Thursday, 19 July 2012 09:29 by Admin
(From where else, the Internet) 1. With a gracious, statesmanlike aura, he looks like every central casting’s #1 choice for Commander-in-Chief. Too good looking for the job especially since.......
2. He's been married to ONE woman his entire life. And he has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with breast cancer and MS. What's a good solid, muck raking journalist got to write about here?
3. Boringly he has no business scandals or skeletons in his closet that can stick. Folks are trying hard to make them up using the word Bain and Felon in the same breath, but it doesn't seem to work because of those damn facts that keep getting in the way.
4. Can’t 'get down' in a fake, southern, “black preacher voice” when necessary. There are 'g's ' at the end of the words he uses that end in 'ing'. See what I'm sayin?
5. Highly intelligent. Graduated cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.. Kind of embarrassing. Why then does he have to rub it in and release all that information to the public?
6. Doesn’t smoke or drink. Has never done drugs (though we can expect Ms. Felony F. Cutter to call for a drug test any day now). Not even part of a 'choom gang' in college. He actually did missionary work and tended to the needs of other people while in school. How silly is that?
7. Represents an America where people believe in God, go to Church and do hard work. Not everyone, but still most. So when he does these things, it's like pandering. Like when he worked hard to achieve his successes and takes responsibility for those things he did that didn't work out. Really kind of old fashioned, no?
8. Has a family of five sons, none of whom have police records, rap sheets or are in drug rehab. Mitt's wife is a stay-at-home mom, a family “choice” that deserves our scorn.
9. And then there's the MORMON thing. We need to be very afraid of any religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic, fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, and honest. How low can you get?
10. And one more point…..pundits say he can’t relate to ordinary Americans and that is probably because he is so wealthy. And he doesn't even acknowledge the role of government in helping him get what he's got. The roads and bridges and all. He'd be much more likable if he won the lottery, married the money or inherited it all from Dad. Many Americans could identify with that. And then there's that charity thing. With him giving so much away, it just makes the rest of us feel guilty. The Clintons, Kerrys, and Gores are rightfully enraged.
and two more for good measure...
11. Sort of rubs it in when he doesn't take a government salary. He took no salary as Governor.| He took no salary as CEO of the Olympics. How can you like a guy like that? He should at least have an EBTcard or get paid in scratch tickets. He doesn't understand that actually working at a job and earning your own money makes you unlikable to so many lethargic Americans.
12. Hasn't written one autobiography yet, let alone two or three. uses the words I and me sparingly. Hard to figure out what he's done. We need more direction on this count. See what I'm sayin?
(Salem, Massachusetts) Weather allowing, Salem is a fairly short and pleasant sailing trip from Boston to the Bay State’s rocky North Shore. If a visitor has history on his mind, there is virtue in perusing Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables or Jonathan Edwards fiery sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”.While most Americans might vaguely associate Salem with the infamous “Witch Trials” of 1692 that episode is but a partial albeit compelling insight into the powerful religiosity of 17th century New England.William Bennett has thoughtfully described America’s “Culture War” as a clash between older more settled values and newer impulses whose adherents view the traditional vision as oppressive and restrictive of their personal liberties and lifestyle. To describe this conflict as “Puritans Versus Libertines” would be horribly simplistic but a sure guarantee of many a raucous argument.A far more riveting perspective is found in President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 Inaugural challenge to Americans to “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You, but rather What You Can Do for Your Country”.In the half century since Kennedy spoke Western society has evolved in a direction that goes far towards turning his challenge upside down. In Western Europe we see masses of citizens protesting- often violently- against governments that dared to even marginally reduce their lavish entitlements. Free education – pre-school through graduate school- is not uncommon. Thus individuals can remain students into their thirties and then retire on generous pensions before they are sixty (only the much maligned Germans must labor till age sixty-seven before retiring).In Europe even the political parties of the right are far to the left of America’s Democratic Party. There is an “All Party Consensus” in favor of the full blown Entitlement State. Elections are fierce contests over relatively small differences. The “Conservative” Sarkozy dared to lift France’s retirement age from 60 to 62 and thereby forfeited the Presidential election to the Socialist Hollande who promptly returned it to 60.
In the United States society and the political spectrum has moved in a direction similar to Europe but at a far slower pace.
Currently we are engaged in a Presidential election that partisans on both sides regard as a historic pivot point for the future of the country.
The party of the leftl and their candidate (Obama) has revealed its clear bias in favor of expanding the size, scope, and taxing authority of the Federal government and redefining “fairness”, who is “needy”, and the “proper” distribution of wealth.
The party of the right and their candidate (Romney) views Obama’s record and direction as economically disastrous and dangerous to liberty- nothing less than an outright attempt to impose European style Social Democracy in America.
A cynic might describe Obama as hoping to get re-elected by promising people “lots more stuff right away” and Romney countering with “maybe a little less stuff, but only somewhere down the road”.
In truth, however, these two candidates- unlike their Tweedledum, Tweedledee European counterparts- represent hugely different visions of what America is, and which direction we should be moving in the future.
Romney celebrates “American Exceptionalism” and the “glorious History” that produced it. Obama asserts American Exceptionalism is no different than that of any other nation and views our History as a deeply flawed record requiring repeated apology and the “transformation” he promised but carefully omitted to detail.
While the establishments of both parties maneuver, spend, and exhort in this slugfest of an election, there is discernible a non-establishment community that is usually less engaged politically, and generally quieter.
They are our immigrants. They are a diverse lot. Some people think they are predominantly Hispanic, but in the last ten years the largest group (36%) has been Asian.
They often work for wages most Americans would disdain, but they see as bountiful compared to those in their home countries. While many Americans feel cramped with three people in a six room house, they often happily stuff six people into a three room apartment.
With relatively rare exception they came to America not for an Entitlement, but for an Opportunity- a chance to get a job, get ahead and seek a better life for themselves and their families. They came here in pursuit of the American Dream- a phrase that seems quaint to some, a source of mockery to others. But to our immigrants it remains very real and shines with Promise.
In Lenin’s memorable phrase they “voted with their feet”, not for a political party, but for a Country- America. They don’t apologize for coming, they don’t fixate on the country’s admitted flaws, and they certainly don’t want America “transformed”. They want it preserved, and at a very deep level, they understand their vital stake in seeing that it shall be.
William Moloney is a Centennial Institute Fellow and former Colorado Education Commissioner. His columns have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, and Human Events.
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(Centennial Fellow) Many conservatives (Christian or otherwise), me included, are disappointed that Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate for President. They lament that a more principled conservative (such as Michele Bachmann, or, to a lesser degree, Rick Santorum) was not selected. Perhaps they stand for the libertarian principles of Ron Paul. Whatever the case, many will be tempted to not vote at all or to cast a protest vote. This is a deep mistake, based on faulty ideas about politics and the meaning of a political vote. In this short essay, I will labor to convince fellow conservatives, whether Christians or not, to support and vote for Mitt Romney for President. I have waited to endorse Romney until all the other competitors have been eliminated. I do not expect to convert political liberals to this cause, which would require much more argumentation. (For starters, see Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn's Leftism and William F. Buckley's Up From Liberalism.)
First, many demur from voting for Romney because of his less-than-stellar conservative bona fides. I share their concern. RomneyCare influenced ObamaCare, however much Romney now opposes ObamaCare. He has not always been pro-life, but now seems to be. One could go on. But we should remember that politics is not the church. It is the art of the possible. Often we must choose the lesser of two evils, which is also the evil of two lessers. We reside in a fallen world. Get over it. We should be romantic and optimistic in the primaries (as I supported Michele Bachmann, read her book, Core of Conviction, and contributed to her campaign), and then get realistic when things narrow down. You are not appointing a pastor but voting for a president. A vote is neither a letter of reference, nor an unqualified endorsement, nor an act of worship. A vote is the exercise of the franchise, one part you play in our Republican form of government. It is a right, a responsibility, and a privilege that should not be squandered.
Second, protest votes are pointless. Many say, "If my candidate is not the one, I opt out. I am above all that." This is wrongheaded. Protest votes send no message, except that you have robbed the better of the two candidates of a vote. Like it or not, we are stuck with a two-party system for the long haul. (On this, see Michael Medved's chapter on the failure of third parties in The Ten Big Lies about America.) If you are a conservative, you vote for the more conservative candidate who can win, as William F. Buckley said. Writing in Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul does no good whatsoever—except to aid the Obama campaign.
Third, the essential principles between the two parties, however each candidate may vary from them, are sharply divided. Democrats support a larger government and heavier taxation and regulation. They view the Constitution as a wax nose they twist any way they want (progressivism), pit corporations and "the wealthy" against "the common man" (call it class warfare, a holdover from Marxism), and support a weakened national defense (the only area of the federal government Obama is trying to cut). They do not support religious liberty, and they are pro-abortion with a vengeance. Under ObamaCare, every American would be subsidizing the killing of innocent human beings with their own tax dollars. Ponder that, for God's sake. It denies the First Amendment (by requiring many religious people to violate their religious principles) and sets a dangerous precedent for state intrusion into matters of religious conscience. Further, the Democratic party in general, and now Obama very pointedly, do not respect heterosexual monogamy as the norm. They favor same-sex marriage, which is not marriage at all.
Republicans support smaller government, lighter taxation and regulation, a higher view of the Constitution as a body of objective truths to be applied rightly today, and the opportunities allowed by a basically free market. They advocate a strong national defense (or "Peace through strength," in Reagan's formulation) and are much more pro-life. This means a Republican president is far more likely to appoint Supreme Court justices who honor the Constitution and oppose Roe v. Wade; to appoint dozens of federal judges with great influence, all of whom are likely to have a high and proper view of the Constitution; and to use executive orders (whether or not they are constitutional; they probably are not) in the pro-life cause, such as refusing to give foreign aid in support of abortions abroad and refusing to fund abortions in the military. While there are exceptions, Republicans support the historical and traditional family. While they grant all citizens the rights enumerated in the Constitution, they do not support same-sex marriage.
Fourth, Romney is far preferable to the alternative. There are, to be sure, significant weaknesses in Candidate Romney. He is 1) not a principled conservative, with a very mixed track record, 2) not particularly charismatic or eloquent, and 3) a Mormon.
I have been involved in counter-cult apologetics and evangelism for thirty-five years. Mormonism is a deviation from Christian orthodoxy on titanic theological issues such as the nature of God (or gods, in the case of Mormonism), the identity of Christ, and salvation, to name a few crucial issues. Yes, there has been some movement back to the Bible among some Mormons in the last twenty years, and some Mormons may be Christians in spite of what their church officially teaches. However, Mormonism as Mormonism is heretical. No one should be a Mormon. It is "another gospel" (see Gal. 1:6-11). I learned this in 1977, when, as a young Christian, I read Walter Martin's modern classic, Kingdom of the Cults. Nothing since has convinced me to the contrary.
If Romney is elected president, it would give Mormonism a platform it has never enjoyed before. That is bad, very bad. However, the president is neither Theologian-in-Chief nor Pastor-in-Chief. He is Commander-in-Chief. Moreover, Mormons have every right the Constitution affords our citizens, and conservative Christians can and should be co-belligerents with Mormons (and others) in political causes. Ecumenism religiously is another matter entirely.
But more soberly, the alternative to Romney is, truly, the end of America as it was founded and as we know it. The alternative to Romney is a state modeled after European democratic socialism: massive taxation, cradle-to-grave statist "security," and a more secularized culture. This is not the America envisioned by our founders. This is not the city set on a hill.
In Romney's favor, he has been a very decent man, who has given much of his income to charity. He is an accomplished businessman who (unlike Obama) knows how to solve problems. For example, in 1999, he volunteered to save the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He did what he intended to do. He understands and respects the vital role of business to create jobs and create new products, unlike Obama, whose idea of job creation is endless "stimulus packages," laden with pork and barren of economic hope.
Obama, while not a Mormon, has no credible Christian testimony. Consider his twenty-year membership in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist, ultra-liberal, Nation-of-Islam-supporting church. Ponder his stance on abortion and same-sex marriage. He was one of only a few politicians not to oppose partial-birth abortions, which are cases of infanticide, the murder of an infant. (See David Freddoso's The Case Against Barak Obama for the documentation.) He took this outrageous stand because he was afraid it would chip away at Roe v. Wade, which he supports completely. Obama is far more sympathetic to Islam than he is to Christianity. I did not say that Obama was a Muslim, but that he is deferent to Islam and seems oblivious (or indifferent) to the dangers of Sharia law (see Robert Spencer's Stealth Jihad). This is urgent, since Sharia law is already being implemented on American soil.
Under another four years of Obama, we would experience more "historic" changes, such as:
1) The federal takeover of health care, leading to rationing, inefficiency, and a loss of personal freedom. You will be paying for abortions. Some would rather go to jail than submit to this. I imagine that Catholic priests would lead the way.
2) A growing and perhaps insurmountable debt, mortgaging our future and making us like the disaster that is Greece.
3) Further evisceration of our military and cut-backs in military benefits.
4) The continued deconstruction of the Constitution, thus removing us from the Rule of Law and putting us under the Rule of Man: One man, the man who would be King: Barack Obama.
For these reasons and many more, I, Douglas Richard Groothuis, will vote for, support, and pray that Mitt Romney becomes the next President of these United States. I hope you will join me. So much is at stake.
Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, a Centennial Institute Fellow, and the author of Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. His views do not represent Denver Seminary.
I like Rick Santorum. I voted for him. I even donated to his campaign. I believe that he is a credible conservative who could provide a striking contrast to Barack Obama and who could resonate with blue-collar voters.Santorum is a good person, but a good person must also recognize when he's fighting because he has a chance to win and when he's fighting just to be fighting.The Santorum campaign is now unmistakably fighting just to be fighting.It's time for Santorum to suspend his campaign so that Republicans can focus on our most imperative mission for 2012 - defeating Barack Obama and his destructive, irresponsible agenda and debt and dependency.
Whether the candidate we rally behind is Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum isn't as important as ensuring that someone other than Barack Obama takes the oath of office in January 2013.
It is now obvious that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination. Santorum's campaign no longer has a path to victory. The official delegate count from the Republican National Committee, as reported by state parties, shows Romney with 573 delegates to Santorum's 202 and Gingrich's 132. Romney is more than halfway to the nomination, while Santorum - even by more generous calculations - doesn't even have one-fourth of delegates needed to win.A brokered convention is neither likely nor desirable because it gives the Obama Machine five more months to plot, scheme and attack the Republican nominee, while Republicans waste time and money fighting each other.Republican primary voters have clearly selected Romney as the preferred candidate. Now all Republicans must work to be sure that Romney has every advantage we can give him to defeat Barack Obama. Romney has prevailed because he's a very competent leader with a campaign organization that is far superior to those of his Republican rivals. That may not be immediately inspiring to some, but it demonstrates that Team Romney is capable of doing the heavy lifting necessary to prepare for even bigger battles ahead.The question we must ask is why would Republicans want Romney to expend time, energy and valuable campaign resources against other Republicans at a time he's now under full-scale assault from the Obama Machine.Now is the time for honorable conservatives to put aside personal pique and remember that the next seven months are a battle for the future - a battle to save the American dream for our children and grandchildren.
In 2008, Romney's conservative credentials caused Santorum to endorse him over John McCain as the best candidate to battle Obama. Although Santorum himself wasn't a candidate in 2008, neither was his judgment clouded by the pressures and pride of his own candidacy.Mitt Romney may not be Ronald Reagan - who is? - but he's not Barack Obama, either - not by a long shot. Romney is committed to stopping runaway spending, restoring policies that create jobs and renew prosperity, and preserving America as a beacon of freedom to the world.On those scores alone, he represents a stark contrast to Barack Obama and a leader we can rally behind.
(Denver Post, Mar. 25) A few days before Rick Santorum upset Mitt Romney in the Colorado caucuses, he made a campaign stop at Colorado Christian University, where I work. As it was ending, several students asked the former senator if he would Tebow with them. The picture with all of them on a knee, heads bowed, is my favorite 2012 political image so far. Rick has got game.
I wonder, though, if the feisty Pennsylvanian’s political fortunes here are headed into the same kind of fade as the young Floridian’s football fortunes – and if so, maybe it’s for the best. (In Santorum’s case, that is; this is not one more column about ex-Bronco Tim Tebow.)
My state's caucuses on Feb. 7, you see, were just a beauty contest. A binding vote on delegate selection for the RNC in Tampa won’t occur until Republicans from across Colorado convene at the DU Ritchie Center on April 13 and 14. On that Friday, seven congressional-district assemblies will elect three delegates each. The GOP state assembly will elect another 12 delegates on Saturday.
Will the result be different when the Santorum and Romney campaigns, along with those of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, battle it out from scratch for Colorado's 33 pledged delegates over the next couple of weeks? Longshot contenders Gingrich and Paul may show up to make their case in person, party officials say; but Romney and Santorum, the favorites, have given no indication as yet.
If you think it’s just a family feud among the Republicans, a tribe you wouldn’t join on a bet, think again. You may not be interested in politics at all – but politics is interested in you. These are not ordinary times.
The United States is headed for a fiscal crackup, our national security is at risk, and the institutions that made us a world leader in the last century are looking shaky as this century begins. Three of every five Americans in a recent poll expressed no approval of President Obama’s job performance. He’ll remain in power until 2017, however, unless the opposition puts up a strong challenger whom voters can trust.
This is where party politics are all-important, however distasteful you may find them. The only meaningful opposition to Barack Obama and his failed policies, the only counter-force that has legs and a voice and a team on the field – like it or not – is the Republican party. Hence the GOP nominating contest at DU in April and eventually at Tampa in August matters to the whole country, not just to us partisans.
America’s founders didn’t envision parties helping elect the president, but after George Washington it’s always been that way. A man (or woman) of character, judgment, capability, and experience, an eminent citizen with integrity and wisdom and the gift of command, unencumbered with the brand of any faction, is what the Federalist Papers portray as our republic’s chief magistrate. Who measures up in 2012?
Mr. Obama, unfortunately, does not. Voters in 2008 would have seen he didn’t measure up then, had not millions been swept away with emotion and wish-fulfillment; for many of us the sad evidence has now become incontrovertible. You may disagree, of course. But if you agree, the next (and only) question is whether former Sen. Rick Santorum or former Gov. Mitt Romney measures up better.
I don’t happen to have a vote in any of the upcoming Colorado assemblies. To my fellow Republicans who do, I urge them to weigh the choice according to the founders’ gold standard, and not be swept away with emotion and wish-fulfillment.
Decide soberly. Temper your partisan or ideological zeal with disinterested patriotism. If the result in five months is a Romney-Santorum ticket, and an Obama retirement in ten weeks more, we could do far worse.
Clearly Mitt Romney is the Rodney Dangerfield of American politics. He "gets no respect"- anywhere. A strange consensus has emerged among the Punditocracy of both Left and Right. They even seem to be using the same phrase book.Romney hasn't "made the sale", can't "close the deal", doesn't "excite the base", fails to "connect with orsdinary people", is "dull, gaffe prone", and lacks eloquence or humor.Even when he wins, it’s never good enough. States he wins are discounted because he once lived there or has a summer home there (Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire). Other winning jurisdictions are dismissed because a lot of Mormons live there (Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, American Samoa).When he wins key swing states like Ohio, or Michigan his margin is "too small", but when he comes very close in states where he wasn't even supposed to be competitive (Alabama, Mississippi) he gets little credit.In times past a highly organized, well- funded national campaign was viewed as a sign of impressive strength (e.g. Bush 2004, Obama 2008) but with Romney these same attributes are merely reasons to devalue any success he enjoys.As the multi-candidate GOP road show rolled across the country in every contest the mainstream media (and many conservatives) were inclined to add up all the votes of Romney's competitors and declare them not votes for, say Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, but votes "against Romney".The companion narrative to all this is that the Republican Party with its divisive, negative, unending Primary campaign, second rate candidates, and woeful front-runner is in the act of committing electoral suicide with Obama as joyful spectator, and beneficiary. The sum of all these fears is that continuing Republican follies combined with a reviving economy mean that once bright GOP prospects in this historically critical election are rapidly turning dark.What's wrong with this picture? A lot. An awful lot.Let's start by asking why the Democratic National Committee and the labor unions are spending millions of dollars running ads against only one GOP candidate: Romney. Why did the Democratic Party in Michigan and other states allowing cross-overs quietly urge their followers to "Go vote for Santorum"?The answer to these questions is that the Democrats have known all along that Romney will be a very formidable opponent for Obama in the fall.They know that he will compete very well for those independent voters who decide every Presidential election. They know that Romney's negatives among independents which went up in the wake of blistering attacks by his GOP rivals can go down just as quickly, as the volatile polls of this political season have repeatedly demonstrated.The Democrats are not buying the conventional wisdom that the bitter GOP primaries have fatally damaged Republican prospects because they remember very well how quickly their own party came together in the wake of the monumental slugging match between Hillary and Obama.While the Republicans are wringing hands over Romney's relative weak performance with the "very conservative" or "Evangelical" demographic, Democrats know that those "clingers to guns and religion" will rise from their death beds to vote for absolutely anyone who might save them from Obama. What Democrats are very alert to is that Romney does very well with precisely that segment of the electorate that was vital to Obama in 2008: suburban white women, the affluent, the college graduates, and professionals. They also know that the youth vote so critical for Obama in 2008 is much less enthusiastic this time around, and will be buried numerically by Romney's best voting bloc- Senior citizens.All things considered the outlook for Romney and the Republican Party is far from bleak.Ignoring the fact that I - like most political sages in this strange year- have been flat out wrong again and again, herewith my fearless forecast for the twisting electoral road immediately ahead-March 24 Louisiana (46 delegates): A wounded Newt's last chance at any electoral credibility. Santorum needs it, but the active support of highly popular Gov. Bobby Jindal gives Romney a good chance to make a very competitive race.April 3 Washington D.C. (19 delegates), Maryland (37 delegates), and Wisconsin (42 delegates): A Romney sweep (Santorum didn't even make the ballot in "winner take all" D.C.).Beyond this point, polling shows Romney to be favored in fourteen of the nineteen remaining Primary states. Even a Gingrich withdrawal can't save Santorum as recent polls show 40% of Newt's supporters going to Romney.Around this time billionaire Foster Friess- the financial backbone of Santorum's painfully unorganized and amateurish national campaign- begins to have second thoughts. Simultaneously the numerous unpledged delegates begin their inevitable migration to Romney.Prediction: Romney will have the magic 1,144 delegates well before Mormon Utah's "winner take all" primary on June 26th.
William Moloney's columns have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, Denver Post, and Human Events.
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(Centennial Fellow) You’ve got to have an “able, disinterested, public-spirited press” if popular government is to be something more than “a sham and mockery,” Joseph Pulitzer once said. Is there hope? Well, yes, there’s hope, and there are plentiful exceptions to any condemnatory conclusions. But what’s missing in too many news outlets this campaign season – amid the constant analysis of who has fumbled, who might win and what strategies are being employed – is much of what’s worth knowing. When assessing the presidential candidates, the vital questions boil down to character, competence and stands on issues. The salacious shall be known, and more on the bad side of character than that if the press finds you less than cuddly. It seldom investigates demonstrated competence to the extent many might want. But where the public really gets cheated is in being presented with little more than sound bites about stands on issues. Want to know why? Because some in the news craft believe that delivering detailed reports on speeches and otherwise exploring candidates’ policy positions without comment reduces them to plain-Jane stenographers. They would rather be bold explorers of ulterior motives. Charlotte Grimes, a journalism professor at Syracuse University I know and admire, has written a superb paper (available online) that notes how this near obsession of some was inspired by the work of an exceptional reporter, Theodore White. He wrote groundbreaking books in the ‘60s and ‘70s about behind-the-scenes strategizing in presidential campaigns, and ever since then political writers have tried to do a Teddy White strut in their daily copy. Among the problems is too little time to pull it off and sometimes a whole lot less knowledge and talent than the hero. That’s just for starters, though, because rather than dwell on material crucial for understanding what is at stake, many on TV, in newspapers and elsewhere would rather waste your time speculating on what you’re going to find out anyway: who is going to win. Understand that today’s guess is often next to worthless and that the need, at any rate, is telling you not how you might vote in a primary or general election, but giving you facts enabling you to vote intelligently. "Facts.” Interesting word, that, and yes, there is such a thing as verifiable information just as there is such a thing as fact checkers who don’t get it that their verdicts of “true” and “false” are many times arguable, extra-factual interpretations otherwise known as opinion. The worst of the campaign coverage may be bias holding hands with melodrama, as when segments of the press went wild shouting to the nation that millionaire boss-man Mitt Romney had said he liked “being able to fire people.” The explicit, perfectly clear, unmistakable context was that people should be able to change their health insurance companies. An example of purveying those particular Romney words with no hint of the actual meaning was a piece in The New York Review of Books, which seems worth mentioning because the magazine is considered one of the most prestigious broadly distributed intellectual journals in America. The article – a review of two books about Romney – also said his Bain Capital operation existed “to enrich the investor class” without mentioning the massive profits going to union pension funds. It later contrasted the Republican candidate’s speaking fees with his father’s refusal to accept bonuses as an auto executive. Did the writer know Romney accepted only a $1 a year salary and no expense account as governor of Massachusetts and no salary for running the Winter Olympics in Utah in 2002, though donating $1 million to the cause? Pulitzer, the dazzling journalistic innovator whose century-old words I found in the Grimes paper, was himself capable of sensational journalism almost – not quite! – that embarrassingly shoddy. He was nevertheless a crusading proponent of decency who properly summed up the wages of journalistic sin in a democracy as the sort of terrible government some of us think we have right now in the executive branch in Washington. Let’s pray for journalistic improvement, and meanwhile, may the blessed exceptions bloom.
Jay Ambrose (email@example.com) is a former editor of the Rocky Mountain News and other daily newspapers. He is now a Centennial Institute Fellow, co-director of the Project on News in the 21st Century, and a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard, for whom this piece was written.
('76 Contributor) Our great nation faces a crisis, as threatening as Pearl Harbor or Southern secession… and more pernicious because self-inflicted: too many in government have made promises that we cannot keep; too many citizens expect, even demand, more than we have to give.
Editor: Colorado business entrepreneur and civic leader Terry Considine made these remarks in accepting a lifetime award from the Leadership Program of the Rockies, which he helped found in 1987. He spoke on Feb. 24 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs to hundreds of current and former class members in LPR’s annual course on applying America’s founding principles in contemporary politics. Considine is also a member of the Centennial Institute Business Council and a CCU trustee.
In one sense, this is a simple problem, a matter of arithmetic. Government undertakings, both federal debt and unfunded entitlements, approach $100 trillion, far, far more than we can ever hope to pay. Their weight burdens economic growth. Their failure will disappoint those who rely on them. Their resolution may well require a ruinous inflation.
A century of expansion of government is failing economically because, as Lady Thatcher wisely noted, “eventually, you run out of other people’s money”. Today, “government efficiency” is widely seen as an oxymoron… and as the punch line to wry observations that society just does not work as well today as it once did… before the cancerous growth of laws and regulations, bureaucracy and public employee unions, taxes and government controls.
In a deeper sense, our crisis is not our economics, but our values. We stand seduced by the unworthy hope to reap where we did not sow, to spend what we did not earn. What are we thinking when we believe what never was and never can be: that we are “entitled” to such benefits as unlimited and “free” health care? Or home prices that do not go down? Or business cycles that only go up?
Wilsonian faith in “government by experts” has undermined the characteristic American values of hard work and self-reliance, prudence and thrift. Wanting something-for-nothing, we turn away from the truer faith in our families and ourselves. The very offer and acceptance of these “entitlements” diminish our dignity as independent and self-governing individuals, made in the image and likeness of God.
Government grown too large, divorced from the discipline of free markets, can never be efficient.
Government grown too large, founded on the inherent coercion of the state, cannot be compassionate in any true sense.
Government grown too large, intruding on personal autonomy, makes hollow our boast to be proud and free.
Such government will always overreach and will always fail. We saw it two decades ago in the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union. We see it now in the travails of Greece and the European Union. And I fear that we may see it here “soon and very soon”, as the Gospel song has it.
There will be hardships aplenty when we confront the futility and collapse of utopian fantasies. But, it can also be a time of revival. We can say “enough” to “TARPs” and “stimulus” and “bailouts”. We can say “enough” to subsidies, whether “green” or farm, whether for your business or mine. We can say “enough” to mindless regulation and IRS intrusion. We can end the magical thinking that we are “entitled”. We can turn again to that older creed, to what we know as common sense gained from experience and tradition, to our historic belief in Constitutional restraint and limited government, free markets and free people, individual liberty and personal responsibility, faith and family.
Then, in that hard time, there will be need for the men and women of LPR, and for those who are likeminded. We will have need of you if you hold public office…and also in your higher office as private citizen, where you can influence the political process and make more important contributions in the private, voluntary sector by building a business, helping a neighbor, raising a family.
You will be our leaders…and you will be pressured to acquiesce and compromise and postpone. You will be tempted to “grow in office”.
In those difficult times, we cannot be certain of success, but we can be true to our deepest beliefs. Then, as our Founding Father George Washington spoke in the Constitutional Convention, we can hope to say: “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God.”
My hope, in fact my prayer tonight, is that at that time of trial you will call to mind what you learn here; that you will be well-grounded, knowing what you believe and why you believe it; that with conviction, you will have courage to do what is needed and what is right; that with faith in your fellow citizens, you will trust in the ability of each to manage his own affairs; that in those dire circumstances, you will stay true and rise to the moment, fighting the good fight, finishing the race, keeping the faith.
(CCU Student) In a powerful speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) did what he does best: he rocked the house.
He extolled the American example. He said "The greatest thing we can do for the world is to be America." In other words, we need to show the world why America is great, why we are prosperous, and why we are free. The world has seen how great America is and wants to emulate us. Why not show them exactly why? Rubio compelled attendees to vote for those who would do exactly that.
He offered insights into what America can do to make sure that we stay that great, that prosperous, that free - refocusing the federal government on things such as national defense and a simple tax code, not pitting American people against other American people simply to win an election. He called for relief from strangling regulations, saying that regulations cannot exist "simply to justify the existence of an agency." He called for tax reform that created a simple and fair tax.
He reminded CPAC attendees that this presidential election will come down to a battle between the status quo of failure and a positive "change of direction" towards conservatism. This truly is what this election is about: it is not about who can best beat Obama, it is not about who can raise the most money, and it is not about who can belittle his opponent the most; it is a battle between two conflicting worldviews. Will America continue to choose Obama's failed policies of destruction? Or will we harken back to Reagan's "shining city on a hill" and remember that there is hope for America?
Sophomore political science major Erin Shumaker is doing a semester in Washington, DC. She will file periodic reports for '76 Blog.
(CCU Student) Before Tuesday, many conservatives were left scratching their heads. After a 2008 primary that netted them a lukewarm-at-best McCain Presidential bid, conservatives vowed to never again let themselves be so poorly represented. Yet there we were, just a few days ago, left with Mitt Romney leading the pack with all of his blahness and only an artificial glimmer of conservative principle. The challengers to a Romney ticket – the former Speaker of the House with so many skeletons in his closet his home is in danger of being mistaken for a cemetery, the isolationist libertarian, Dr. Paul, and the low profile Senator from Pennsylvania who just could not seem to catch a break.
Did the epic sweep on February 7th change this perplexingly lackluster outlook for Republicans? No doubt many conservatives are still left scratching their heads, but now with a more optimistic curiosity.
Senator Rick Santorum. He may just be the best shot we’ve got. The critics of Rick Santorum harp on his inability to leave his social issues on the side and focus solely on the big ticket issue of this election, the economy. Many fear that his, what are today considered bold, proclamations of faith and family will sink him as a presidential candidate against Obama. Yes, he has a few imperfect tendencies when it comes to pure capitalism (though none worse than his opponents Romney and Gingrich), but Senator Rick Santorum has something that is astonishingly absent in politics today… integrity. Historically, when the Pennsylvanian Senator says something, he means it, and when he does something, it is done because he thinks it is right, not because it is easy. America needs a conservative president to take on and reduce the growth and size of government - Santorum’s reliability would aid him as a president with this commission.
Contrast this with the Republicans’ other next best hope to Romney, Newt Gingrich. Speaker Gingrich has always been a quick wit and many embittered conservatives would love to see his shellacking of Obama in a one on one debate. But how effective would this debate be? Knowing Obama’s weaknesses in debate, the Obama campaign will surely spare themselves other debates. Also, despite the likelihood that Newt would intellectually trump Obama in a debate, his narcissistic tendencies would likely be on high display on that same stage. While these debates would invigorate Conservatives, it is likely that many independents would be turned off to Newt’s tone and tenacity. This, against Obama’s ability to convey decency and urgency through teleprompted monologues, would give Obama a big leg up on the middle-ground voting territory of America.
The more this tentative conversation of whether or not Rick Santorum is the answer to the 2012 question carries on, the more I feel its absurdity. The discussion should be over by now; the Conservative answer to Obama is Senator Rick Santorum. The good Senator has a more conservative record than both candidates, has strong financial backing (see Foster Friess), and lacks the voter traps of Romney’s Mormonism and Newt’s extra-marital history. Not every primary runs long enough for Pennsylvanians to cast their vote, but if this battle comes to my home state, I know who this Phillies fan will be backing.