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Steve Deace & Todd Erzen – Why I have hope for California

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On yesterday’s episode of the Steve Deace Show on CRTV, during the buy, sell or hold segment, my question of will a conservative win a statewide office by 2022 in California was asked and answered. Everyone on the panel took the sell position, or as the great prophet Steve Deace would say, “hells to the no.” Todd Erzen wanted to know what I was drinking because it sounds pretty good. Well, sorry to break the news to you Todd, I was drinking coffee.

Steve also asked what the heck does conservative mean anyways. Steve here is a piece I wrote that examines the foundational differences between conservatism and libertarianism. This article might help answer your question.

So going back to the question at hand, not counting U.S. Senate seats there are eight statewide seats up for grabs in 2018 and those eight will be back up in 2022. So do I believe a genuine conservative will win any of these eight seats? Very unlikely, but not impossible. My question was in the hopes it would be asked and then tell someone to “hold my beer” sorry “coffee” and see Steve go off. Steve didn’t disappoint.

That being said, I believe that conservative principles can win even in California if the argument is structured properly. As Nancy Pelosi recently said, “though out of power Democrats are winning the fight.” The Left wins not because they have the superior argument its because the Right has forgotten how to fight. In my article, “laws and morality: the battle of worldviews” I stated:

If you want to reshape society and culture, you must win the worldview argument. Those who control the worldview of society are those who control society. The battle of ideas is fought and won on the field of worldviews. When you cease to fight and take the premise of your opponent’s worldview you have already lost. All you are doing is negotiating the terms of surrender.

Therefore, if we are to resurrect the conservative movement in America, we must re-engage on winning the worldview argument. If and only then will we have a chance of winning and conserving the principles we hold dear.

Therefore, if we are going to talk about property taxes, for instance, we need to explain why property tax is fundamentally immoral. In my article, “why the government owns everything” I attempt to make the case by appealing not only to a logical argument but primarily through a moral argument. Most people are not moved by charts, facts, and figures. They are driven by a moralistic and emotional appeal and then seek to rationalize it through a logical premise. Even if that logical premise is fundamentally flawed.

In Romans 1, we see that people reject God, not because belief in God is illogical. All men know in their heart that there is a God. They simply do not see fit to acknowledge him anymore. Men are not moved to action by compelling logical arguments alone.

Men are stirred up when their hearts are moved by a passionate appeal and when they are moved in their heart then the fruits of their belief are seen through their actions. Men are first moved in their hearts before they see fit to acknowledge the truth.

In the same way, if we are going to save California and this nation we must change how we deliver our message, not the message itself.

If we’re going to win, even when we are out of power, then we must relearn how to fight. It won’t be easy. I will take a lot of work and solid candidates to not only turn this state around but the country. As long as I’m here in California, I will continue to fight the good fight and do my part to resurrect the conservative movement in California and hopefully, have a solid conservative in office by 2022.

Mr. Roditis a candidate for California State Controller. He is an entrepreneur and owns several companies. He graduated from UCSD with a B.A. in Political Science/International Relations. He's a former City Commissioner with the City of Anaheim, CA. He's a Conservative Constitutional Federalist. Follow him on Twitter @KonRoditis

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. ed

    October 28, 2017 at 5:43 am

    In a more general role, I believe Republicans may never win again. They have no moral ground from which to argue conservative positions and every time one attempts to do so, he/she is shot down by their own side.

    Having recently left the Republican party, it is becoming clearer daily that the Republican message is one that people are desperate to see implemented, but that Republican politicians and power-brokers refused to implement because doing so would expose their own corruption and contempt for their voters – an exposure they cannot afford in their quest to retain and grow their own personal power and/or celebrity.

    The growing unese in the country is reaching / has reached a tipping point with Trump and the RNC betrayal of their base at the 2016 convention. The Democrat “platform” and ideologies are self-destructing after Obama and the Republicans are being exposed (because of Trump’s examples – not his leadership) as having no real differences between themselves and the Democrats. Most of Trump’s “conservative” campaign positions have been walked back, been rendered toothless, or have been taken to such absurd extremes that they are quickly becoming toxic to the Conservative base – at least as toxic as the Democrat policies have become to THEIR base.

    A pox on both parties. It has either already (or will by 2020) gotten to the point where a large part of the electorate is eagerly looking for ANYONE other than a corrupt Trumplican or Democrat to vote for.to lead (not control/command/exploit) this nation.

    • Konstantinos Roditis

      October 28, 2017 at 7:44 am

      A very astute analysis of the political climate we find ourselves in today. A conservative movement of genuine limited government may arise in the rediscovering of Federalism in this country. Either it will happen within the GOP by a small group of people, but highly unlikely, or third party movement like the Federalist Party. The Dems party will be continue to collapse. I think in the next year or so, the corruption of Obama Administration, DNC, and the Clinton campaign will be further exposed and people will go to jail. If this happens the GOP will move even more to the left and replace the Dems if a third party like the Federalist Party can arise. I believe the collapse of the Dems is more likely right now then the GOP going away. Time will tell of course.

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Culture and Religion

Alexander Hamilton was right about the Bill of Rights, 2nd Amendment

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It’s amazing how many people have a fundamental misunderstanding about the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution. It’s less surprising, however in the context of how bad our public schools are failing our children and by extension, the country as a whole. Now, this isn’t an article on why it’s not the solution. I believe Torcer was eye-opening in explaining why gun control is a dead solution. This isn’t a defense if the 2nd Amendment or a statement of the impracticality of its repeal. Rather this is more focused on the context of the Bill of Rights as a whole.

Context

Believe it or not, the idea of placing a Bill of Rights in the US Constitution was controversial. There was a huge divide when the United States was transferring from a confederacy to a federalist form of a republic (not a democracy). A stronger central government was and still is a grave danger to the rights of the people. Then Thomas Jefferson, anti-Federalist, side of the spectrum sought to have a Bill of Rights in order to place explicit limitations on the government. The Bill of Rights was a compromise on the Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, side of the spectrum. The 9th Amendment was the compromise on the anti-Federalists part:

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

Danger to Freedom

You might be wondering why a Bill of Rights was so controversial? What seemed like a no-brainer really wasn’t. Despite favoring a larger government than Thomas Jefferson, rivals like Alexander Hamilton did not want to explicitly protect rights through a Bill of Rights because the protection of some would lead to the exclusion of others. Hamilton pens Federalist 84 arguing:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted.

Hamilton follows the logic whereby if rights are given extra protection, the Constitution would then invite tyrants to use these provisions as mere limitations. Thus these tyrants would be assuming power that the Constitution did not grant. He uses free press as his primary example.

For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?

It’s amazing, looking back, how valid Hamilton’s arguments are in modern contexts. The danger he describes, we see today in various forms. The protection of free speech has led to the regulation of speech. The protection of religion invited the regulation of the pulpit

This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.

Threats to unenumerated rights

The 9th Amendment is hard to use in defense of a freedom. Though to their credit, I do see liberals claim it more often, while conservatives champion the 1st, 2nd, and 10th Amendments. In truth, we see the 9th Amendment in action all the time. The Amendment defends a person’s right to be gay without government intrusion. This Amendment is succeeding for leftists wants on multiple fronts. However, on a broader scale, the government has regulated and in some instances outright banned freedoms.

In theory, a person should be able to donate money towards causes they believe in yet campaign finances are highly regulated which is why we have Super PACs. Courts are ruling that Christians can’t act on their religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. The right to life can be taken away from the unborn because apparently, the right to life wasn’t clear enough (though to be fair Roe v Wade had virtually no Constitutional pretext for their decision.) The government could penalize you for not purchasing healthcare. The list goes on but I’m sure you see the point about an overreaching federal government.

Jefferson was right also

In the end, we truly do need a Bill of Rights. Many abusers have threatened the freedoms of others on speech, guns, and investigations. Conservatives hold the lesson that freedom is a generation away from extinction as Ronald Reagan said. The culture during the time of the Constitution valued natural freedoms. How else would rivals of politics both seek the same goal? If that same culture existed today, Alexander Hamilton would be right that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary. But today, a prominent belief is that natural God-given rights derive from the government. A culture that believes rights come from the government necessitates a Bill of Rights to protect from the government taking away from those freedoms.

Second Amendment

I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. 

The Second Amendment is under fire, and if we had, Hamilton’s way, the battle may have been lost already because our view of government has changed. Though luckily the prevailing Heller v DC case solidified the right to private gun ownership ending leftist hopes to confiscate our guns. But Hamilton’s point remains that the protection of the right to firearms has encouraged the regulation of them. How many gun control arguments begin by stating that the founding fathers hadn’t envisioned “AR-15 military-style assault rifles?” A good amount these days. These may be the semblance of reason that Hamilton was referring to.

Moving Forward

  1. The advancement of conservatism needs to be done emphasizing that the source of our freedom is not the government, rather they are natural and God-given.
  2. The 9th Amendment is largely what we make of it because of how open-ended it is. We need to strive to protect implicit freedoms whether or not we agree with them.

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Guns and Crime

The root of the problem

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I saw the above meme the other day which seeks to point out the hypocrisy of liberals – which it does – but if you’re being intellectually honest, you’ll realize that the same logic can be used by their side to portray conservatives as hypocrites. They could just as easily put a photo of conservatives holding “Stop Killing Babies” signs above a photo of conservatives holding “Keep Guns Legal” signs. So both sides, using the same logic, believe the other is being hypocritical. I hope you can see how fruitless this is.

If we really want to stop mass murders, we need to stop the petty arguments and have real conversations that address the root of the problem, not the symptoms. Like any health problem, treating your symptoms doesn’t make you healthy. The killer carrying out his carnage with a gun is a symptom. You can take the guns away to make yourself feel better, but doing so won’t treat the source of the condition.

We are all feeling very emotional right now. Yes liberals, conservatives do care about the kids who were killed. It’s a hard reality for us to accept, especially when the act occurred using a tool we support. But don’t mistake our logical response as apathy and indifference. With all due respect, I think you’re asking the wrong questions. While most of the country has been focused on, “How can we prevent someone who wants to murder children from doing so”, what we should be asking is “How do we stop someone from wanting to murder children?” That is the root of the problem… Why do some people want to murder others?

Make no mistake, the only person responsible for killing those kids is Nikolas Cruz. But there are pertinent questions to be answered. Why has this person felt so alienated from people that he could carry out such a horrendous act? What could the people within his circle of influence have done to convince him that his peers were worthy of their lives?

If I were one of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School I would be asking myself “what if” questions. What if I’d gone further in kindness towards Nikolas Cruz? What if I’d greeted him with a warm hello, instead of just passing him in the hallways? Was I ever rude to him? If so, what if instead, I’d given him an unexpected kindness, or even just chatted with him? If I were a resident of Parkland, Florida, I’d be wondering if I’d inadvertently contributed to the depression of this kid with my aloof and insincere actions. What if one day in traffic I was rude to him? What if I’d let him merge instead? Did I contribute to his departure from the human connection? What if right now, in my own circle of influence, I’m contributing to the depression of the next killer?

Again, the only person responsible for killing those kids is Nikolas Cruz. Not the NRA, not video games, not Hollywood, not his peers. But we all have a part to play, don’t we? Our lives touch other lives at every moment of the day. It is unavoidable. So if you feel like you just can’t take it anymore, and you want change, then realize what you can control – you. Then challenge yourself to act with love, compassion, acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness in everything you do. Maybe, just maybe, treating each other better is all that is needed.

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Opinions

Bill Mitchell reveals his phony conservatism on constitution

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Many legitimate conservatives follow Bill Mitchell on Twitter. I don’t think less of them for it, because often times he talks the talk. And when someone has over 100K tweets, it’s hard to pick up on the inconsistencies. I don’t follow him, nor do I retweet him these days, out of an unexplainable distrust towards people like him. I guess I thought he was a Mike Huckabee, a poor spokesperson for conservatism or rather Trumpism. To me, he’s no different than the “Never Trump conservatives” who refuse to acknowledge things are much better than if Hillary had won. Bill Mitchell took some time to show us why we shouldn’t trust him. In a span of an hour he tweeted a contrary position on guns as follows.

Bill Mitchell retweeted this.

He begins by stating that no one needs a bump stock and then concludes by supporting the idea that the 2nd Amendment was intended for defense against the government. Which is it? Is it possible to believe one and not the other? Another question arises. Does he support Trump’s position or does he think its beneficial in the long run to (his version) conservatism? Both can be true in this instance?

Mitchell is one of those annoying people that believes Trump is playing 4D chess when, in reality, he’s caving under political pressure, a topic worthy of another article. Trump supports infringing upon the Second Amendment, and Bill Mitchell is on his knees like a dog smiling at his master. It’s quite pathetic for him to support Trump in this as if the GOP is really in danger come midterms. Our 2nd Amendment rights are not some pawn in a chess match against a fabled Blue Wave. Those of us who think that rights aren’t negotiable are more than the 0.001%. Mitchell is as he says in one instance: he’s not a purist. And if you’re not a “purist” on the Second Amendment, you have no business claiming conservatism, let alone having a large platform among conservatives. It’s the same as Tomi Lahren on abortion. But the 2nd Amendment isn’t the only part of the Bill of Rights that Mitchell regards little.

5th Amendment

Apparently, Bill Mitchell questions why we have a 5th Amendment. Allow me to cite the entirety of it:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

It’s a pretty packed full amendment. So because he didn’t specify the nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, we should take his statement at face value. Major crimes require a grand jury indictment. The government can’t have a do-over if you’re acquitted. Why would one oppose that? The government is barred from forcing someone to self-incriminate. This means tortured confessions are inadmissible as is sodium pentothal and any confessions made while the accused has been denied a lawyer. This right matters! It flows right into the next clause which is due process, something we conservatives highly regard. The 5th Amendment concludes with eminent domain which is a topic where conservatives and Trumpist disagree.

Dave Chappelle pleading the fif

I get that Bill Mitchell’s followers don’t like the injustice allowed by politicians pleading the fifth, but they are exercising their rights. The 5th Amendment was written as protection for the rights of the accused. I would rather political scumbags get away with things than us regular people lose this freedom.

Takeaway

There are really only two possibilities for why he holds these positions. The first one is stupidity. He believes that the 5th Amendment is unimportant because he’s too stupid to realize its worth. The second one is that his head is so far up Trump’s rear end that he doesn’t know left from right or up from down. Both of these show that he holds no real regard for a limited government. Nor does he think that individual freedoms are to be esteemed high. The Bill of Rights are co-equal protections from the government. Bill Mitchell’s views do not reconcile with this core tenet of conservative and federalist beliefs. Thus, conservatives should look elsewhere for political commentary.

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