Saturday, 12 November 2011 04:08 by Peg Brady
Editor: Five hundred Colorado conservatives filled the Douglas County Events Center in Castle Rock on Nov. 7 for the “Obama 365” rally sponsored by Salem radio stations KNUS and KZNT, one year out from Election Day 2012. Featured speakers were Salem radio hosts Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt. ’76 Blog contributor Peg Brady produced another of her meticulously detailed steno summaries of the evening. Here is Peg’s report:
Having the State deeply involved in the lives of individuals replicates Europe’s old-style patriarchal government, not America’s liberty-based ideal. That outdated patriarchal model erodes personal responsibility, personal dignity and interpersonal civility.
Replacing BO will not be easy. Although he has utterly failed with the economy, with foreign affairs, with protecting our borders, with maintaining the Rule of Law and any other aspect of the president’s domain, he mesmerizes voters. Our GOP candidate must focus on the Conservative vision:
• Explain why GOP values improve people’s lives: “The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.”
• Don’t just criticize BO’s failures, even important ones like unemployment, debt and Obamacare
Liberals and their audiences make decisions according to feelings, and good intentions sway their emotions. Conservative decisions derive from reason and results – but those logical, business-minded factors do not resonate with the public. Liberals’ “logic” goes:
• We care about “victims” and we are motivated by good intentions.
• You GOP folks oppose our well-intended measures.
• Ergo, you don’t care about people and you are bad.
Sadly, that makes sense to many voters.
This election is larger than just defeating BO, vital as that is. 2012 offers a golden opportunity to explain our vision and to expose the Liberals’ failed patriarchal model. Even the President of the EU states, “The welfare state is unsustainable.” Excessive debt undermines even the most robust economy. Contrary to the media, it wasn’t “greedy capitalist” banks that brought about the mortgage, it was the Leftist government forcing banks to issue high-risk loans.
GOP candidates must elucidate the three high-level components to the GOP vision, presented on the coins in our pockets:
• E pluribus unum
• Liberals promote “multi-culturalism” which actually engenders the envy and mistrust characterized by racism and separatism.
• We respect each individual’s heritage while seeking unity.
• In God We Trust
• Liberals want a secular state with the government (i.e., themselves) as the revered patriarchal but unpredictable, capricious head.
• We believe that faith in God imbues people with a high standard of responsible, civil behavior and with a commitment to Truth.
• Liberals distrust individuals and want to supplant individual self-esteem and personal liberty with collective dependence.
• We encourage and bolster individual achievement.
It is sophomoric and irresponsible to try overriding reality with “good intentions.” That is the level – and the age group – to which the Liberals’ utopian nonsense resonates.
The GOP presidential and vice presidential candidates’ acceptance speeches will be critical, the opportunity to elucidate to voters – and to an international audience – our vision and principles.
• Human dignity
• Liberals believe, and want voters to believe, that elected officials and bureaucrats know best, that individuals are incompetent and that they are victims.
• We believe in individual choice, individual achievement, and individual liberty.
• Limited government
• Liberals want an all-encompassing government with themselves in control.
• We see a bureaucracy that is already so large and so convoluted that no one does his job and no one is held accountable for failing to do so.
• Non-intrusive government
• Liberals want government to control every aspect of everyone’s affairs, so that we all comply automaton-like to their dictates.
• We know that excessive regulation stifles enterprise, initiative, invention and creativity.
• Public employees
• Liberals want public employees to receive higher pay and better benefits than private-sector employees, thus luring ever more people into government “service” and buying ever more votes (with taxpayers’ money).
• We oppose unionization of public “servants” and believe pay for all employees should align with performance.
The GOP presidential candidate and his choice for vice president must clearly and powerfully demonstrate three factors:
• Character: good, honorable and dedicated; loving America’s exceptionalism as the beacon of freedom
• Capacity: knowledge, commitment to hard work, readiness to seek factual input and ability to base wise decisions on complex data
• Constitutionality: firm resolve to honor and uphold our noble Constitution
Americans three-to-one believe that our nation has been moving along the wrong path. Our task is to offer a clear understanding of our path.
GOP candidates must be so honest and upright that there is no chance of an “October surprise” or any fodder for the Leftist media to demonize them.
As President Reagan recognized, it is ruinous to denigrate other GOP candidates during the primary races, for that just provides more fodder for Leftist “analysts” to slander us.
President Reagan also rightly urged us to back all GOP candidates who uphold our core principles, even if we differ on some points.
The Left’s demand for compliance with “politically correct” speech is yet another control technique. They in fact protect as “free speech” only the expression of their own opinions. Their ultimate ideal is totalitarianism.
We can counter a Liberal’s accusation of not caring about needy people’s problems by demonstrating that genuine results trump good intentions. Education and health care are the Liberals’ most common attack arenas, yet we can readily prove the welfare state’s failure in both. Moreover, the welfare state’s taxation and debt erode productivity and promote hyperinflation. Europe’s financial crises arise from just that cause.
Rather than imposing Obamacare on us all, “health stamps” (in parallel with food stamps) would meet the Liberals’ assertion that needy people require health care. That would disarm the Liberals’ argument without Obamacare’s huge cost and unconstitutional intrusion. If they didn’t concur, they would reveal that control, not help for the needy, is their genuine goal.
The GOP has learned from 2008’s debacle and now is actively using social media. Reaching young people through their media is vital.
As John Andrews and others aver, we need to restore Americans’ sense of individual responsibility. Teaching responsibility, like teaching other moral values, can be done through our own behavior, one person at a time. This is especially true for inculcating values for our children. Americans, young and adult, need to learn history and citizenship. And our public schools at all levels need to teach facts, not doctrine.
Faced with the question of whether or not to compromise with Liberals (i.e., to be “purple”), a GOP candidate should retain his/her core principles yet demonstrate respect for others’ views. That isn’t compromise; rather that is sensible and civil. And it’s practical, because we must WIN in order to have a role in leadership.
Either Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan would be good choices for vice president because they both excel at explaining our principles and (on the politically practical level) they would both be likely to carry their home states, which would garner large electoral counts.
“Pundits” predict that eight states will determine the 2012 presidential election: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Even if we win in 2012, it may take a decade to undo this administration’s fiscal damage, international disgrace and moral erosion. If we lose in 2012, the outcome is too bleak to contemplate.
NOTE: All this advice applies to all GOP candidates, not just to our presidential contender.
On Friday evening, CCU political science students, as well as Centennial Institute Director John Andrews and Professor Gregory Schaller, attended an event at the Douglas County Events Center keynoted by radio host Hugh Hewitt and Former George W. Bush senior advisor Karl Rove. Making appearances amongst the peaks of their campaigns were Colorado congressional candidates Stephen Bailey (CD-2), Scott Tipton (CD-3), Cong. Doug Lamborn (CD-5), and Cong. Mike Coffman (CD-6). In an effort to stump for candidates in highly competitive races, Rove tied their Democratic opponents to the “Unholy Trinity” (Pelosi, Reid, Obama), and the imminent danger facing the United States should their failed policies take effect sans repeal.
The evening was energized upon the ‘Republican Wave’ that has now advanced into the most prominent battleground state of the West. With outside ‘527’ organizations spending record breaking amounts of funds on the Colorado senatorial and congressional races of 2010, Rove and Hewitt’s presence to invigorate a hopeful GOP audience could not have been more pertinent. With three House races, a US Senate seat, and the Gubernatorial race hinging on conservative and independent prevalence at the booths on November 2, Rove and Company urged Coloradans to spend the final days (or the 96 hours, as Hewitt called them, citing his visits to the state on each pre-election weekend since 2002) campaigning incessantly until the finish line has been crossed.
With each candidate providing a brief oration as to why they should be elected in their respective race, Hewitt proceeded by interviewing them and discussing with each the pressing issues facing Colorado voters in this election. This forum styled interrogation provided the audience a deeper look into the heart of each candidate’s views and beliefs on reform currently impacting Colorado. Scott Tipton spoke of restoring jobs to farmers and ranchers, while Coffman boldly encouraged Coloradans to cast their vote for Governor with third-party candidate Tom Tancredo. In their final attempt to leave a sustaining impact on voters, each candidate spoke candidly on key legislation and solutions that they aspire to bring to public office come January.
In the brief time allotted to his keynote address, Rove spoke with the intensity and vigor that has attracted millions of Americans across the country toward his movement. From touching on eight years of experiences in the White House to speaking on the future of the 2012 Presidential election, Rove’s rhetoric maintained a comfortable, yet stimulating viewpoint that harbored a great impact upon the audience. His thesis expressed that while many individuals label this midterm election as “the most important election since 1860”, the true battle begins on November 3, when Americans embark on the mission of defeating President Barack Obama in 2012. The audience reaction was nonetheless parallel, erupting with thunderous roars of approval to the charges that he continuously presented.
With a night that will not be forgotten by CCU students and staff, this evening only solidifies the progression that the political science department has undertaken to energize and excite the students of Colorado Christian University. An opportunity to hear from two of the most prominent conservative voices in the nation, we are exceedingly blessed as a University to sustain the privilege of attending a prestigious gathering such as this. I thank the Lord again and again for the leadership of John Andrews and President Bill Armstrong, as their passion for developing politically disposed students is cultivating an intellectual and inspired student body.
('76 Contributor) Last Saturday, May 22, I went to a conference at the University of Denver where Governor Sarah Palin, along with radio hosts Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt, defended limited constitutional government against the excesses of President Obama. While I found all three speeches inspiring and entertaining, Dennis Prager’s speech stood out as the most concise and substantive.
Hugh Hewitt gave a “Ten Commandments for 2010,” in which he exhorted the American people to support powerful republican candidates in the election and to discuss current issues with their Democratic friends.
Sarah Palin gave a rousing speech against Obamacare and its inherent rationing, Obama’s apology-driven foreign policy, the irresponsibility in government that gave rise to Greece’s economic debacle, and the condemnation of Arizona for enforcing national immigration laws. She ended on a positive note, mentioning Ronald Reagan’s history as a lifeguard, his personality grounded in conviction, and his optimistic common sense.
While these speeches strongly encouraged the audience, their focus on current issues constrains their power to the present. Dennis Prager’s speech, by contrast, voiced America’s foundational principles and the current disagreement about them. He proclaimed that the current political struggle is not about personalities, but ideas, that the American and Left-wing worldviews are waging a civil war over the heart of America.
He illustrated the Left-wing’s confusion in three points. The Left attacks the motives of TEA Partiers, declaring them racist and prejudiced, while defending those of terrorists, explaining that they might have had a bad day or faced a difficult foreclosure. The Left considers Arizona to be an enemy, and tries to negotiate with Iran. Finally, they do not understand the American system.
After listing these confusions, Prager explained the spirit of America as a trinity of three values proclaimed on any coin in your pocket -- E Pluribus Unum, "Liberty," and "In God We Trust."
**He praised America as the least racist country in the world, noting how any immigrant becomes an American the very day he arrives, while immigrants to Europe do not assimilate, even after many generations. In contrast to the American spirit of E Pluribus Unum, the Left divides Americans into interest groups, and cannot understand when a black man stands up at a TEA Party with his “fellow Americans.”
** Secondly, Prager commented on the American love of liberty, in contrast to the Left’s desire for equality of result, even when it leads to poverty.
** Finally, he acknowledged America’s motto, “In God We Trust,” arguing that America was not founded to be a secular nation. Declaring the United States a Bible-based country, he explained that there is no liberty without God, and that God is the author of Human Rights.
After praising the term “Radical Islam” as a defense of normal Islam, Prager concluded his speech with another emphasis on liberty. He declared that “the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen,” and that as the freedom of citizens grows, the size government must shrink.
When asked about the biggest threat to the future of our country, Dennis Prager answered that it is not Obama, but rather our failure to understand what it means to be an American. He declared that there is a moral dimension to smaller government, and that when the government grows the citizens lose their virtue. We are our own problem, and we need to fix it.
Finally, in his closing remarks, Prager stood up against Obama’s attack on American exceptionalism. He quoted Lincoln, who said that America is the last best hope for mankind. Such a statement, Prager noted, has never been voiced for Norway, Sweden or Denmark. Obama states that he believes in American exceptionalism just as a Brit believes in British exceptionalism or a Norwegian believes in Norwegian exceptionalism. This relativistic statement holds that American exceptionalism is not exceptional. Dennis Prager believes that it is, explaining that it was our military who liberated Auschvitz and repeating the age-old wisdom that we mark a great experiment in Republican Government.
America stands at a cross-roads, and struggles in what many have called a “culture war.” The battlefield stands all around us, and American values face daily attacks. The very character of our great nation seems to be at stake, and it depends upon the people to stand up for what is good, true, and beautiful. I do not know whether the “Left” is the enemy, but someone is, and we must stand up for what we know to be good and true. Each citizen has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and therefore he has a duty to stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As Governor Palin said at the end of her speech, our nation’s hope does not lie in Washington D.C., amid the columns of Congress or the power of the President. Our nation’s hope lies in the hearts and minds of its people, and you, and you alone, can defend her.
Tyler O'Neil is a Coloradan currently majoring in history at Hillsdale College.