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The Year of the Donald, for conservatives? Really?

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The Year of the Donald for conservatives Really

This opinion column by a leading Northeastern conservative columnist, Paul Mulshine, argues that for conservatives, 2017 was “The Year of the Donald.”

It was the Year of The Donald for conservatives

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/12/it_was_the_year_of_the_donald_for_conservatives_mu.html#incart_river_homeReagan was in office for just six months in 1981 when the air-traffic controllers went on strike in violation of federal law. The Beltway crowd expected a settlement would come after a bit of tussling between the two sides.

Nope. Reagan fired all 11,345 of them. After that, everyone knew the new president didn’t play by the rules of Washington.

Donald Trump has shown the same attitude. The only difference is that he’s chalked up a  longer list of accomplishments.

President Trump has had his share of policy successes, which we’ve endeavored to recognize here at NOQReport. Yet elation at a few policy successes of President Trump hardly makes this nominally-Republican President a valid standard-bearer of conservatism. However, these successes are modest at best, and to cite them as evidence of the dawn of a new Reaganesque “Morning in America” is to diminish the achievements of prior Republican Administrations and drop the measuring stick for conservatism all the way to the ground.

If anything is noteworthy about Trump’s first year, beyond the White House’s dismissal of Omarosa Manigault, it is his refusal so far to cave in to prevailing coastal-elite pressure to be more “moderate” or “progressive.”

The Mad Left has pushed the Democratic Party farther to the Leftist/Marxist fringe of the political spectrum. The radicals’ boldness, defiance and hubris have sparked a reaction among much of the rest of the electorate, whether you call them “deplorables” or simply, the “Others.”  The depth of the degree to which the Mad Left detests Trump (and in fact, anyone with whom they disagree) both politically and personally has allowed him to enhance and deepen his support among his socioeconomic (if not necessarily Republican or conservative) base which rightfully feels under constant social and economic attack.

Unlike Republican voters of past generations, current Republicans don’t merely disagree with the Left. They resent the Left. They also fear the Left.

And when politics become (if they aren’t always are) personal, when politics become seen as a matter of economic survival, such resentment is a powerful fuel for voter turnout.

Yet, self-described conservatives’ support for Trump does not make Trump a conservative. It just means conservatives are engaging — finally! — in a strategic alliance. It’s an alliance borne of desperation, as conservatives (and many others) see themselves suddenly in the maelstrom of an all-but-declared cultural war which threatens a way of life and even the legitimacy of our economic and political systems.

Such a strategic alliance is similar to the alliance the United States formed with Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union in World War II, in the face of the Nazi-led Axis.

That alliance hardly made “the Greatest Generation” of Americans pro-Communist, did it?

Likewise, today’s alliance of desperation with Trump should not be taken to mean that conservatives condone, much less endorse, Trump’s many personal character defects and discipline deficits. The alliance does not require turning the proverbial blind eye towards these major flaws, either.

Trump’s future electoral prospects are strong and will remain as such, as long as his support among his core supporters remains rabid, if not necessarily wide. He would be a likely favorite to win re-election in 2020, particularly if his general election opponent has wide but tepid support, like Hillary Clinton.

However, should Trump’s opponent match him in the ferocity of his or her core support (especially if that opponent is an overt “progressive”), it may be a real struggle to get to 270 electoral votes.

Such a scenario could threaten America with the prospects of a federal government where each branch of government could be dominated by redistributionist, totalitarian, social justice acolytes. That outcome would reveal the Trump years to be nothing more than a historical accident, the Buster Douglas lucky-punch-knockout of Mike Tyson, the exception to the larger, leftward trend.

If Trump should prove to be nothing more than a brief, accidental interruption in the nation’s embrace of secularism, socialism and social justice, conservatives will regret their abandonment of that one bedrock characteristic of philosophical and cultural conservatism.

Character.

Now that would be — Sad!

Conservative corporate lawyer, commentator, blockchain technology patent holder and entrepreneur. Headquartered in a red light district in the middle of a deep blue People's Republic.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Don McCullen

    December 31, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Well Eric they did not abandon character in Alabama. That is why Roy Moore lost.

  2. ed

    December 31, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    As the red-hats continue threatening and insulting the true conservatives (those that DO care about character but were persuaded to vote for Trump against Hillary because of the “binary choice” argument), they alienate the very voters they will need in 2018 and 2020 to prevent the very takeover of government that you are attempting to fear-monger with.

    I am an ex-Republican conservative that cares about character and leadership. As a result of 2016 GOP convention hostilities that originated with and were carried out by the team and of the death threats against Republican delegates, state reps & voters by red-hatters, and other Trump operatives, I have decided to that the Republican party under Trump is no different from the Democrats and deserves the same disdain as the Democrat party.

    As to Trump so-called “accomplishments”:
    Trump claims that he ended DACA. Not True. He punted the decision to Congress to write a bill permanently granting DACA amnesty. He EO was nothing but noise as it repealed nothing, established no new policies, established no new limits on illegal immigration or DACA/Dreamer status, nor made any other changes – other than the photo-op it provided for Trump.

    Trump claims to have moved the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but he signed the waiver to NOT move the Embassy for another 6 months. His “announcement” was simply that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel – an announcement / policy set by the Senate and Congress in the 1990s – again lots of noise – no action.

    Trump claims credit for the “roaring economy” and points to the DOW average – an average that rose almost every year of Obama’s term and was quickly isolated to the Quantitative Easing and all the money being pumped into Wall Street by the Feds with nowhere to go because businesses were not hiring. Trump’s unemployment rate is about what Obama kept posting and Trump is using the same numbers as Obama – always to be revised downward (quietly) a couple months after the initial much-ballyhoo’d announcement.

    Trump STILL has not started building the wall, nor is Mexico paying for it. We now have articles being posted about how illegal immigration border crossings have been rising since April and are now HIGHER than Obama’s averages. Trump claims that he increased the size of the BP, but he only AUTHORIZED more hiring (funding permitting) – then never fought for (or re-allocated) additional funding to actually HIRE the new BP agents his photo-op EO “AUTHORIZED”.

    Trump’s “successes” with Carrier ahve turned to out to be false (jobs STILL went to Mexico except for those that were going to be kept BEFORE Trump/Pence “got involved”).

    The “tax relief” is growing in UNpopularity as people finally see what’s actually in the bill.

    Trump’s “Obamacare Mandate Repeal” was no such thing. The ACA was not modified to remove the mandate at all. The only action Congress did was to set the penalty to zero. The law still requires purchase of insurance, still provides – and now has been given new funding for the tax-payer-subsidized premiums, and the next Democrat Congress can (and likely will) re-impose the non-zero financial penalty – but at higher levels than before. This is a net loss because Trump has energized the Democrat base while discouraging the conservative & Republican bases that have historically voted for full repeal.

    Trump’s wild, incoherent, and reckless tweeting have all but started another war with NK/China and his attacks on NATO have only encouraged Russian aggression while discouraging and angering our allies in Europe and GB. Nations that no longer want to Trump in-country and that used to be good trading partners (customers) for US-made goods, but whose people will increasingly not want goods associated with Trump’s America – especially if Trump continues his insults of the people of those countries.

    Trump’s juvenile tweets and belligerency – far from appearing to the world as “strength” screams out “weakness, insecurity, immaturity” from those that serve in our government.

    I’m of the personal belief that Gen Mattis, Gen Kelley, and Sec Tillerson have banded together to limit Trump’s access to his staff, to outside information that might upset him, and to the levers of power and military control normally wielded by the POTUS because they recognizes the symptoms of Trump’s increasing dementia and his degrading mental faculties. I see fewer articles about Jared Kushner doing Sec State functions and almost nothing about Ivanka’s previously out-sized role in the WH – Perhaps because of the limits Gen Kelley has placed on Trump’s information intake – this is a good thing as it “controls” Trump’s worse nature, but a BAD thing because it means the President of the US has likely become a figurehead controlled by the “puppet-master” team of Kelley/Tillerson/Mattis. If we now have a team of people behind the scenes actually making the decisions and feeding them to Trump for regugitation that sounds too close to a “shadow government” or “politburo” for my comfort. (It DOES explain why the GOP establishment seems to have embraced Trump’s goals recently however – especially if they believe they have a role in “running” the President.

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Everything

Frathouse Conservatism Sucks

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I’m going to do a lot of offending in this column so viewer discretion advised if you are a snowflake on the left or right. The problem in the Conservative movement that needs addressing is the number of young Conservatives rising to prominence who lack any real depth or articulate principles. I dub thee “Frathouse Conservatism” because the problem largely stems from campus organizations. I am 22, so this isn’t some Gen Xer ranting about Millenials and Gen Z. In fact, I do not boast about how much better I am. Rather I point out the cause of the problem and point to the solution.

Rejection of Worldview

Western civilization is founded on the intersection of Athens and Jerusalem. The founding father’s took ideas of John Locke. Read this excerpt from the Second Treastie Chapter 2:

that self-love will make men partial to themselves and their friends;
and, on the other side, ill-nature, passion, and revenge will carry them
too far in punishing others, and hence nothing but confusion and disorder
will follow, and that therefore God hath certainly appointed government
to restrain the partiality and violence of men. I easily grant that
civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniences of the
state of Nature, which must certainly be great where men may be judges
in their own case, since it is easy to be imagined that he who was so
unjust as to do his brother an injury will scarce be so just as to condemn
himself for it. But I shall desire those who make this objection to remember
that absolute monarchs are but men; and if government is to be 

the remedy of those evils which necessarily follow from men being judges
in their own cases, and the state of Nature is therefore not to be endured,
I desire to know what kind of government that is, and how much better
it is than the state of Nature, where one man commanding a multitude
has the liberty to be judge in his own case, and may do to all his subjects
whatever he pleases without the least question or control of those who
execute his pleasure? and in whatsoever he doth, whether led by reason,
mistake, or passion, must be submitted to? which men in the state of
Nature are not bound to do one to another. And if he that judges, judges
amiss in his own or any other case, he is answerable for it to the rest of
mankind.

The Conservative worldview is largely pieced together by John Locke. Mankind in fallen. Government can’t correct mankind’s fallen nature, because government is made up of fallen men. Fallen men, if given arbitrary uncheckable authority, will commit injustices. Therefore it is most ideal that government be limited in its purpose. It’s purpose is to protect inalienable rights and to navigate violations of said rights.

Conservative worldview hinges on accepting the premise that mankind is fallen. One need not be religious to accept this premise. Many Conservatives unknowingly accept fallen nature to be true while others fully embrace this premise. The Frathouse Conservative supplements this premise if not outright rejects the notion altogether. Instead of mankind being intrinsically flawed, the state is intrinsically flawed. This substituted premise often results in the same conclusions as far as policy goes, but rejecting a fundamental pillar of the Conservative worldview is the root of Frathouse Conservatism’s inferiority.

Rejection of Mission

Frathouse Conservatism confides Conservatism to simply small governance. This directly stems from the rejection of the fallen nature. Conservatism, in accepting mankind’s state, necessitates the pursuit of living to a higher standard. All of the founding fathers believed in living high moral standards, despite their diverse religious beliefs. The founding fathers wanted no part in debauchery. Frathouse Conservatism may instead celebrate immoral behavior under the guise of limited government. More distinctly, Frathouse Conservatism is ready to lampoon deviant moral behavior.

Frathouse Conservatism is not as purposeless as it may seem. The movement does contain a mission, however vein it may be. The best way to phrase it is in their own words “owning the libs!” In accomplishing this, there are no boundaries or lines not to be crossed. The use of personal attacks is often substituted for substantive argument. A classic example of this is Tomi Lahren who believes that social issues are a waste of time. Her column on social issues showed a very misinformed understanding of the last three presidential elections and a concern for only illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is an issue where conservatism favors one side. There are many worldviews that could come to the same conclusion that America needs to curb illegal immigration. Some people are concerned about security, others cost. There’s also a principled belief in rule of law. And of course nativism exists. Not all of these are necessarily conservative. But the mission of Conservatism isn’t to win elections as Lahren suggests it should be. The perpetuity of Republicans in office has shown to be a detriment to Conservatism. Rather Conservatism seeks to better society, largely through small governance. Jesse Kelly understands the mission in how he responded. Ben Shapiro’s response was also worth noting

One Trick Ponies

If were ranking top issues for the Conservative cause, opposing abortion is one of them. But not everyone on the side of life is a Conservative. In my experience arguing abortion with the pro-abortion, there arguments shift from logical fallacies to denial of moral personhood for all of the unborn.

These types of arguments do not have substantial logical backing, especially when placed in perspective with cultural practices and norms. The pro-abortion side is simply not the logical side of the debate. One doesn’t have to be a Conservative to come to this conclusion. Many people can articulate well thoughtout pro-life arguments. This doesn’t make them a great Conservative. A great Conservative can articulate Conservative positions on various issues with intellectual consistency. The Frathouse Conservative cannot.

Abortion is not the only trick these ponies may know. It’s similar to libertarians who are libertarian because of marijuana. There’s also immigration (back to Tomi Lahren) and race (Candace Owens). And then there are the snowflakes whose mission is to trigger the snowflakes. And upon being challenged, they hit that block button on twitter. And of course there’s the everyday Trump bandwagoners like CJ Pearson who wants to line his own Paypal account.

Tactics of the Left

Candace Owens is a classic example of a Frathouse Conservative. She is very capable of explaining why she walked away from the Left. There is nothing wrong with that. What I have issue with is two things:

  1. Her reliance and profiting from Identity Politics
  2. Smear on those who think differently

We get it, you’re black. Ted Cruz is hispanic. You don’t see him using his race to pander to “his” group. Conservatives should not be seeking attention for their race, rather, they should be seeking attention for their ideas and merits. Candace Owens has little of either. She can explain her life story. That’s fine, but she’s wrong to assume black people can’t freely be Democrats. Further more, her tactics are of the Left.

The Left has successfully employed identity based labels to attack those they disagree with. Owens employs the same. Conservatives should stay away from these tactics.

Solution

Frathouse Conservatism aims to own the libs. The libs do a good job at owning themselves and eating their own. The Frathouse Conservative places too much uniqueness in themselves. Demographically speaking, the coming generations of voters are likely to be more Conservative because Republicans are having more kids. The baby gap has been written about for over a decade now. After all, the Left supports abortion, gay marriage, and free birth control. These three things are not conducive to bearing children. Mathematically speaking, it is likelier for a child now to be raised in a Republican household. This doesn’t mean, they will grow up Conservative. However this does mean a young Conservative, like myself, is nothing special or surprising. Sorry to disappoint.

The solution begins by first realizing that a young Conservative is nothing unique, therefore not seeking attention for it. Don’t go to colleges that suppress free speech(yes this is something you can research), and don’t treat college like a summer camp. Work during school, and if you’re not working during school, you better be more articulate than Amanda Kemp and half the writers at Lone Conservative. You have the time.

With that said, everyone wants to be Ben Shapiro, but no one wants to put in the same work that Ben Shapiro put in. Shapiro is a hardcore writer and reader. The Frathouse conservatives on Twitter are typically neither. And through reading and writing, education and practice, the Frathouse Conservative can graduate to being an actual Conservative.

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Culture and Religion

$.02: When is it OK to quit church?

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Chris Sonsken of South Hills Church and founder Church BOOM penned a piece on Fox News that caught my attention on Twitter. It was a good column. Read the article here. The article addressed a Pew Research finding as to why people change churches. There finding as shown by Sonsken are:

  • Sermon quality
  • Welcoming environment/people
  • Style of worship
  • Location

Sonsken does a great job in arguing that there are biblically sound reasons for leaving a church and finding a new one.

1. It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave.

2. It’s OK to leave for family and marriage.

3. It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church.

4.  It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership.

5.  It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.

Sonsken even mentions that unethical practices like abuse are reasons to leave, though not the norm for the majority of church swapping.

The reasons Sonsken gave are no cause for disagreement, and I’m sure his book Quit Church probably better articulates them.

Where I want to add my two sense on the matter is that I disagree with his assessment sermon quality is not a biblical reason for changing churches. The supposition that sermon quality is inherently a result of the person treating church like an object of consumption, as Sonsken suggests is not true. I believe sermon quality is an umbrella term for several reasons for not liking a Sunday message.

Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit. The same pastor who was previously deep enough becomes shallow once there is an offense. It’s incredibly difficult to hear from God in a sermon when we are offended by the person delivering the sermon.

This is true in many cases. A sin that is personal gets preached on and the offended party leaves. I don’t deny this to be the case. But I believe we should look deeper into the current trends of worship and focus on the mission of the church.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-21 ESV

The church is to preach the gospel, but people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is only part of the mission. The Church is tasked with making disciples. The church is meant to teach. Not every follower is at the same level in their spiritual maturity or theological depth. Some churches, larger churches in particular dumb down the bible. In public education, this would be seen as lowering the bar. In church this practice could hold back believers in their growth. Small groups are a way to supplement this, and every church should employ bible study as a means to grow discipleship.

Many churches now are focused on metrics. This can lead to theologically watered down sermons and worship. Why risk offending that person who may leave with a sermon? But if a church is more focused on using a Sunday message to give a motivational speech using an out of context passage, what does it matter if they are doctrinally sound (in their written beliefs)?

There are a lot of heretical churches in America. We have issues like gay marriage to separate the sheep from the goats. But what about the sheep that suck? If a church has the right doctrine but is more focused on metrics than the power of the Holy Spirit, their head is in the wrong place. So it is biblically sound to change churches so that your head to remains in the right place.

That is not treating church like a consumer product. That is treating church like one’s means to grow spiritually, better recognizing the mission of the Great Commission.

That is my $.02 on the matter. I hope I added some meaningful word to this topic.


This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.

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Guns and Crime

Liberty Control (aka Gun Control) Dead at 501 [1517 – July 10, 2018]

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Today we celebrate the passing away of one of the Left’s worst legacies: Liberty Control

Liberty Control (aka Gun Control), the absurd idea that depriving the innocent of a means of self-defense will protect them from criminals and the government died on July 10, 2018, after a protracted illness. The past few months saw it suffer multiple degradations, but the final cause of death was a settlement between the Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms:

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

This curse on freedom began with the nonsensical label ‘Gun control’ but like a mutating virus, it morphed into ‘Gun safety’ or ‘Gun reform’ as people began to understand it’s true liberticidal nature. The final proper designation for this statist abomination helped seal its fate: Liberty Control.

In recent years, Liberty control had suffered a number of potentially fatal maladies ranging from the Heller and other Pro-Liberty decisions of the Supreme court to the virtual explosion in gun ownership with untold numbers of new adherents joining the ranks. Despite valiant attempts by the Left to resurrect this absolutely horrid idea from a bygone era, most imbued with common sense came to realize that more guns equaled less violence.

Liberty Control is barely survived by its one year older half-brother in statist tyranny Collectivism, born when the book ‘Utopia’ was published in 1516.  This ancient idea remains in critical condition having been transferred to the Bronx on life support. It is not expected to survive, despite the best efforts of the Socialist-Left. As is usually the case when a free-people can properly assess the liberticidal ideas of the Left.

Libertas [The ancient Roman personification of liberty] Celebrated the death of one of its intractable foes down through the centuries. “There must have been some viral affliction in the water of the early 16th century to have created these two horrible curses upon mankind.”

Services will be held on July 27th, 2018, and after August 1 Cody Wilson plans on re-launching Defcad.com with ‘a treasure trove of 3D-printed gun files for download.’  In Lieu of flowers, those of the Liberty loving public are encouraged to visit https://ghostgunner.net/ after that date and download the files for future use as well as donate to the organizations that defend this critically important freedom.

Please note that while we are using this ‘obituary’ form to prove a point, it should be patently evident that the dreams of the Liberty grabbers of banning and confiscating guns are now dead. Even if by some freakish turn of events whereby the defenders of Liberty forget history, agree to the requirement of governmental permission to exercise a commonsense human right, and then have their guns confiscated. The technology will still exist for everyone to produce their own weapons. It should perfectly clear to everyone including the cadres of Liberty Grabbers out there that the genie is out of the bottle, that there is no way they can ever ban guns, knives or even the odd spanner here and there. It should also be evident that such groups should move on to other causes that actually have a chance of coming to fruition. Also, note that it was very proper that this took place during #Gun Pride Month.

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