AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Politicians Lead from the Middle?

And thus I am reminded once again why I stopped commenting at Ace of Spades HQ. This type of apathetic attitude of accepting — and by accepting, actually perpetuating — the status quo.

My theory about politicians is pretty simple: They lead from the middle. Not from the front, usually, as many strong ideological conservatives demand. Such people want to see their pols out in front on every issue, making the strongest possible case for this issue or that — especially when it comes to the unpopular positions, the positions the movement needs the most rhetorical effort on.

I don’t buy that. That’s a way to lose votes, generally. You talk and talk and talk up the positions where you’re already winning and people need precious little converting, you offer a fair amount of talk for the positions where you’re almost but not quite winning, and you throw your base a rhetorical bone here and there on the issues that are losers and would take some seriously heavy rhetorical lifting to ever change the public’s mind.

You punt on those. You say enough to show you’re on the right side of things and then you pretty much drop it. You leave the heavy lifting for the activists and the pundits and the polemicists. The people who don’t have to worry about securing 51% in a personal referendum on themselves every two or four or six years.

You don’t lead from the rear, simply echoing whatever the public says; the public catches on to that, and deems you a flip-flopper and weak leader. You get somewhat closer to the front, but not too close to it. You lead from the fat middle, surrounded by lots of people.

Does the following sound like “leading from the middle”?

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjWDrTXMgF8]

Or how about this: Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation, Spring 1983

We should not rest until our entire society echoes the tone of John Powell in the dedication of his book, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust, a dedication to every woman carrying an unwanted child: “Please believe that you are not alone. There are many of us that truly love you, who want to stand at your side, and help in any way we can.” And we can echo the always-practical woman of faith, Mother Teresa, when she says, “If you don’t want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me.” We have so many families in America seeking to adopt children that the slogan “every child a wanted child” is now the emptiest of all reasons to tolerate abortion.

I have often said we need to join in prayer to bring protection to the unborn. Prayer and action are needed to uphold the sanctity of human life. I believe it will not be possible to accomplish our work, the work of saving lives, “without being a soul of prayer.” The famous British Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, prayed with his small group of influential friends, the “Clapham Sect,” for decades to see an end to slavery in the British empire. Wilberforce led that struggle in Parliament, unflaggingly, because he believed in the sanctity of human life. He saw the fulfillment of his impossible dream when Parliament outlawed slavery just before his death.

Let his faith and perseverance be our guide. We will never recognize the true value of our own lives until we affirm the value in the life of others, a value of which Malcolm Muggeridge says:. . . however low it flickers or fiercely burns, it is still a Divine flame which no man dare presume to put out, be his motives ever so humane and enlightened.”

Abraham Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should therefore be slaves. Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide. My Administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land, and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.

The difference between people like those who blog at Ace of Spades HQ — and many other places on the right-of-center blogosphere, for that matter — and myself is that I want, demand and am working to elect statesmen and ideological, principled leaders like Ronald Reagan, while they simply accept and perpetuate the status quo of electing unprincipled, cowardly politicians.

These same people say “we’re never going to get another Reagan, so don’t even bother”. Great attitude. And what they do not realize is that their attitude is a self-fulfilling prophesy. When you believe in ‘never’, then, of course, something will not happen.

We, the People, must expect and demand more from our elected leaders. The reason we have unprincipled, unethical cowardly bastards representing us in government is because We, the People put them there. And We, the People put them there based on apathetic attitudes about what we should expect and demand from our elected leaders. Thus, these politicians who “lead from the middle” — which is to say, they don’t lead at all — represent We, the People perfectly, as they are a mirror image of our own “leading from the middle” apathetic attitudes. Just as children’s behavior is a direct reflection on their parents, so too are politicians’ behaviors a direct reflection on We, the People.

If We, the People want true “change” in government — if we truly want principled leaders and statesmen — then We, the People must change our attitudes and expect, demand and work to elect leaders and statesmen.

And if you are not working to this end, then you are part of the problem.

You know what happens when we vote for people who “lead from the middle”? We get politicians supporting Anthropogenic Global Warming.  Instead of principled leaders getting out there and explaining to people that Al Gore and his acolytes are full of crap and perpetuating the biggest hoax in human history, we get people like John McCain and Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich who go out there and support Anthropogenic Global Warming and promote their own versions of Cap-and-Trade policies.

You know what else happens when we vote for people who “lead from the middle”?  We get politicians who don’t value the sanctity of human life and who find it easy to slide down the slope from accepting the mass murder of babies through the practice of abortion-on-demand to accepting the mass rationing of health care to the elderly through the “health care reform” bills being promoted now.

You know what else happens when we vote for people who “lead from the middle”?  We get Amnesty and the complete abrogation of our immigration laws, not to mention our elected officials’ responsibility to enforce those laws.

Yes, that’s right.  By accepting the apathetic attitude of supporting politicians who “lead from the middle”, We the People end up electing officials who push three of the biggest economy-destroying policies in our nation’s history.  Brilliant.

Keep chucking the ficken, ‘moderates’ and RINOs.  Me?  I prefer ‘red meat’.

Still doesn’t get it:

Obama was only to show so much leftist leg because conservatism had been partly discredited by 2008.

How do you think Obama would have fared when conservatism was winning, like in 1988?

The more conservative the country as a whole, the more conservative you can expect the nominees of BOTH parties to talk.

Conservatism has not been discredited. The Republican Party was discredited. Obama himself — despite his obvious socialist, communist and Marxist roots — campaigned on conservatism (tax cuts, cutting the deficit) — specifically, because he knew that the majority of this nation still believes in Conservatism and conservative policies. Which is why he hid his true socialist/communist/Marxist/anti-capitalist ideology and ran a campaign of lies, painting himself as a fiscal conservative.

Thus, he would have fared quite well in 1988. Unless, of course, the GOP had the backbone to call him out on his lies and radical America-hating, anti-Capitalist background (which the GOP did not have from 2006-2008, since they were led by a bunch of spineless RINOs).

Bill Clinton? Ring any bells? Famously broke with his party’s left for a “Third Way” that supposedly fused some conservatism with the basics of the Democratic agenda.

You may say, “Well that was talk.” Well, maybe it was. People get elected on talk. They get reelected, or not, based on actions.

Posted by: ace at December 04, 2009 03:03 PM

Right. And Obama was elected on talk of being a fiscal conservative. He was painted that way by his campaign and his propagandists in the mass media. But, based on his actions in office as a hard-Left, America-hating, big-government socialist, he most likely will not be re-elected.

So long as the GOP puts up someone who is clear on conservative principles and has a good track record of backing up their talk.

The country is majority conservative. Conservatism has NOT been “discredited”. The GOP has been discredited by their move Left to liberalism and socialism-lite while they had the majority in Congress. THAT is why they lost their majority and the Democrats won. The Democrats ran “Blue Dogs” in conservative districts and ran on… conservatism. That reality is counter to the claim that ‘conservatism was discredited’.

The GOP was discredited, because they strayed from fiscal conservatism and conservatism in general. I really don’t know what is so difficult to understand about that.

Geez. Here, in one sentence, Ace sums up why I don’t bother commenting on his site anymore:

“But there are sometimes more important things than being right.”

I see. So rather than being right about anthropogenic global warming, let’s just go along to get along and allow Cap-and-Trade to destroy this nation. Rather than being right about health care, let’s just punt that issue and go along to get along and destroy our health care industry. Rather than being right about the sanctity of life, let’s just punt that issue and allow our nation to become more and more indifferent to issues regarding the sanctity of human life, become more and more coarse concerning killing babies, assisted suicide and rationing health care to the elderly and the infirm.

This isn’t a marriage or a blog, this is a country, where the lives of 300 million people are at stake. I’d say that it is quite important to be right and stand up for what is right. But, apparently, Mr. Ace doesn’t care about that. He’s more concerned with making money from his blog. He sees everything through political goggles instead of through reality and life. Brilliant. Here’s his full statement of ‘moderate’ compromise ideology:

>>>I do like your analysis and it does make sense but it seems to me that her support is akin to truthers stating they are “just asking questions.”

So what?

Look, I experience something like the same political pressures. This blog, I hope you understand, is political, and not just as regards the news.

I believe, firmly, in evolution. Or, let me put it a different way: Whether I believe in evolution is irrelevant; what I know for a fact is that evolution is the only scientific theory I’ve heard to explain speciation, that is, a theory that does not include at its core *magic.*

So evolution may be completely wrong. But it does have the advantage of being scientific, having to do with natural processes, and not relying on, at its heart, supernatural intervention. Evolution may be completely wrong, but what would have to replace it would be ANOTHER theory that relies upon natural, and not supernatural, forces.

Now, I’m pretty sure of those beliefs. Damn sure, actually. I’m more sure of that than I’m sure that global warming alarmism is bunk.

You hear me talk about it much?

No.

It’s impolitic.

I’m just saying, we’re all doing politics in the game of politics. Don’t hold it against a politician that she too is pressured this way and that by political considerations.

You know, if you’re married, you and your spouse may disagree on a bunch of things, politically. What do you do? Well, you probably avoid those topics, much of the time. Because the marriage is more important than convincing your spouse of this or that point.

Being right is important. Creating harmony is important too.

You can say this is cynical, or pandering, or whatever else. It may be that. It’s also another thing: It’s life. It’s another thing: It is the way it is.

What did George W. Bush say about teaching evolution and creationism? He punted. He said something like “I don’t see what the big problem is of teaching another theory in school.”

That bothered me. The answer, you see, is wrong.

But there are sometimes more important things than being right.

Posted by: ace at December 04, 2009 03:11 PM

And with those statements emboldened above, ace admits that he is not principled. He puts politics over principle. He supposedly believes in certain things, but refuses to talk about them for political purposes. Brilliant.

In that way he is no different than the mass media who refuse to report certain news stories for political purposes. And thus, the blogosphere has become just like the mass media. Brilliant.

Oy, and the pessimistic and negative hits just keep on coming with this guy:

I have convinced people of things on this blog like… I dont’ want to say “Never” but let me say it’s close to never.

I have rarely — I can’t remember a single time — had someone tell me “I believed the exact opposite of what you say, but after I read your post, I now agree with you.”

I just don’t see this happening. I have been blogging for six years and I have a pretty good resevoir of goodwill and I’m pretty smart and a pretty effective writer and yet I cannot remember a single time someone told me I’d actually changed their mind.

Oooh, wow! He hasn’t convinced anyone of anything in 6 years of blogging so that means NO ONE can do it! That settles it. Since ace has never convinced anyone to change their minds from his brilliant blogging in 6 years, the rest of us should give up on the idea of ANYONE, EVER convincing someone. Brilliant projection of your individual experience onto tens of millions of other people, ace. Just brilliant.

More often it is like the praise I get here — somone said something like “This has been bothering me for 24 hours and you encapsulated why.” In other words, he already sort of agreed with me; he was having trouble announcing his position in words, though, and I did that for him, and now he knows more why he agreed with this position *ALL ALONG.*

I say this because I think some people have a very, VERY wrong idea of what the limits of political persuasion really are.

I will say it until I am dead: Sometimes, rarely, commenters convince me to change my mind. (See town halls, for instance, or TARP; but note that was less about convincing me and more about watching events unfold.)

I also rarely convince you guys of anything.

Convincing people to believe the oppsosite of waht they believe is very, very difficult, and successful very, very rarely.

Ergo any strategy that just relies at its essence of “just convincing people we’re right” is invalid and doomed. Obviously the strategy must INCLUDE that. Obviously. But also, obviously, the strategy must include a Plan B. What happens when, as is inevitable, you fail to convince more than 3-5% of people to change their midns? What next?

Posted by: ace at December 04, 2009 03:25 PM

“Invalid and doomed”! There’s that “never” attitude again. And that attitude is exactly the problem:  that what ace thinks is what is real, and the rest of us should just give up on our ideas, our optimism, our principles, because in ace’s 6 years of blogging and 40+ years of life on earth, things haven’t happened a certain way and, thus, will NEVER happen that way, so we shouldn’t even bother to try… because ace says so.

Because, afterall, no one in human history has changed their minds on any issues, ever. Afterall, we’re still a country which deems homosexuality to be a mental disorder and would never even fathom discussing redefining marriage in this country to include same-sex couples… oh wait.  And, afterall, people who are liberals when young never, ever change their minds and get convinced they were wrong and conservatism is correct later in life… oh wait.

People like ace are simply living in a self-fulfilling prophesy. As I said earlier, when you believe in ‘never’, then, of course, something will not happen. And that is NOT the American way.

What happens when, as is inevitable, you fail to convince more than 3-5% of people to change their midns? What next?

If you have to ask, that is pretty sad. What happens is… you keep working to convince them. It’s called having principles, expressing those principles and working to educate and inform others on those principles… for as long as it takes.  Did Ronald Reagan just give up after he didn’t convince people of his ideas in 1976?  No.  This isn’t some college debate where we have 15 minutes to make a point/rebuttal/counter-rebuttal. This isn’t some stupid political cable TV news talk show where we have 90 seconds to make a point.

You don’t give up just because the first 1-2-10-100 times you failed. You try and try again. You make your point in a different way. You find new ways to reach people about the same principles. Because the future success and prosperity of this nation is worth the effort.

Ah, finally some common sense on the thread:

building a coalition of 51%, many people in that coalition often having DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED IDEOLOGIES

I don’t think you can really do that, or should want to.

The “big tent” describes the idea of people with lots of different but not mutually incompatible ideas working together for their common good.

If Peter is passionately commited to “reproductive freedom” and Paul is equally committed to curtailing abortion, then they don’t belong in the same party.

People who are commited to expanding the size of government don’t belong in the same party as those commited to shrinking it.

If you do somehow win an election wth a coalition of the diametrically opposed, you’re bound to lose the next one, because you are bound to piss off at least some of them once you actually have to start doing stuff. You haven’t assembled a governing coalition.

Posted by: flenser at December 04, 2009 03:34 PM

And of course, the common sense did not last long:

flenser you continue not to get that someone like me, for example, can be with you 90-100% on eight issues and almost opposite you on 2 issues. (Out of the top ten.)

You continue to sort of imply that anyone who’s “conservative” agrees on ten for ten.

They don’t.

It is rather obvious where there is 90% consensus in the Republcian party and where there is merely 60% consensus. You seem unduly determined to push the 60% consensus as hard as the 90% consensus.

Posted by: ace at December 04, 2009 03:36 PM

I’m getting sick of these damn ‘moderates’ using these 60-70-80-90% bullshit arguments. If a Republican is 80% conservative, but the 2 out of 10 issues on which that member is not conservative is health care ‘reform’ and Cap-and-Tax, then I don’t give a flying fuck about the other 80% as the 20% are huge issues which will destroy out economy and nation. So stop with the 80% bullshit and focus on what you actually believe.  SPECIFIC ISSUES matter, not bullshit percentages.

And he wonders why he hasn’t convinced anyone in 6 years. Well, when providing half-assed bullshit ‘logic’ like this, it’s no wonder.

A thought… let’s go back to this:

I have rarely — I can’t remember a single time — had someone tell me “I believed the exact opposite of what you say, but after I read your post, I now agree with you.”

Well, ace, maybe you should spend some time listening to Rush Limbaugh, as he has been doing exactly that — changing people from believing in liberal ideas to becoming conservatives — for 20 years. So it can be done. You simply don’t know how to do it. But that does not mean that others cannot do it. So stop projecting your weaknesses and failures onto everyone else. It’s very… elitist.

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December 4, 2009 , 4:03PM - Posted by | Conservatism, Politics, Ronald Reagan

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