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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Armbands and the death of a Republic
Weeks ago, David Hogg and sister unleashed a new fashion statement for “their” movement. In an attempt to copy Tinker, they want people to protest guns by wearing armbands. The movement Lauren Hogg named #ArmbandsForChange encourages students to make their own armbands, a surprising move for people trying to capitalize off of the death of 17 students. Nonetheless, obvious criticism and comparisons to Nazis ensued. However, I believe Corey Stallings of LowderWithCrowder correctly opined:
Before you break out the hammer and nails to crucify me, I’m not saying the kids are Literally Hitler. I’m not a leftist, after all. I know their choice of armbands wasn’t intentional and they’re copying student hippies from the ’60s. Alls I’m saying is a group of armband-clad underaged lemmings marching in the name of big government isn’t the best look, regardless of their intentions.
We have to cut the kids a little slack on account of their ignorance. They lack experience and perspective to understand the complexities of issues and their actions. This is also why it’s silly to let them dictate American gun policy.
Also, while we’re on the subject, armbands, ribbons, and other grandstanding gestures don’t do anything for a cause. I have yet to find a single person who changed their opinion on a subject thanks to a clever Twitter hashtag. Facts and stats, on the other hand, are effective like Michael Moore taste-testing for Little Debbie. Unfortunately for anti-gunners, facts to back up their views are scarce. Which leads to the dependence on superficial gestures. Which might accidentally harken back to Nazis.
The March for Gun Confiscation is taking place, and while armbands aren’t a major theme, the implications of what they are doing are a reason for liberty overs everywhere to brace themselves. Mob mentality has a dark history and they compare to a little-known story that impacted the Founding Fathers and our history.
Not Quite Tinker
Tinker v Des Moines is a case about students who wore armbands to protest US involvement in the Vietnam War. This is what 14-year-olds learn about in high school government classes. In both cases, armbands are involved; however major differences arise. For Tinker, it was a passive method of protest. Also, Tinker was honest, in that, the Vietnam War was the subject of protest. The Hoggs, on the other hand, want major gun restrictions, to put it mildly. They mask this intent under the guise of protesting gun violence, a term coined by gun control activist in the first place. The scopes of these respective protests are vastly different. One protested a poorly executed military misadventure, the other wants to take away the rights of the people. The latter is quite aggressive. As Stallings noted, the facts aren’t on their side, so they rely on emotions to dictate policy and conversation. They are trying to awaken the mob. Emotions and intimidation are all part of a time-tested means to advance evil. The Nazis are only one example. Another brought down a Republic.
The Dutch Republic
Before the United States, the Dutch had a Republic. The Dutch Republic was a maritime empire dominating Europe in world trade. They even had the world’s first stock market. But all the while, the Dutch struggled with a division between people who believed in the ideals of Republicanism(Republicans or Patriots) or the people who wanted a strong government leader, the Orangist (monarchists). The Orangist supported the royal family, in this instance is William III Orange.
There’s a Dutch movie on Netflix called Admiral. It’s about how Admiral de Ruyter, one of the greatest admirals of all time, navigated both war and politics. Better action scenes than most of Hollywood. It features Charles Dance, who played Tywin Lannister, so there’s some familiarity for the American viewer. Anyway, in the movie, the Orangists are depicted wearing Orange armbands.
In history, Charles II made an alliance with the French and German states to coordinate an invasion of the Netherlands. The statesmen, Johan de Witt had long helmed the Republic and through multiple wars, but this war would be his last. The alliance caused such a panic, that mob rule took over. The Orangists seized Cornelius de Witt, Johan’s brother for “conspiring against William III” and tortured him. Violent demonstrations took place. Johan de Witt resigned. He shortly after went to see his brother. The mob seized the de Witt brothers and tore them to pieces and hung the remains against a lamppost. 1672 was the fall of the Dutch Republic. Though the rise of William III, the eventual King of England following the Glorious Revolution, would save them from England, the Dutch Golden Age was ending.
The mistakes made in the Dutch Republic were noted by the Founding Fathers. In Federalist 20, James Madison critiques the Dutch Republic as an example of a failed confederacy. He refers to the United Netherlands as “imbecility in government.”
A weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution, for want of proper powers, or the usurpation of powers requisite for the public safety. Whether the usurpation, when once begun, will stop at the salutary point, or go forward to the dangerous extreme, must depend on the contingencies of the moment. Tyranny has perhaps oftener grown out of the assumptions of power, called for, on pressing exigencies, by a defective constitution, than out of the full exercise of the largest constitutional authorities.
The Founding Fathers put in place many precautions in order to prevent mob rule or imbecility in government as seen in the Dutch Republic. The confederacy, Madison argues was ineffective, and true patriots know that we must avoid the same mistakes.
Hoggs and Mobs
Whether it be larger forces than them or they themselves, their actions are dangerous. I don’t believe that these kids were trying to be Nazis; however, they are, likely knowingly, trying to incite a mob. A more accurate comparison than Nazis would be that they are like the Orangists, wearing orange coincidentally used to protest guns every June. Their protest is assertive and, if successful, will strip the natural freedoms away from many Americans, especially their age group of young adults. Their armbands are identifiers in which they intend to normalize and further mobilize their calls to control the liberties of the people. Calls to actions such as theirs are why the people necessitate a Constitution empowering a unique federal system including a Bill of Rights to specifically protect freedoms from a single tyrant and or the tyranny of the majority.
Sheepdogs, Guardians and Liberty control
The issue of security is a serious matter, we should be following the realistic examples of what works to keep our children safe.
So what is the best way to protect people from evil? Taking a page from ranchers or other rural folk who need to protect their flocks from predation may be the best way of figuring this out. We know what doesn’t work, and that would be depriving the people of their liberty of self-preservation. But this doesn’t stop the left from obsessing over inanimate object control. This is a futile pursuit since even in an environments where the Liberty of self-defense is heavily controlled, shootings still take place.
It would be far better if we did not need these measures, but the Socialist-Left has insisted upon tearing down the country’s moral underpinnings to replace them with it’s vile collectivist ideals. So we have to decide the best way to protect from that which the enemies of Liberty on the Left have imposed on the nation. The fact of the matter is that these commonly held arms have been around for over 100 years while these attacks are of a more recent phenomenon. It also needs to be pointed out that Despite Heightened Fear Of School Shootings, It’s Not A Growing Epidemic as reported on Left-Leaning NPR.
Examine how is security provided in other fields to decide what Will Work.
As has been always the case, Liberty control will not work because evil will always find a way to kill. Witness recent events in Austin, Texas where bombs replaced guns in bringing on terror. Even if guns could be wiped from existence criminals, terrorist or governments would find a way to deliberately slaughter people. Therefore the choice is that of restoring our moral underpinnings or providing new guards for our security. While the national socialist Left still holds sway over the culture, media and government indoctrination centres that necessary restoration will have to wait. So the only realistic option is one of armed, on-scene responders to protect our most precious resource.
Similar circumstances teach the best forms of security: The example of livestock control and protection.
Law enforcement personal are often referred to ‘sheepdogs’. They maintain control over crowds of people in varying situations while also protecting them. We can extend this analogy further as a way of illustrating the way to keep people safe from predation. Ranchers have two main types of animals to assist them, for control they use the venerable herding breeds of dogs ranging from the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Corgi, Sheltie, etc. To protect them they also have animals commonly referred to as Livestock guardians. These range from special breeds of livestock guardian dogs to Llamas or Donkeys. They normally live with the flock to provide around the clock protection. They also blend in with it to a certain extent so that the predators cannot single them out.
Guardian protect the flock while sheepdogs maintain control.
In both situations it’s the guardians who blend in and are always on the scene in case of attack. With the ‘flocks’ of humans, the guardians are the people carrying concealed weapons. Those bent on evil don’t know who this may be, their numbers or location. The element of uncertainty keeps the human predators at bay. By contrast the sheepdogs usually stand out in a crowd. While they also offer a deterrent effect, this can be negated by their visibility. They can also be targeted first in an attack to defeat that layer of security.
In the world of the rancher attempting to both protect his (or her) flock, they have the sheepdogs to move and control the flock while the guardians protect it. The sheepdogs do offer a layer of protection, but they cannot be present all the time. It’s the livestock guardians who bond with the flock who protect it around the clock.
Recent events illustrated that it’s impossible to keep people safe by banning guns or any other Liberty control measures. The only way to keep them safe in the immoral environment brought on by the Left, is to have both uniformed law enforcement and those carrying concealed on site as dual layers of defence. Merely decreeing a ‘Gun-Free’ zone or banning firearms are dangerous notions that do not work. These fanciful Leftist constructs only serve to deprive the innocent of the Liberty of self-defence and do nothing but raise the body count.
Dear Illinois Conservatives, what is the Repubican Party accomplishing for you?
Excuse me if I come off sounding like Steve Deace. I don’t mean to. However, when I elaborate on how bad the Republican Party of Illinois is, I also offer a solution. My solution is to consider joining the Federalist Party movement. Because honestly, what do you have to lose?
The 2018 Illinois Primary should be a wakeup call as Conservatism suffered defeat after defeat. The only two salvageable victories were Douglas Bennett in the 10th and David Merkle in the 2nd. Both of these candidates are longshots in November. There were also a couple of conservatives who won because they ran unopposed, Jitendra “JD” Diganvker in the 8th and Bill Fawell in the 17th. JD is a longshot, though District 17 isn’t lost yet.
District 3 Fail
Avowed neo-nazi, Author Jones won the nomination because he ran unopposed. This was the biggest headline for the GOP in Illinois. A neo-nazi is now their candidate. What is also highly disappointing is that the Republican Party had a chance to win this race in November. This is the race where the Democrats were engaged in a civil war of sorts. Socialist, Marrie Newman challenged Daniel Lipinski. If Marrie Newman had won, the District may swing red due to Newman’s socialism. But Lipinski held on, likely due to the open primary system. The GOP just sat back and allowed its own defeat in District 3. They failed to step up and challenge Jones. Is there no establishment or leadership there? Leadership would have been fielding a candidate to first ensure that a neo-nazi will not carry the torch. But instead, the GOP facilitated its own defeat.
RINO Victories Rampant
I do applaud Bennett for his victory in the 10th, but I do recognize that he won, in large part, because the two well-funded RINOs saw fit to hammer each other. Through their big money, they lost their appeal through mudslinging and robocalls. The less funded, but more conservative candidate was able to sneak a 259 vote win over the pro-abortion Jeremy Wynes. The other RINO, Sapan Shah was a close third place. But looking at the other races, RINOs came out on top when head to head with a Conservative. Preston Nelson, a strong libertarian, was no match for the RINO incumbent Mike Bost. The more formidable James Marter still lost handily to incumbent Adam Kinzinger. The largely criticized incumbent governor, Bruce Rauner, still prevailed over Jeanne Ives. Bruce Rauner, by the way, signed a sanctuary state law. So come election day in November, leftist will have two of them to vote for. And Conservatives will only vote for a party that does not represent, in their state, a limited government nor the US Constitution.
As stated by Real GOP Illinois
Bruce Rauner was always a liberal. He was never a conservative. We question whether Rauner was ever really a Republican or if he just saw an opportunity to buy the Illinois Republican Party for his own enrichment and the enrichment of his elite friends. Who has profited from Bruce Rauner? Let’s start naming names.
The Illinois GOP has no interest in a limited government. It has no interest in responsible immigration laws. It does not seek to protect the 2nd Amendment. It does not believe in protecting the unborn. How can they? They’re too busy fielding rich leftist candidates to pass on to the loyal opposition to the state’s Democratic majority. Sapan Shah, Jeremy Wynes, John Morrow all rich leftist who infiltrated the GOP ranks to garner the nomination. They failed, but Mike Bost, Adam Kinzinge, Rodney Davis, John Shimkus, are all blatant RINO incumbents representing their respective districts. Then there’s the crooked John Elleson who won the 9th.
Compared to other Blue States
I live in Maryland. I know very well what it’s like to live under a super-majority of Democrats. I know the futility of opposition. But remarkably, the Maryland GOP isn’t all that bad or at least it’s gotten better. Andy Harris, the state’s lone Republican Congressman on the Eastern Shore, is a solid conservative. Governor Larry Hogan is one of the nation’s most popular governors. He has done as well as a conservative seeking reelection in a blue state can do.
In California, there are solid conservatives running. We’ve interviewed them here on NOQ Report. See Erin Cruz, Shastina Sandman, and Dr. Ken Wright. There is also Konstantinos Roditis a Republican but a solid constitutional conservative federalist running for Controller in California.
The Illinois GOP does not have the same interest or ambition as the other blue states. So what is the point of the Illinois GOP? It is incapable of representing and advancing small government conservatism.
A New Party
For Conservatives in Illinois, it’s time for a new party. Part of the Illinois GOP’s issue is that the GOP platform is meaningless to them. The Federalist Party addresses this exact problem
Over time, the Federalist Party will address issues in a way that is very different from other parties. Platforms today are essentially meaningless. There is no accountability for politicians within the parties. They’re able to act any way they wish. As long as they can confuse the electorate during campaign season, their adherence (or lack thereof) to the party’s platform can be disregarded.
They offer an intricate solution that not only allows some dissension but provides transparency. Read more about their solutions here. The goal of the Federalist Party is to prevent the corruption of ideals that has taken place in the Illinois GOP and the Republican Party as a whole. Give it some thought. In the meantime what have you to lose?