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Top 5 conservative stereotypes and how to break them down

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Top 5 conservative stereotypes and how to break them down

First, before recognizing some old chestnuts passed around about conservatives and conservatism, we should ask ourselves whether we want to be spending any time on disavowing others of their presumptions.

The truth is, stereotypes can be hard to break down. But to expand our base, we need to be attractive to people of various backgrounds. And if they are coming from a place of ignorance, rather than ideological bias and malice, there is no reason to ignore an opportunity to tell our own story in our words, rather than someone else’s.

  1. Conservatives are Republicans (and vice versa)

Progressives, independents, and even conservatives themselves use frequently use these words interchangeably, but of course, they are not an equivalent. However, for hardcore ideological opponents, playing that card has a distinct advantage of being able to blame conservative movement as a whole for the mistakes made by the party. Similarly, the Republican party is associated with particular ideological tropes, regardless of the policies it actually implements.

What to do?

First, start by example and use the political party affiliation, and the ideological movement appropriately.  Don’t give your opponents any excuses to take advantage of ambiguities; be clear with people who don’t know the difference.

Second, of course, it’s best to push the Republican party towards more conservative positions. But that won’t always be easy or quick.

Third, distinguish what you, as a conservative stand for, versus current policies implemented by the Republican president, top officials in Congress, and the party platform. Some individual party members will inevitably be more conservative than others. Use them as examples of what you would like the party to become, but remember that as a whole, the party can only be judged for its policies at the current juncture. Positions and policies are different; if you are active in the party, you may sometimes be part of public policies you disagree with. This gets confusing, even for other conservatives, so….

Make individualism a top priority. That way, whether you choose to identify yourself based on your ideological position, party affiliation (which may not be Republican! – New York has a Conservative Party, Iowa has the Federalists, etc), you will teach everyone around you to engage with your on the basis of your own views as opposed to something abstract.

  1. Republican Party is for old white rich men

I got news for you – if you define a party by its top leadership and donors, all parties are parties of old white rich men, because those are the people who have had the experience and the success to be in the leadership positions. This may change over time, as people of diverse backgrounds have become more visible and successful, but just look at most of the top Democrats. They are practically indistinguishable from top Republican donors.

Admittedly, it is harder to disassociate Republicanism from this stereotype thanks to the rise of alt-right, so called “white nationalists” (there is actually no such thing), and the terrible PR by the progressives which GOP has never quite dismantled. Though many of these folks have been working class, the stereotype remains intact.

The question is then: how to promote the reality of a diverse, inclusive party where people of all backgrounds are welcome as long as they share substantive common principles… all without playing the identity politics which has brought ruin to the progressives and helped perpetuate this stereotype in 2016?

Once again, refocusing on empowering the individual can help disspell the overall impressions. Yes, the visuals may be important in PR – simply because expectations and reality are not always the same, and during elections, every bit matters.

But don’t do sacrifice principles to diversity.

Instead, showcase talented, hardworking people of all backgrounds who contribute to the movement in substantive ways. And don’t be too lazy, or scared to reach out to groups you may have a lot in common with but which have been the “traditional” base of the progressives.

If you don’t start making the effort to reach out to different communities and working with them, there is no reason or incentive for them to reexamine the status quo.

  1. Conservatives live in the past

The idea that the Constitution is a living document that, like a crystal ball, can be sued for whatever is the immediate need, has been debated to death in law school classes around the country.

And the traditional “look” of bow-tie wearing conservatives droning on monotonously in dusty think tank rooms has not helped matters.

To some extent, this is simply bad PR. Giving voice to younger Conservatives may well shatter this image.

A campaign showcasing conservatives principles in action in the 21st century is certainly doable.

However, we need to balance perceptions of why “conservative” positions are relevant to today with the underlying argument that the present cannot exist without the bedrock of the past.

The principles articulated by the Founding Fathers have led directly to present successes. Failure to stick to them or misinterpretations were at the core of our social and political problems.

That is the core of the battle that we have been losing. The progressives have the advantage of allowing anachronisms to shape the past to their liking.  They can read modern feminist or intersectionalist conundra into early colonies, while also claiming that contemporary identity politics are somehow any different from those dehumanizing and mistaken notions of identity.

Focusing on how continuity and evolution can and has avoided the damage of revolutionary approach to improving society needs to find a wider audience. Take it out of the box, dust it off, bring it to the young audiences around the country. Don’t wait for public school unionized school teachers and college professors to move in.

  1. Conservatives favor policies that most people don’t support.

Small government and social conservative policies have borne out the brunt of this attack.

In case of abortion, current trends actually have moved in the opposite directions. Most people do not actually wish for abortions to proliferate. The issue here, however, is the tendency for people, w hether they are  progressive or conservative, to focus on the data they like and to dismiss the inconvenient studies.

Saying that abortion, in fact, is not a popular response, for instance, will not change the minds of hardcore ideologues.

But should opinion polls be the brunt of the argument? Perhaps better policies that address deeply emotional issues no amount of data can fully resolve is the answer.

To win on social conservatism, such as pro-life positions, conservatives should be seen not merely as the best advocates for unborn babies and intact families, but specifically, as better advocates for women. (And separately, in a non-alt-right way, for men, as well!)

Speaking more frequently about women’s health issues, advocating vocally not just against Planned Parenthood, but for the many much better options for women. and

Conservatives should be  at the forefront of communal support for single parents can transform the image of the conservative approach and bring in many hesitant women into the fold.

As far as small government is concerned, the ACA repeal debacle has to some extent revealed that the progressives may have a point.

Much of the country has moved away from small government principles, and individual fiscal responsibility… as the groups that represent them, be they conservative think tanks or public officials, likewise embraced big government/big spending policies.

Advocating for tax cuts to boost economy is not sufficient. If conservatives want a return to popular support for limited government, they need to focus on cutting spending for entitlement programs, as well as eliminating duplicative, inefficient expenditures and corporate cronyism from the defense budget. Same goes towards weaning off sectors off the economy from agricultural and others subsidies.

In short, the answer here is eliminating hypocrisy and focusing on educating the public as to better options.

  1. The Moral Majority are All Hypocrites

Thanks to the widespread coverage of sex scandals, corporate cronyism, and investigations associated with various Trump associates and their security and business improprieties, progressives are making an increasingly colorable argument that conservatives talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

There is only thing to be said here: the Republican Party needs to clean up that act, and conservatives need to stop confusing winning elections with accepting the inexcusable.

Politicians may not be beacons of moral behavior, but there is also no reason to accept  as paragons for emulation embarrassments who ultimately end up costing more than they win.

The answer, of course, is not to stay home and sulk when awful candidates end up nominating, but to throw our weight early and often behind better people, encourage them to run, and coax finicky donors into supporting the kind of people who can govern. A smart strategy can win an election for an inexperienced or uncharismatic candidate. But there is no substitute for energetic, thoughtful, and incorruptible governance.

Finally, discreditation of character and morality and substitution of electoral votes for principles and a strategic approach is already backfiring.

Republican party  numbers are shrinking. Independents are increasingly disgusted with both parties.  Electoral participation where candidates have earned opprobrium is significantly  less.

And people who place personal gain over public trust, national security, or service to the country do not inspire; they increase cynicism and fear.

Letting political hacks and apparatchiks take the lead in politics has been a mistake.Time for individuals with ideas and skills to step to the forefront in many ways: run for office, support good campaigns (support is what ultimately makes them winnable), write article, educate the public, register voters, work with children and teenagers… serve the country.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Don McCullen

    January 11, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Never sit out elections. If you have the write-in blank or third parties. USE THEM!!! Make voting a protest movement

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Opinions

Trump, GOP will work with Dems to add global warming legislation to infrastructure spending

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Trump GOP will work with Dems to add global warming legislation to infrastructure spending

As 2018 winds to a close and the failed two-year experiment giving Trump, McConnell, and Ryan complete control of Washington breathes its last, Democrats have been busy charting a course correction after having their agenda temporarily knocked off course in 2016.

I wrote last week about how Democrats would be placing a new focus on their Democratic Socialist-inspired agenda in a host of areas from gun control to global warming. In that piece, I introduced you to the Green New Deal, a plan being promoted by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist from New York.

The goal of the Green New Deal is to pass laws in Washington forcing the United States to become 100 percent dependent on so-called green energy. And while it’s tempting to write-off Ocasio-Cortez’s plan to create an environmental Xanadu as nothing more than the naïve rantings of a textbook left-wing loon — which she is, by the way — the reality is that Al Gore’s Church of Global Warming is about to experience a revival.

Since the Democrats will control the House, it’s a given that the global warming agenda will be advanced under Nancy Pelosi’s “leadership.” But what about the Senate?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in an open letter to Donald Trump on Friday that the United States’ transition to renewable energy “must” be included in the infrastructure spending debate expected to take place in 2019.

“It is crucial that we immediately enact legislation to combat climate change and create millions of jobs. Therefore, any clean infrastructure package considered in 2019 must include policies and funding to transition to a clean energy economy and mitigate risks that the United States is already facing due to climate change.”

So, who cares? Right? After all, the Senate is still under GOP control and Trump could always veto the bill even if it makes it through the Senate.

Well, besides the fact that Trump has NEVER used his veto pen — probably because he’s been busy using his executive order pen to destroy the Second Amendment — he and the GOP love big-government spending as much as the Democrats.

You may recall that Trump announced in his first State of the Union address — and repeated in his second — plans to spend $1 trillion or more on infrastructure. On top of that, Republicans in the House released an infrastructure-spending plan back in July when they were busy trying to buy votes in the hope that it would save their majority.

By the way, the GOP would pay for their Obama-esque infrastructure plan by raising gasoline taxes by 15-cents-a-gallon and diesel taxes by 20-cents-a-gallon. It would also raise taxes on a host of “green transportation” alternatives, such as: bikes, bicycle tires, and car batteries. All of these tax increases are supported by Trump.

I can hear the cult now; “Trump said last week that he doesn’t believe in global warming, and he called on the world to end the ‘ridiculous‘ Paris climate agreement that he withdrew the U.S. from last summer.”

As is usually the case when it comes to Donald Trump, nothing he says can be counted on.

First, Trump has pretty much made Ivanka his climate czar and she’s a devotee to Al Gore’s global warming religion. Second, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement was in-name-only. In the same speech where he announced the withdrawal, Trump made a commitment to negotiate a way to get back in it. Third, to borrow a phrase from Al Gore, we have the “inconvenient truth” that only days after his 2016 victory, Trump said in an interview that he believes there is “some connectivity” between humans and climate change.

The Democrats will control the agenda in 2019. And when you add Trump’s lack of any firm convictions, his past commitment to work with “Chuck and Nancy,” his 2020 aspirations, and his love of big government, then a budget-busting infrastructure bill that includes some or all of the Green New Deal is pretty much a done deal.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Entertainment and Sports

Binge-worthy show: The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

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Binge-worthy show The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

He’s too posh. He’s too pretty. He isn’t intimidating. He’s too big as a Marvel character. There are many reasons people have dismissed the notion of Tom Hiddleston playing the role of James Bond in the famed series. All of these reasons can be dismissed by watching The Night Manager.

Available on Amazon, the AMC-BBC collaboration is six episodes long. There are reports that it could be brought back for another series, but if it never comes back, rest assured the single series is still worth a watch. The funny part is that Hiddleston might be the main draw, but he’s not even the best overall performance. That honor goes to Hugh Laurie, the well-mannered villain of the show.

As usual, no spoilers.

Much effort is put into making the beautiful people look as beautiful as possible in lovely settings even when things get crazy. It opens with Hiddleston cutting through a crowd of protesters just prior to the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He’s on his way to work to engage in his craft as a manager at a high-end hotel in Cairo. Even through the chaos, Hiddleston holds an air of separation from both the protesters and the military holding them back. And he does all this while wearing cargo pants and an untucked linen dress shirt.

This is where the presence of Hiddleston comes into play and demonstrates why he would be able to play James Bond. His sharp eyes announce he’s not to be reckoned with while simultaneously charming the observer. As one character later notes, “Everybody is attracted to you.”

The men want to be on his side and the women (and one man) want him to be by their side.

His impish grin may have been perfect for playing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it takes a more menacing turn in The Night Manager. We realize there’s grit behind his boyish looks that betrays two tours in Iraq and a personal grudge he’s held with him for years. If Daniel Craig brought emotionless chills to the Bond character, Hiddleston would bring an emotional fortitude. He’s only truly happy when he’s doing the right thing, which may go against the stereotypes associated with a world-class assassin, but luckily we’re in a world where stereotypes are being broken.

There’s another reason Hiddleston would be the right person for the role. Unfortunately, it’s a political one. Some are pushing for a minority or a woman to take the role to the next level. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as it’s done with the most qualified person in mind and not just to make a political statement about inclusion. With Hiddleston, it’s an opportunity to use the same formula while mitigating the damage that is sure to come if they don’t select a minority or a woman. Everyone likes Hiddleston. He’ll make the passing on a controversial choice easier to swallow.

There’s even a scene when he orders a vodka martini at a bar in Cairo. It was the most obvious nod to the Bond franchise they could have made without asking for the drink to be shaken.

If you only watch The Night Manager to verify my Bond assertions, so be it. If you watch it for its great acting, engaging espionage, and brilliant storyline, well that’s even better. Either way, get your six-hour binging snacks ready.

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Guns and Crime

The Russian investigation was never about Russia. It was cover to find dirt on the President.

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The Russian investigation was never about Russia It was cover to find dirt on the President

President Trump is almost certainly never going to be caught committing the types of crimes that initially prompted the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. That was never the goal of the investigation. It was a cover story concocted to give Mueller unimpeded access to the President and his staff.

As I’ve said on multiple occasions, the Russian collusion angle was simply an excuse to justify digging into the affairs of the President, his campaign staff, and everyone associated with them. They knew the chances of finding true collusion were slim, but they needed a reason to try to uncover potentially impeachable offenses. Now, Democrats and mainstream media think they’ve found them in the form of hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy bunny Karen McDougal.

The sentencing recommendation documents for Michael Cohen, the President’s former attorney, revealed the investigation is now focused on proving that “Individual-1” ordered the hush money be paid to cover up affairs the President had with the two women. Many experts, including Trump supporters like Chris Christy and Andrew McCarthy, believe there’s a case that can be made against President Trump for campaign finance violations.

There are two questions that must be answered. Did candidate Trump order Michael Cohen to pay hush money? If he did, was it a violation of campaign finance laws?

The answer to the first one is almost certainly yes. It’s hard to imagine Cohen acting on his own. In fact, it’s ludicrous to think that Trump, who is known for micromanaging his affairs, would not be made aware of any threats or perceived threats of these women at the height of the campaign.

The second question has a murkier answer. Arguments can be made in both directions. Was it an effort to stifle potentially damaging revelations that could hurt the campaign? Yes. Was it a personal matter, in which case paying off people for their silence is not against the law? Yes.

The timing of the payoffs may be the best argument the prosecution will be able to make to demonstrate these were campaign finance violations. Because these would be considered damaging to the campaign, one can easily make the connection that they were intended to influence the outcome of the election. On the other hand, the argument can also be made that the threats came out because of the election, but the decision to pay hush money was a personal one. This could be easily corroborated if past payments were revealed.

The President has a sure-fire way to disprove campaign finance violations, but he won’t like it

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/09/president-sure-fire-way-disprove-campaign-finance-violations-wont-like/By showing past payoffs to women, the President can go with the story that he didn’t want to damage his marriage or business dealings. This play might hurt his reputation, but it would likely quash attempts to indict him.

This is all assuming there were past payoffs. If there weren’t, then it would be difficult for his defense to claim the two payoffs in question were not politically motivated.

It may not be the most elegant solution for the President, but if the investigation continues to build a case that he committed campaign finance violations, he may have no choice but to reveal past payoffs that show he’s immoral, but not a criminal.

If President Trump never paid hush money to women before announcing his candidacy, then he’s truly in a pickle. It’s hard to argue this was a personal issue devoid of political motivations because his past is checkered with scandals that mirror or even supersede such claims. Most damaging is the fact that he’s bragged about affairs in books he’s published.

The President’s opponents were willing to take him down regardless of the cost. That’s why they concocted the Russia collusion investigation in the first place. This whole mess stinks and will be a stain on our political system for years to come.

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