AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Lessons About Conservative vs Liberal America Learned from a Power Outage

Interesting perspective in the comments to this post: Krauthammer and Goldberg Agree The Rules of American Politics Have Changed Fundamentally, But Disagree Sharply On How They’ve Changed

Ok, couple of things that give me real hope here.

1. Liberals want the big nanny state because they can’t survive with out it. Eventually one way or the other the nanny state is gone. It either gets turned around now and all this crap gets repealed, or it eventually collapses under it’s own weight. Either way it’s the liberals who can’t survive without it. Granted, it will suck for the rest of us, but I think many of us will survive. I don’t think any of them will.

2. All of the PETA retards are going to starve to death pretty quick once the system does collapse. If you can’t hunt and kill your own food, yup, you’re gone. Good riddance. Please be sure to take NOW and Planned Parenthood with you.

3. If it does come down to civil war, I’m not all that worried. Our whacky moonbat opposition abhors guns, and would never own one much less have any idea how to use one. Me, I suffer from no such delusions. So if it’s civil war, so be it. Better show up with more than a court injunction fucknuts, because like most well trained marksmen I wait for shots and always go for center mass.

4. Do I think it will come to any of this? No. I think we are in for some very tough times ahead. But I think that unlike Greece most of us are waking up and starting to get it. It’s going to be a hard road back – but I truly think we can make it.

Why? Simple. A power outage. Yup, no shit, a power outage. I live in a small town in Nebraska. Day before yesterday we lost power… the whole town mind you, thanks to a rather violent thunderstorm. The power was out for nearly 6 hours before they got it back up and running again.

When I lived in L.A., eons and eons ago, I remember a power outage there that sparked rioting and looting. So here I am, standing in the darkened street in small town Nebraska, and what happens?

Neighbors are coming outside to check on one another, making sure we’re all ok. Since we have no power, no TV, none of the things that so often fill our lives with distraction, we start chatting with each other.

Before you know it we’ve got a very impromptu neighborhood block party going, beverages, tiki torches, people driving by and stopping by to make sure everybody’s ok and to see if anyone had news about the power outage.

As I was standing outside with my neighbors enjoying a tasty beverage, the cool night air and some pleasant company I thought about that power outage years ago in L.A. and realized why the left coast and places like it would be in such deep shit if the system ever did collapse.

One night without power, or law enforcement, or worse yet both, and most of their neighborhoods would be in ashes. Without Uncle Sugar, they’re all doomed.

Posted by: Stuck On Stupid at July 16, 2010 04:14 PM

July 17, 2010 , 11:59PM Posted by | Conservatism, Liberalism, Politics | 2 Comments

You Can’t Succeed if You Don’t Try

It is possible that a bigger push for a conservative candidate by the rightroots/Tea Partiers could have gotten someone more conservative the nod.

The trouble was no one really knew that a victory in Illinois, in The Obama Seat, was even possible. All of this has snuck up on us. Well, I think I can say “us.” I don’t think too many people were expecting the Brown win, or… this.

Mark Kirk actually ran. Can’t get too angry at him for being the only major Republican candidate to show up for the party.

Once again, we see pundits simply baffled by the reality that when people are given a real choice and alternative to liberal Democrats — even in supposedly liberal areas of the country — these people will choose the alternative. Conservatives — accused of being “purists” who “live in fantasy land” by “pragmatic moderates” — have been saying this all along. We have faith in the common sense of the people that if you stand for conservatism, explain it and defend it unapologetically, the people will choose it over liberalism most every time.

The key is that you must get out there and try. So-called “pragmatic moderates” and eeyores keep saying “oh there is no possible way that people will vote for conservatism or Republicans in this area, so it’s a waste to even bother to try”. Hogwash. That’s just cowardice and lack of principle.

This is a center-right country. Conservative policies and principles have succeeded throughout the history of this nation. All one has to do is get out there and stand for those policies and principles and you will win people over.  It has happened time and time again.  People who start out liberal in their mentality and ideology move to conservatism after having it explained to them and seeing the logic and correctness of it.  Heck, even Rush Limbaugh has caller after caller each year telling him that they tuned into his show when they were liberals because they wanted to “find out what the enemy/other side was saying”, only to end up agreeing with what he was saying and becoming conservatives themselves.

“The trouble” is not that “no one really knew that a victory in Illinois was possible”, the trouble is that there are eeyores out there who refuse to even bother to try to find out. The negative, “it’ll never happen, so don’t bother trying” attitude of these so-called “pragmatic” Republicans is what is holding back conservatism.

You don’t convince people that your principles and ideals and policies are correct by not bothering to sell and explain them to people. You convince them by first having faith in the people to understand them and then proceeding to explain and express them.

The so-called “pragmatic” Republicans who refuse to stand for conservatism all across the country are simply practicing the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. This is a liberal mentality. Sad to see that Republican pundits have this attitude as well.

Amen to this:

Hey, he was the most conservative likely candidate the citizens of Illinois would elect.

I don’t buy this line of reasoning, at all. Conservatism, if articulated properly and accurately, is a winner anywhere anyplace with people who work and pay taxes.

We need to get out this silly mindset of ‘electability’.

Posted by: This is Randolph Mantooth at February 04, 2010 12:58 PM

Exactly. These same “pragmatic” Republicans focus on “electability” simply to get the GOP in the majority, and then turn around and whine when the GOP majority is a majority of RINOs who govern as liberals. What the hell is the point to winning an election if the people who win are liberals?

We saw that during the Bush 43 years, when the GOP controlled Congress from 2003-2006. Sure the GOP had the majority, but they were not fiscal conservatives. Then, the Left puts out the meme that “GOP=conservatism=fail” and then earn HUGE victories in 2006 and 2008 based on that.

So guess what… the “electability” strategy is a failed strategy.

Ronald Reagan is admired and revered to this day, because he unapologetically stood for conservatism, explained it and defended it and didn’t resort to compromising his principles for political expedience. He won two HUGE landslide victories using this strategy. Yet, “pragmatic” Republicans continue to say that strategy is a loser and “electability” and compromising principles for the sake of winning an election is the way to go. Brilliant.

I do not get this at all:

Now — IF, as is possible, the Democratic Parties in these states contain lots of Reagan Democrats willing to be called into the conservative fold…

…and if such Democrats break the tradition of just voting Democrat even if it’s a liberal they don’t like…

…and if they become more persuadable by more conservative and more Republican candidates, then things change, and we can start pushing true-blue conservatives.

You can go a lot further with the wind at your back than in your face. Yes, the winds just changed, and that’s awesome, but they just changed, like a month or two ago.

You know, for years, we have said of the differences between the poles, “Conservatives look for converts, liberals look for heretics.”

I am dismayed that it seems we are joining liberals’ in their counterproductive heretic-hunting.

We need converts. If we were a LOSER PARTY, frankly, we might as well be as ideologically pure as possible, because we’re going to lose anyway, so we might as well do so with integrity.

We are not going to be losing. We have to get into the winner’s mindset here and stop trying to construct a rump party that only exists to propagate a message and nothing else.

Posted by: ace at February 04, 2010 01:08 PM

Um, the “winner’s mindset” is that you stand strong on your winning principles no matter if the wind is in your face or at your back.

And someone explain to me how you win converts to conservatism by running liberal Republicans. Unless, as I suspect, “ace” doesn’t care about winning converts to conservatism, but simply wants to win converts to the Republican Party. That right there exposes him as a “squishy moderate” who doesn’t stand for conservatism, but simply Republicanism… which is basically anti-Democratism (“anyone but Democrats”). Which is a loser’s mentality.

He doesn’t have faith in conservative principles and ideals at all, he doesn’t have faith in the American people to understand those principles, so he decides to just play the same games as the liberals and Democrats and use strategies like “electability” and sacrificing conservative polices X, Y and Z in order to trick the electorate to vote for a Republican, thinking s/he is a conservative, only to find out that once they get into office, they aren’t conservative at all. But, hey, we won and have a Republican majority!

Big deal. We have a liberal Republican majority who simply will govern and legislate not as conservatives, but simply less liberal than Democrats.

Meanwhile, after they fail in their less liberal than Democrats governing, we are right back to the Democrats pointing out the GOP’s failures and getting back into power again.

Brilliant.

The problem is that these “pragmatic” Republicans are more concerned with superficial “victories” instead of long-term success.

Oy:

Balls: A lot of “better candidates” were not candidates at all because they were too afraid to run, thinking this was Obama’s year.

Well, Kirk ran. (Hughes ran too, but had never run for anything before, nor even voted much, and was pretty much a protest candidate.)

So — you know what all of your preferred candidates were lacking?

Ambition and drive and belief and even a little courage.

Kirk had those. The imaginary “better candidates” didn’t.

No one can win without those.

Woody Allen said 80% of success was just showing up. Kirk showed up. Other “better candidates” didn’t. I’m sort of not understanding why were are talking about gutless candidates who didn’t even bother to stand for election.

So let me get this straight…

First you “pragmatic” Republicans say “there’s no point to even trying to win this seat, it’s not possible, so don’t bother”. So people listen to your “pragmatic” advice and don’t run. But now you turn around and call those people cowards for not having the balls to run in a race you said was un-winnable.

Brilliant.

Guess what, genius. If there were less “pragmatic” Republicans like yourself doom-saying and being ‘eeyorish’ and telling people to not even bother trying, because you’re never going to succeed, then we’d have a lot more opportunities to get conservatives we want to campaign and win office.  You go around calling conservatives “purists” who “live in fantasy land” when we say we want to campaign conservatives in liberal States, then turn around and say if we don’t campaign conservatives in liberal States, we’re cowards who lack balls.  Nice having it both ways there, jackass.

I find it ironic that a pessimistic “pragmatic” who goes around telling people “it’s never going to happen, so don’t bother trying” is lecturing others about not having any balls.

Effing A-men to this:

Politics is the art of the possible.

Politics is the art of marketing. Politics is the art of advertising.

Marketing and advertising are about telling your idiot customers what they should want (i.e., your product). It’s about pushing their emotional buttons so hard and so often that they feel absolutely COMPELLED to forgo paying the rent just to buy what you’re selling.

Marketing is not about passively listening to customers, and letting them tell you what to sell to them. It’s just not. It’s about manufacturing consumer demand for your product.

But no one in politics knows anything worth a shit about marketing or advertising. They think that TV spot with the wolf-with-the-red eyes crap is a state-of-the-art ad. It’s not. It’s a fucking joke.

If you want genuine, conservative, pro-market, anti-socialist change in government, conservatives need to learn how to be better marketers. The Left is better at marketing than the Right. They have been for a long time. They own the media, and the media knows marketing. The fact that the Dems are losing so badly right now is 20% attributable to improved Republican marketing, and 80% attributable to Democrat stupidity. Their recent losses are a testament to their utter corruption and avarice. Only they are dumb enough to fuck up a super-majority/White House combo. It’s like the Star Wars prequels — astronomical success should have been a lay-up, a gimmie, but they somehow found a way to turn it into shit. Republicans shouldn’t praise themselves too much for Democrat self-defeat.

The Republicans could blast out a super-majority of their own, with a fire-breathing, rock-ribbed, free-market, small-government agenda, if they knew how to market it properly. The right kind of clear marketing message, properly delivered (by them, not by sideline pundits) would CREATE the demand among voters for the conservative message.

The Republicans don’t need to be passive followers of voter opinion. When passivity is your marketing strategy, then the Dems end up controlling the message, and the Republicans end up selling a watered-down, milquetoast version of the Democrat message, which no one wants. (See, e.g., McCain, John.)

Posted by: Phinn at February 04, 2010 02:12 PM

And the hits just keep on comin’

I didn’t mention that, because I knew the rightroots (internet right) was on the side of Hughes and I didn’t want to be seen as thwarting the Tea Party Movement and supporting a dreaded RINO.

I just shut up, so as not to hurt Hughes’ chances. But I kinda knew, based on reader input, that not only would Kirk win, he should win, because even if a miracle happened and Hughes won the primary, he wasn’t a strong enough candidate to even come close in the general.

Really? The same people who were sure there was no possible way that a Republican could win a Senate seat in Illinois (or Massachusetts) are now certain that Hughes could not possibly “even come close in the general”. The same people who said the GOP was dead last year and were going to be in the wilderness for years. The same people who last year would have said not to even bother trying for the Senate seats in Massachusetts or Illinois now are political geniuses based on hindsight. Brilliant.

Oh, and the same guy who goes around telling other people they are cowards with no balls comes out and admits that he shut up and didn’t campaign for Kirk, because he was afraid of criticism from Hughes supporters. What bravery.

That’s as childish as a college football fan who goes around and gets in everyone’s face about how awesome he is for supporting his team and how idiotic the supporters of the other team were/are… after his team wins.

In other words, it’s just like voting “present” and not taking a side, then waiting for the results to either take credit for a victory or curse the other side for a loss. Right-of-center pundits emulating the cowardice and condescension of Obama. Brilliant.

Ah, you knew it was coming:

I feel compelled to point out that there wasn’t really much of a primary because the conservatives got in too late because no one thought it was worth the expense (yes, I see the obvious counter there). Posted by: Methos

As in, “Whose fucking fault is it that the conservatives were late for the primary?” That kind of thing?

Posted by: Iskandar at February 04, 2010 03:11 PM

Well, smartass, it was partly your “fucking fault” — and that of those “pragmatic” Republican pundits like “ace” — who last year were going around saying conservatives will “NEVER EVER” win in liberal areas and you shouldn’t bother even trying and if you think you can, you’re living in “fantasy land”. I’m sure that kind of brilliant, winning attitude had nothing to do with it, right?  Idiot.

February 4, 2010 , 12:49PM Posted by | Conservatism, Liberalism, Political Bloggers, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh | Comments Off on You Can’t Succeed if You Don’t Try

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.

December 4, 2009 , 4:03PM Posted by | Conservatism, Politics, Ronald Reagan | Comments Off on Politicians Lead from the Middle?

11 Steps to Becoming a Better, More Educated Debater

Great post by Ryan on his MySpace blog. I think he is asking quite a bit from the dumbed down society we have today. However, I think it is good to try to bring people up to a high standard, rather than to pander down to their accepted low standard. It will take a lot of time, effort and patience to get this to happen, but it will be well worth it if we can make this a reality in our society.

Now, on debating: The following consists of a simple list of things to keep in mind while debating politics.

1. Thou Shalt Not Make Slurs, Generalized or Other.

It’s number one for a reason. Not only is it just rude, but it takes away from the debate. Regardless of what side you take on a debate, you should leave with a higher knowledge set.

To the people I generally agree with on issues: I’ve deleted some of your comments lately. We’ve been doing this long enough that you should know better.

To the people I generally disagree with (or noobs): You don’t know my work history. You don’t know my personal history. You don’t know my education history. I shouldn’t really need to post pics of the dozens of diplomas I’ve received in military, law enforcement, and legal courses; my academic diplomas (plural, including graduate school) from the university I attended; the essays I’ve gotten published; the dissertation I’m working on; my class schedule for my PhD program; or my personal library and research files. Instead of coming in and making broad generalized statements like “you can’t read legal stuff”, take the time to debate the actual issue or leave.

You say “But Ryan, what was the point of that paragraph? You’re just on your high horse or something.”

The point is that the majority of that paragraph is pointless. When you make such broad-based generic claims about someone’s ‘abilities’ or ‘knowledge’, all you’re doing is setting up a strawman argument that does absolutely nothing for the debate. You force a person to point out their pedigrees (or it degenerates into a ‘yu-huh’-‘nuh-uh’ argument) and the actual subject of the debate dies.

2. Thou Shalt Not Ignore Points Made by the Opposing Party.

Example:

Guy 1 – “X” is wrong because of y and z.
Guy 2 – We should do “x” because of a, b, and c.

No, address “y and z” first before taking the debate in another direction. Why? Because you’re being disingenuous. The person you’re addressing has already made a claim and backed it up. If you feel said claim is wrong, take on their points before moving on.

Let me put it into better context:

Guy 1 – We shouldn’t pass the health care bill because it’ll bankrupt the economy based on the $2 Trillion initial cost, the projected deficits, the running costs of all the other programs, and the $1.4 Trillion deficit we’re already running.
Guy 2 – You’re wrong. We need to pass the health care bill so we can help people.

See what I’m saying? All Guy 2 did here was vomit out his feelings on the matter without addressing the issue at hand, which is the effect of the health care bill on the economy. The debate went nowhere and neither party is better off.

3. Thou Shalt Acknowledge and Heed the Most Credible Source.

This is a biggie, and one that drives me absolutely mad.

Guy 1 – Page 437 of House bill 93498 (linked) flat out says “You are a cunt.”
Guy 2 – You’re wrong. The New York Times and ABC News has a panel of people that says it doesn’t say that.

What we have here are two people. One is citing the actual text of the bill and providing it for all to see (proof beyond any reasonable doubt). The other refuses to read the actual text and is instead relying on a second-hand (and questionable) source for their info on what page 437 says.

The logic here is unassailable.

4. Thou Shalt Educate Thyself.

Following on that last point, when you’re debating, you should have data to back up your own claims.

Go to the bookstore. Go to the library. Go to amazon. Use google. It’s not that hard.

Then you say “But c’mon now Ryan, I don’t have time to research or read stuff.”

Really? Ever wait in line? Cook? Take a shit? Eat alone? Does it take you a while to get to sleep? Do you watch TV?

You have time.

Let me give you some examples:
-At the time of this writing, I am making homemade rolls from scratch. I’m just waiting for the dough to rise.
-A little over a year ago, I researched and wrote the majority of a 13 page paper for class during a 12-hour layover at Heathrow Int’l airport.
-I always have a book or two in my truck for when I’m…well, waiting in line somewhere or for when I’m out to eat and by myself.

The point is that you don’t have to be a research fellow at some university or think tank to do research, nor do you have to set aside hours and hours of your schedule. 99% of the time it’s just picking up a book or document and taking some time to do what you learned how to do when you were four.

5. Thou Shalt Use Credible Sources.

It doesn’t do much good to read if you’re reading the wrong thing. Let’s look at three different kinds of sources:

NOT CREDIBLE: [Jonathan Steele’s Defeat – Why America and Britain Lost Iraq]

Written by a journalist. He did some research, but he clearly had a bias going into the book. (Praise by Noam Chomsky should also make anything suspect). This was also published in February of 2008…a year and a half after the Awakening movements started and the Iraqis were well on their way to kicking the terrorists out.

It’s opinion, and the events that have played out since its publication have killed any credibility of the book’s premise.

CREDIBLE: [Daniel Walker Howe’s What Hath Go Wrought – The Transformation of America 1815-1848]

Written by a historian and thoroughly researched (as noted by the hundreds of footnotes and 21-page bibliographical essay in the back). Part of the “Oxford History of the United States” series. Also, an excellent and captivating read.

ORIGINAL: [The Federalist Papers]

Much like pulling up actual bills, if you want to know what someone actually said on a subject, you pull up what they actually wrote. For example, if you want to know what the Founders meant when they wrote the Constitution, you need to read what they actually said about it in the Federalist Papers.

Politicians do not count as credible sources either. Why? Because Congress would write a bill legalizing rape, title it “Empowering Women of America Act”, then defend it on all the talk shows. It’s called “double speak”, and politicians thrive on it. If you don’t believe me, pull up the legislative calendar and start reading bills. It’ll make you want to pull your hair out.

6. Thou Shalt Practice What Thou Preaches.

This is more for personal credibility than anything else.

For example, I am a huge proponent of free market economics in the health care debate. So what do I do? I go to the doctor and exercise free market principles. If you’re new, here is my most recent experience.

If you are a huge proponent of increased taxes, instead of whining about “fairness”, you should work yourself up to that tax bracket and see how it feels to be forced to give up more and more of your income the harder and harder you work; to become a target of people wanting to take what you earned on your own accord. If you are a proponent of government run social programs, you should go out and force people to give you money so you can give it to others.

What? Too much work? Illegal? It’s your call, but if you don’t practice what you preach you’re intellectually dishonest and a coward.

7. Thou Shalt Check Thy Sources.

I mentioned sources above and it’s being mentioned again because of its importance.

Let’s say you hear a story from a source that you trust, whether it be Rush, Beck, Jason Lewis, Olbermann, Huffington, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, et. al.

Before jumping on any bandwagon, verify what they are saying. If Glenn Beck says that so-and-so in the administration is a commie, look to see where he’s getting that from and run it up against Marxist doctrine. If Keith Olbermann gives the top 10 reasons why you should be worshiping Obama, check to see if those reasons are accurate.

I listen to a lot of talk radio and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard Rush say something and be like “C’mon now! The old man has done gone crazy.” Then I research said point. It doesn’t matter that I’ve found him to be accurate 80%-90% of the time, I still check.

8. Thou Shalt Be Consistent With Thy Stances.

Simply put, don’t be a hypocrite. US Agent brought this up in his latest blog and I’ll build off of his example for my point:

If you are against Obama’s spending, but defend Bush’s spending, then you’re wrong.

9. Thou Shalt Be Consistent With Thy Consistency.

Same ball, different spin. Basically, if you are an out-and-out Bush hater because of his policies, but in the same breath love Obama for his policies, you’re wrong.

Why?

Because a lot of those policies are the same. Obama has been dithering on Afghanistan, but largely accepted Bush’s plan for both there and Iraq when he took office. Bush did corporate bailouts. Bush did the first stimulus plan. Bush expanded Medicare. Bush would have expanded SCHIP if the bill Congress gave him wasn’t overflowing with a bunch of crap.

Therefore, if you love Obama for doing those policies, logic dictates you must also praise Bush for doing them first. Otherwise you’re just showing that you’re intellectually vapid and just follow the cult of personality instead of looking at the issues and thinking for yourself.

10. Thou Shalt Admit When Thou is Wrong.

Guy 1 – “The sun is shining.”
Guy 2 – “No it’s not. You’re wrong.”
Guy 1 – (Opens up the blinds. Sunlight comes through the window).
Guy 2 – “Huh. Well isn’t that something. The sun really is shining.”

It’s not that hard. I’ve done it. Probably the most recent example I can give is of changing my own stance on marijuana legalization (I support it somewhat now, after first debating with some on here who are for it).

Why did I do such a thing?

I don’t follow the stream. I was simply presented with a different set of empirical data that showed my stance (keep it illegal) to be short-sighted and faulty.

11. Thou Shalt Test Thyself By Arguing Both Sides.

The final point I’d like to make is that if you want to be a good debater, you need to be able to argue both sides of just about any argument.

-War is bad and we should avoid it.
-Some fuckers just need killing.

-Abortion kills babies.
-Abortion can save a life.

-Global warming might kill us all.
-The earth’s temperature has been flat or cooling since 1998.

-Everyone needs health care to live healthy lives.
-Life without liberty isn’t worth it.

-Gov’t stimulus plans can boost short-term economic growth.
-Stimulus plans kill short-term gains in other sectors and are devastating overall in the long-term.

Easy peasy.

*

So there ya go. Follow those 11 steps and you will not only be a better, more educated debater, but a better, more educated person.

November 28, 2009 , 6:28PM Posted by | American History, Conservatism, Political Bloggers, Politics | Comments Off on 11 Steps to Becoming a Better, More Educated Debater

I Can Defeat Barack Obama, Because I’m Black and Sarah Palin Isn’t

I continue to be baffled by the density of ace at Ace of Spades HQ. Apparently, he thinks that it’s quite alright for the GOP to use identity politics. Brilliant. Fiorina: I Can Beat Barbara Boxer Because I’m a Woman, and Chuck DeVore Isn’t

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to play the “gender card” as regards electability. Whether or not electability matters all that much, and whether someone’s gender really has a big influence on electability, is a side question, which people can figure out for themselves.

But to merely make mention of it? That’s dirty pool?

I don’t think it is. Fiorina isn’t exactly playing identity politics. She’s not saying, as Sotomayor did, that she’s better qualified due to her sex. Instead, she’s saying that her sex might make her more appealing to female voters. That’s not claiming superiority in the way we usually speak of it. She’s saying that people vote for candidates for all sorts of reasons — being “just like me” being one of them — and that this will be helpful.

Perfectly acceptable, huh? Okay then, I’ll be waiting for ace to be perfectly okay with the GOP nominating a Black man (or woman) as their Presidential candidate in 2012 and rationalizing it by saying “I can defeat Barack Obama, because I’m Black and (insert qualified conservative candidate here) is not.”

Apparently, ace and many others are quite alright with playing stupid-ass identity politics, just like the Democrats do. Brilliant.

How about we rewrite ace’s rationale thusly:

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to play the “[race] card” as regards electability. Whether or not electability matters all that much, and whether someone’s [race] really has a big influence on electability, is a side question, which people can figure out for themselves.

But to merely make mention of it? That’s dirty pool?

I don’t think it is. Fiorina isn’t exactly playing identity politics. She’s not saying, as Sotomayor did, that she’s better qualified due to her [race]. Instead, she’s saying that her [race] might make her more appealing to [Black] voters. That’s not claiming superiority in the way we usually speak of it. She’s saying that people vote for candidates for all sorts of reasons — being “just like me” being one of them — and that this will be helpful.

Okay then. That settles it. I have to assume that ace is quite alright with a GOP Presidential candidate coming out and saying that we should vote for them, because, being Black as they are, they are the only one who can defeat Barack Obama in 2012.

This is what the GOP has devolved into. Brilliant.

Reading the comments, at least one person finds this rationale objectionable:

I actually find her quote objectionable. She is not merely saying that as a woman she has a better chance running against another woman. Her use of the phrase “white guy” is straight out of the Democrat’s playbook, whether or not she meant it to be. It implies that Republicans and conservatives are nothing but white guys… wink, wink — racists… and she will temper the racist tendencies inherent in the Party. F#ck her.

Posted by: Usful Ijit at November 23, 2009 03:31 PM

Yep, this is nothing but Democrat Party playbook bullsh!t. Identity politics.

Also, not only is it pathetic, but it is also condescending to women. Carly Fiorina is basically saying that women are so stupid, that they will vote for a radical leftist woman like Barbara Boxer again rather than for a conservative who will improve things. Thus, if the GOP wants to win, they have to run a woman, because women are stupid and only vote for women.

And another thing… ace wonders how this is any big thing. Well, this is a sign. It’s a small sign that Carly Fiorina is a typical unethical b!tch who will use all dirty tricks in the book, instead of debating on the merits of issues. That’s a sign of her being a “McCain maverick” type RINO Republican, in the same way that a guy being verbally abusive to his woman is a sign of him being emotionally and physically abusive later in the relationship.

The fact that ace doesn’t recognize this is downright frustrating and disheartening.

The fact is that true statesmen and conservatives do not need to play identity politics. We know that the Constitution and our principles speak for themselves. All we need to do is clearly articulate them, champion them and defend them and people will be inspired.

But, if people like ace have their way, we’ll be putting up candidates all across the country who will play identity politics and… lose. Because the majority of people are not idiots as apparently ace thinks them to be. The majority of Americans want to be inspired and want to be able to trust their representatives to walk their talk. And when they hear someone resort to playing the identity politics game, that is a sign of the same-ol’, same-ol’ slick talking, spineless, unprincipled, unethical politicians of whom we’re trying to rid Washington.

The more I read through the comments… the more I realize I was correct about ace (and probably most political bloggers) all along: he’s an elitist.  He sees everyone and everything in terms of identity politics.  He doesn’t see us as fellow Americans, he sees us as voting blocs and identity groups to which to pander on issues for votes.  Just plain sad.

FINALLY! 80 comments in and I finally come across someone on a similar wavelength:

Issues, baby, issues.

I want to know what you think and where you stand on the issues. I do not want to hear vague platitudes and empty rhetoric. I want concrete statements and absolutes.

I don’t care if you’re white, black, orange with green polkadots or a woman or a man. I want to know you have an intellect. I need to know you can separate truth from fantasy. I need to know you won’t cave in to the screetching from the moonbats. I need to know you have real-world experience and real-world solutions to problems. I don’t want, nor will I accept any more BS from someone I elect to represent me. The time for games is over!

Issue, baby, issues…

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at November 23, 2009 03:51 PM

Nah, that makes too much sense and shows respect to too many people, let’s do ace’s way and keep playing games!  Let’s keep pandering to the least common demonimator among the populace.  Let’s play identity politics, use catchy, empty slogans, talk in vagaries and platitudes, pander instead of inform and inspire and lead.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  That way, we’ll become an idiocracy (more so than we already have become) in no time!  Woohoo!

Oy.

Yep, spot-on. At least I am not the only one who recognizes the signs of crappy, treasonous RINOs.

we have no idea if Carly is a conservative, right of center type of candidate or who knows what.

She’s evasive and probably has no considered positions on anything, but she’s evasive and positionless in the style of people who govern fiscal-lib and grandstand social-con. Like ’80s Gore or Lieberman before his VP run, when he was a fiery preacher against dirty music and video games and shit.

Plus, she’s A Strong Woman, so she’ll be all in for any lib bill that has “Women” in the name.

She’s exactly what the national GOP wants.

Posted by: oblig. at November 23, 2009 04:02 PM

Excellent… more proof that not everyone has lost their freaking minds.  I agree with both of these…

all i know is, if you go to Carly’s site, you get a bunch of mealy mouth platitudes in an excruciating series of videos. at Chuck’s site, you get plain, no nonsense words that state exactly where he stands, and where he’s voted in the past.

as a native of the PRC, i’ll take Chuck any day. Carly looks like just another pair of Boxer Shorts. if she’s the candidate, i’ll simply skip that office when i vote. better the obvious enemy than a so called ally.

no more RINOs!

Posted by: redc1c4 at November 23, 2009 04:20 PM

******************************************

Forina is running against horrid Barbara Boxer-

TO imply that women can do better when running against another female who is corrupted to her core, is blind arrogance. I’m woman hear me roar, that’s pitiful.

If California women would even consider re-electing Barbara Boxer (since 1992) no matter who is on the other ticket, then let them re-elect their ugly slavemaster.

Screw the ‘womyn’ vote; let them suffer the 5% tax increase slapped on their botox bill, their silicon-bo0b bill while receiving fewer opportunities for those hip replacements they are going to need.

Posted by: syn at November 23, 2009 04:26 PM

A-FREAKING-MEN to this:

What’s your platform and what’s your historical record, if any, to support that platform? And do you have the capacity to investigate or understand that which you do not know?

That’s all I want to know.

If your metric is that I’m this color not that color and this gender not that one, then you fail my test. If it’s your only metric, then obviously the choice is simple. If it’s a metric among other platform metrics which are sound, your chances improve from a politically tactical POV; however, those chances coincidentally drop because you’ve substituted identity politics for actual accomplishment. That illustrates weakness. Your mentioning it emphasizes that you cannot trust your own record.

As someone who believes in rewarding merit, I’m dinging both the candidate and the philosophy that indulges in identity politics. I’ll lose elections if I have to in order not to perpetuate this lazy, obscene, and culturally damaging calculus.

Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at November 23, 2009 05:10 PM

Wow, this Qwinn guy must be my twin, because 99.9% of the time, we are on the *exact* same wavelength and he expresses it pretty much exactly how I would… were I (1) able to express myself as well as he does and (2) still posting at AoSHQ…

So I guess we approve of anti-male bigotry at AoS now?

Cause don’t kid yourself – that’s what this is. That’s what you’re defending. You can make yourself feel better saying “it’s not anti-male, it’s pro-female”, but that’s bullshit and you know it. It’s both. You can’t have one without the other.

I don’t want to be a part of a conservative party that seeks to exploit bigotry for its own purposes. If the woman were the more conservative candidate, I’d be all for her. But to throw the more conservative candidate overboard because he doesn’t have a vajayjay? Why don’t we just -be- Democrats.

Qwinn

Posted by: Qwinn at November 23, 2009 06:21 PM

November 23, 2009 , 9:38PM Posted by | Barack Obama, Identity Politics, Republicans | 2 Comments