolutionaries.
As I’ve written before, unless we can take the cultural reins and stop the leftward drift, all is for naught, as the political just reflects the cultural.  And the liberals understand this.  They’ve altered the culture not through the Democrat Party as much as through academia, the media and entertainment.
But effecting such substantive change isn’t easy, and it explains why the chairman of the Republican Party would talk like a 1980s Democrat.  That is to say, politicians pander because it’s easier to change positions than hearts.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/we_need_something_stronger_tha.html at March 18, 2009 – 12:42:20 PM EDT

The Little Mr. Conservative A Glimpse At Our Future

The Little Mr. Conservative

Duluth, Ga.

SITTING in the back seat of his mother’s van as she drives through Atlanta suburbs, Jonathan Krohn is about to sign off with a conservative radio talk show host in Florida. In the 40 minutes he’s been on the air, with the help of his mother’s cellphone, this hyper-articulate Georgia eighth grader has attacked the stimulus bill, identified leaders he thinks will salvage the Republican Party’s image, and assessed the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The show’s host chuckles and asks whether President Obama has called Jonathan “a little fascist.”

“The president hasn’t come after me yet,” Jonathan says chummily, “but we’ve had other people come after me!”

“Jonathan!” his mother hisses from the driver’s seat.

The interview concluded, Jonathan wistfully handed his mother her cellphone. His parents still won’t let him have one, even though he turned 14 last Sunday, right after he became an instant news media darling and the conservative movement’s underage graybeard at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

The annual convention brings in the movement’s grand old lions, like Rush Limbaugh, as well as cubs to rally 8,500 of the faithful, who were shaken by the election of Barack Obama. Jonathan, a slight, home-schooled only child whose teeth are in braces, is so passionate about his beliefs that he spent his summer writing “Define Conservatism,” an 86-page book outlining what he says are its core values. In January, he contacted CPAC organizers, asking to speak there.

With some skepticism, they gave him a spot on a Friday panel of grassroots activists. But Jonathan, an experienced child actor, rocked the house with a three-minute speech, which was remarkable not so much for what he said, but his electrifying delivery. The speech was part pep talk, part book promotion. By Saturday morning, an archdeacon of the movement was saying, “I’m Bill Bennett: I used to work for Ronald Reagan and now I’m a colleague of Jonathan Krohn’s!”

As video of the speech coursed through the Internet, radio talk show hosts and television reporters at the conference sought him eagerly.

In less than a week, Jonathan appeared on “Fox and Friends” and CNN, and broadcast network anchors requested interviews. He has lost count of the number of radio shows he has spoken on. Though his family has received hate mail, accusing them of brainwashing their son, a Jonathan Krohn fan club has sprung up on Facebook. High honors: Jon Stewart has already poked fun at him.

And the invitations have only snowballed since the family returned to their modest house in a subdivision here.

Why just that morning, his mother, Marla Krohn, marveled, a staff member for a potential candidate for Georgia governor asked for a meeting with Jonathan. In her gentle drawl, Mrs. Krohn said cautiously, “I’m not sure I’m a supporter of his.”

“Neither am I,” Jonathan piped in.

“But I’m a voter,” Mrs. Krohn reminded him firmly.

Jonathan retorted, “Now that I’m a political pundit, I have the ability to influence people. I have to think about it!”

But first, his mother reminded him, he had some homework to finish.

He’s an unusual kid with an unusual background. Jonathan’s parents, Doug, a computer systems integrator, and Marla, a sales representative and former actress who teaches drama and speech to middle-school students, have been home-schooling their bright, curious son since the sixth grade. On Fridays, Jonathan joins 10 middle-school students at the Classical School in Woodstock, where classes are taught from a Christian perspective, for five hours of study, including Latin. They have two 10-minute recesses for tag, said Jonathan’s teacher, Stephen P. Gilchrist. Lunch is eaten at their desks while they work.

“Other children his age are not quite sure how to take him,” Mr. Gilchrist said. “Jonathan is so intense, so verbal and a strong personality. But as they get to know him, they respect him for what he is. And he is tons of fun.”

Jonathan’s father oversees his math; he studies Arabic with a tutor.

“Before I got into politics,” Jonathan said as he sat with his parents in the study of their home, “I wanted to be a missionary to people in the Middle East. I thought it would be better to speak with them in their own language.” The family are active members of Peachtree Corners Baptist Church in Norcross, Ga.

That was several careers ago. But he is sticking with Arabic, because, “it’s important to talk with our allies in their language.”

Although the Krohns are conservative, they say Jonathan’s passion for politics is largely his. “Politics bore me,” his mother said flatly. “I’ve learned a lot from Jonathan about the candidates I’ve voted for.” Doug Krohn said he listened to talk radio, but with his Iowa-born soft-sell manner, he’s hardly the pontificating firebrand his son is.

Jonathan said he became a political enthusiast at 8, after hearing about a Democratic filibuster on judicial nominations. “I thought, ‘Who goes to work saying, ‘I’m going to filibuster today?’ ” he said.

Mr. Krohn, looking bleary-eyed by recent events, muttered, “And now he can filibuster with the best of them.”

Jonathan would wake up at 6 a.m. to listen to Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” show and became riveted by politics and American history. Soon, Mr. Bennett, whom Jonathan now describes as, “my mentor and very good friend,” was taking Jonathan’s calls.

“Jonathan was an extraordinary boy, very special,” Mr. Bennett said, in a phone interview. “He wowed my audience, he wowed me. He’s very engaging and learned. He’s got staying power.”

Last spring, as the presidential campaign was in full roar, Jonathan decided the term conservatism was so misused that he needed to write a book explaining it. He received a computer from his maternal grandfather for his 13th birthday. “In the Jewish culture in which my mom was raised, 13 is a big deal,” he said. “But since I’m a Jewish Christian, I don’t do a bar mitzvah.” (Decades ago, his mother became a Baptist.)

Although the family said they hired an editor to go over grammar, Jonathan, they said, wrote the book himself. “My mom would get tough,” Jonathan said. “She’d say, ‘If you don’t stop writing now and go outside and get some exercise, I won’t let you finish this book!’ ”

The family said Jonathan paid to have the book published with his own savings, earned from writing and performing on a syndicated radio Bible show for children.

His father made a spreadsheet of their contacts for publicity, and then Jonathan went to work, glad-handing. He already had developed poise, as he put it, “during the 20 or 30 productions I was in during my acting career” — he’d performed in Christian Youth Theater plays and regional shows.

Jonathan apologetically described the book as a “first effort.” The second edition, he said, will have less about Thomas Jefferson and more about Alexander Hamilton and James Monroe.

But as Lisa De Pasquale, director of CPAC, noted, he is still a kid.

“He seems to at least have a historical perspective,” she said. “But at 13, there’s not a lot of life experience yet. But as he attends more conferences, he’ll have more ammunition and education, and see that there are more than black and white viewpoints.”

Jonathan also sees room for improvement: “I have good voice inflection, that’s why I’m good on radio,” he said “But on TV, I look too big because I move my hands around a lot.”

He still has the zeal of a missionary. His voice rising to a wobbly squeak, he grabs any opening to press the cause. “Barack Obama is the most left-wing president in my lifetime,” he said.

Mr. Krohn buried his face in his hands. “Oh, Jonathan,” he sighed.

Getting Conservatism Back on Track

Getting the GOP Back in the Game

Getting the GOP Back in the Game

Posted By Jennifer Rubin On December 3, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, . Positioning, Elections 2008, Money, Politics, US News | 12 Comments

Republicans took a beating on Election Day.

[1] They lost the White House and more than twenty House seats. They came within a whisker of seeing the Democrats achieve a filibuster-proof majority of sixty seats in the Senate – rescued only yesterday by the victory of Sen. Saxby Chambliss in the Georgia run-off election.

They have some work ahead of them which will set their course for the next couple of years and determine whether they can emerge from the political wilderness.

First, they must choose a party chairman from a [2] flock of candidates. None of the candidates has a sterling record and each presents considerable liabilities. But some are more problematic than others. Katon Dawson has been a successful state party chairman in South Carolina but his twelve-year membership in [3] an all-white country club would be a public relations nightmare for a party already struggling with minorities. Some are already sending up warning flares. A national committeewoman who is supportive of Dawson [4] concedes, “I think there are some members of the committee who would find it intolerable.” And to boot, the club has also excluded Jews, although it did extend an “honorary membership” in the 1980s to the commander at [5] Fort Jackson, Maj. Gen. Robert Solomon. Just what the party needs: a chairman who belonged to a club with a “whites only” deed which snubbed Jews and blacks.

Alternatively, the RNC may look to Michael Steele, a charismatic and effective spokesman but light on a record of organizational success. Then there are John Yob and Saul Anuzis, who hail from Michigan, where the Republican Party has fallen off the map, despite the opportunity to make headway against tax-and-spend liberal Democrats in the midst of a recession. And Chip Saltzman, former chair of the Arkansas state party, may be too inexperienced on the national stage and too closely identified with a potential 2012 contender, Mike Huckabee. The latter liability hobbles Jim Greer, who leads the Florida party and is allied with Charlie Crist, although Greer alone seems to have a track record of outreach and electoral success — skills the party badly needs.

In short, the RNC must choose wisely. The watchword here may be: choose the candidate least likely to embarrass Republicans.

The real action for Republicans will be in Washington, where four immediate challenges confront Republicans. Greatly reduced in numbers, they nevertheless have the opportunity to revive the base and improve their image with voters.

The most immediate issue is the auto bailout. Democrats will be pressing for billions more in taxpayer money for an industry that has failed to make needed reforms — or cars people want to buy — and has to date not demonstrated the capacity to align its cost structure with non-union domestic auto producers. Republicans would do well to hold firm and stand up for taxpayers, whose salaries and benefit packages pale in comparison to those of the auto workers. One [6] economics professor put it in context:

A recent study by Mark J. Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan-Flint, shows that the hourly compensation cost, including benefits, for the Big Three automakers in Detroit for 2007-2008 is $73.20 per hour, compared with $48 at Toyota.

In goods-producing industries in the United States, reports Perry, the average hourly compensation cost, including benefits, is $31.59. For management and professional employees in the U.S., the average hourly cost, with benefits, is $47.57. For all workers, the average hourly wage/benefit cost is $28.48 per hour.

Asks Perry: “Should U.S. taxpayers really be providing billions of dollars to bailout companies (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) that compensate their workers 52.5 percent more than the market (Toyota wages and benefits), 54 percent more than management and professional workers, 132 percent more than the average manufacturing wage, and 157 percent more than the average compensation of all American workers?”

Republicans can begin to regain their reputation as guardians of the taxpayers and smart stewards of the economy by following Nancy Reagan’s advice: just say no.

Next up for the Republicans is the sure-to-be-massive Democratic stimulus plan. Based on the faulty memory that the New Deal lifted us out of the Great Depression, the Democratic spending plan will hike the deficit up over a trillion dollars. There are a couple of glaring problems.

First, it’s a game plan that [7] hasn’t worked in the past. As [8] Larry Kudlow put it, “government cannot spend our way into prosperity.”

Second, China’s economy may be grinding to a halt and no longer be the financier for American debt. That means the [6] gravy train may come to an end:

The total national debt, the accumulation of all the annual federal deficits over the nation’s entire history, stood at $5.7 trillion on the day that George W. Bush took office. We’re almost double that now, adding nearly as much red ink in eight years as the nation accumulated in the previous two centuries. And that’s not counting the snowballing trillions in corporate bailouts, already at more than $7 trillion. That’s $23,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. Also uncounted in the aforementioned debt numbers are the trillions the government has collected and owes in the Social Security and Medicare “trust funds.” The government doesn’t have a dime of that money. It’s all been spent for things like that needless $500 million tunnel under the Allegheny. Unfortunately, the whole thing collapses if China doesn’t keep lending us the money.

So once again it is up to the Republicans to be the fiscal grown-ups. They would do well to focus the public on these unpleasant realities and to offer an alternative of pro-growth policies beginning with a program of domestic energy development and significant tax cuts to promote investment and job expansion. [9] Republican Minority Leader John Boehner has begun to suggest just such an approach.

Likewise, Governors Rick Perry and Mark Sanford sounded the alarm in an [10] op-ed — warning about the rising mountain of debt and cautioning against a “bailout mentality”:

To an unprecedented degree, government is currently picking winners and losers in the private marketplace, and throwing good money after bad. A prudent investor takes money from low-yield investments and puts them in those that yield better returns. Recent government intervention is doing the opposite — taking capital generated from productive activities and throwing it at enterprises that in many cases need to reorganize their business model.

Their solution: “improving ’soil conditions’ for businesses by cutting taxes, reforming our legal system, and our workers’ compensation system. We’d humbly suggest that Congress take a page from those playbooks by focusing on targeted tax relief paid for by cutting spending, not by borrowing.”

Next up on the agenda for Republicans are two political fights, ones they should welcome.

Senator Norm Coleman appears to have eked out a narrow win in Minnesota, leading with over 300 votes and more than 90% of the ballots recounted. Nevertheless, his opponent Al Franken is [11] threatening to go to the Senate, where the Democrats could vote to seat him, despite his electoral loss, on the notion that absentee ballots rejected by the state canvassing board should have be tallied. Republicans should pull out all the stops and shut down the Senate if needed to preserve the right of Minnesota voters to decide, however narrowly, their senator. This is a fight which Republicans should welcome and which would expose the other side as anti-democratic thugs.

The other political fight deserving of their energies is the nomination of Eric Holder. [12] We, along with [13] others, have recounted his [14] problematic role in not only the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich but of the FALN terrorists — not to mention the Elian Gonzales affair. Republicans need look no further than liberal columnist [15] Richard Cohen for their rationale for opposing Holder:

As noted, any person is entitled to make a mistake. But no one is entitled to be attorney general. That’s a post that ought to be reserved for a lawyer who appreciates that while he reports to the president, he serves the people. This dual obligation was beyond the ken of George W. Bush’s attorney general once removed, Alberto Gonzales, whose idea of telling truth to power came down to saying “Yes, sir. Yes, sir.” On Guantanamo, domestic spying, and Bush’s “l’État c’est moi” view of the presidency, Gonzales was a cipher, and the damage of his tenure still needs to be repaired.

Holder was involved, passively or not, in just the sort of inside-the-Beltway influence peddling that Barack Obama was elected to end. He is not one of Obama’s loathed lobbyists; he was merely their instrument — a good man, certainly, who just as certainly did a bad thing. Maybe he deserves an administration job, just not the one he’s getting.

Even if they are not successful, it does Republicans good to stand up for the rule of law — rather than rule by cronies — and force the Democrats to defend one of the worst players from the Clinton era.

All of this should be plenty to occupy Republicans’ time. It is not easy, but it is essential to find competent leaders, defend sound economic principles, and engage in some hand-to-hand political combat. These are the first and altogether necessary steps back from political oblivion. If they demur from these fights their political troubles will only worsen.

A Wake-Up Call to Conservatives

A Wake-Up Call to Conservatives

Posted By John Hawkins On November 25, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, Conservatism 2.0, Elections 2008, Media, Politics, US News | 21 Comments

Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

The corollary to that statement here in the United States could be, “All that was necessary for the Democrats to triumph was for conservatives to do nothing.”

It’s fashionable to blame George W. Bush, the Republicans in Congress, and the out of touch, inside-the-beltway pundits for the ascendancy of Barack Obama and the left — and they certainly deserve the largest portion of the blame.

However, it’s worth taking the time to ask: what responsibility does the conservative movement — you, me, and all our conservative friends — have for this disaster?

Quite a bit actually.

We were too slow to challenge Republicans in D.C., including George Bush, when they veered from a conservative course. Yes, we complained, but not loudly enough and too late in the game.

We were also too complacent and too willing to stand pat on an out of date agenda. Consider the irony, for example, of conservatives using an income tax cut as a primary selling point for our domestic agenda when more than a third of the American public doesn’t pay income tax.

Along the same lines, we’ve been too content to advocate policies like the Fair Tax that couldn’t be gotten through Congress, or to merely poke holes in the Democratic agenda on issues like socialized medicine without truly pushing viable alternatives.

That’s not to say that there are no alternatives; giving a tax break to individuals instead of companies would cover far more people, would reduce health care costs, and would allow people to keep their health care when they lose their jobs. But most conservatives have little interest in pushing these sort of ideas.

However, the greatest flaw conservatives have is that when we get frustrated with the performance of the Republican Party, we have a tendency to pick up our ball and go home. “Well, if they do that, then I’m not giving any money, I’m not helping any campaigns this year, and I’m not voting.”

Do you know why Western societies, including ours, seem to always go leftward, despite the fact that liberal policies don’t work?

Do you know why the culture seems to descend further into the sewer, no matter who’s in charge? Do you know why government always seems to grow, no matter who’s running the show, Republican or Democrat?

It’s because the liberals don’t take their ball and go home.

Oh, they pout, they complain, and we laugh at how ineffective they are when they go out in the streets with their silly giant puppet heads and their “Free Mumia” signs. But, they are dedicated to changing this country in a way that the average conservative isn’t.

There are liberals who go to college, get a journalism degree, and work their way up through the ranks for years — somewhere like the New York Times — all so that they can be in a position to effect change (in their case, slant stories in order to help causes and candidates they care about). Meanwhile, a conservative won’t even cancel his subscription to the paper even when it becomes apparent that it’s nothing more than an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party.

Or a liberal will go to college and become a teacher primarily so that he can effect change — and be in a position to feed their point of view to young minds, who will then vote for his side down the road. A conservative usually won’t even bother to pick up the phone and complain when his five-year-old is told to read Heather Has Two Mommies.

What it all comes down to is that in the end, 10 men with passion will accomplish far more than 500 men who believe, but do so without zeal. In a nutshell, that’s the real problem of the conservative movement.

People keep asking, “When’s the next Reagan going to come along?”

Here’s the thing: Reagan was a great man, but he would have been nothing if he hadn’t been carried on the shoulders of a vibrant conservative movement. If “another Reagan” came along today, he would fail because most conservatives are too busy pouting, throwing rocks at each other, kowtowing to the Democrats, and investing their time in forever hapless third parties to give a real conservative leader the support he — or she — would need to win.

The current reality is most conservatives won’t contribute their time or money to candidates and organizations that they like. Most bloggers and talk radio hosts, if given a choice between having their favorite candidate lose or asking their audience to give them money, would prefer to see them lose. Many people complain about the Republican Party — but, how many people are willing to join up locally and try to change the organization from inside? Not many. People would rather sit and complain than get involved and actually make a difference.

Well, all I can say to the pouting right is that if you think something needs to be done to change the Republican Party and the country, don’t wait for a leader to come along; get out and be a leader. Do something. And if you can’t do something, then at least support the conservatives who are out there trying to do something. It’s like [1] Ted Nugent said:

I stand up and I take the bullets because my name is Davy Crockett. This is the wall of the Alamo. If you can’t shoot Santa Anna’s men, shut up and load my gun.

Whether it’s Ted Nugent, [2] Slatecard, [3] NumbersUSA, [4] Club for Growth, [5] Team America PAC, or your favorite [6] politician, [7] blogger, or [8] talk radio host, load their guns by clicking on their ads, calling your elected officials when they ask you to, or giving them the money they need to fight for your interests.

In case the 2008 election didn’t send the message — doing nothing is not enough.

Land of the Free

Land of the Free

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, Whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless the President, the Vice President, and all the constituted officers of government of this land. May they execute their responsibilities with intelligence, honor and compassion. And may these United States continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave

A Personal Note Thanks for your support

http://wordpress.com/features/

Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian

·         Blog Stats

o    500,520 hits

Today my blog passed the 500,000 mark. In January of 2005 I was blogging with Blogger from Google. I experienced some censoring. I had been blogging for about a year and I had 300 – 400 hits, this included my connections. I did a web search and found WordPress and signed up for the free blog. If I paid a $1000 a month I couldn’t get any better service. They connect you to the Technocrati search engine, WOW that works great, I do searches for info and many times my blogs shows up. WordPress reports real hits none of my connections. I have a choice of formats and can modify these to get a great looking blog (which I can change anytime I want).The tech. service is outstanding the few problems I have had were resolved quickly. I have control over the comments people make and I can check where the source of the message. The statistics they provide are mind boggling and extremely useful. If you ever decide to blog there’s no better choice, I now have two blogs on WordPress. You can have as many as you want.

Bud

A Personal Note Thanks For Your Support

http://wordpress.com/features/

Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian

·         Blog Stats

o    500,520 hits

Today my blog passed the 500,000 mark. In January of 2005 I was blogging with Blogger from Google. I experienced some censoring. I had been blogging for about a year and I had 300 – 400 hits, this included my connections. I did a web search and found WordPress and signed up for the free blog. If I paid a $1000 a month I couldn’t get any better service. They connect you to the Technocrati search engine, WOW that works great, I do searches for info and many times my blogs shows up. Woordpress reports real hits none of my connections. I have a choice of formats and can modify these to get a great looking blog (which I can change anytime I want).The tech. service is outstanding the few problems I have had were resolved quickly. I have control over the comments people make and I can check where they source if the message. The statistics they provide are mind boggling and extremely useful. If you ever decide to blog there’s no better choice, I now have two blogs on WordPress. You can have as many as you want.

Bud