I joined the GOP when I turned 18, just weeks after Ronald Reagan’s re-election. Since I was unable to vote in that race, I accompanied one of my conservative friends to the polling place as a kind of silent vote. I had become a big Reagan fan in high school and began learning more about conservatism through Goldwater, various books on the Cold War, and National Review. (That made me quite the hit with the ladies, as you might imagine.)
These early studies of policy, patriotism, and civic virtue led me to enlist in the US Navy and, once I got to college, challenge my ex-hippie professors. For years I voted along party lines, donated to Republican candidates, and volunteered for their campaigns. I was proud to belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, and, of course, Ronaldus Magnus. Even when Bush Sr. raised taxes, some GOP congressman floated bizarre conspiracy theories about Clinton, and Tom DeLay’s House spent us into oblivion, I still identified with the party’s higher ideals. Limited government. Peace through strength. Personal freedom.
This has been a disheartening political season, to say the least. We entered the 2016 presidential cycle with the strongest group of nominees in memory. Today, we mutter last rites over our hopes for a robust debate, as a heckler in a red hat spits profanities at the corpse.
In what was the best chance to elect a conservative in our lifetimes, the current Republican frontrunner is a populist blowhard with a liberal history, authoritarian tendencies, and rotten character. His contempt for the Constitution is surpassed only by his trail of failed businesses and busted cons.
Last year, Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana, thanks to a popular initiative. I was happy with the voters’ decision, even though I’m not a fan of weed and would recommend people avoid it. Our society doesn’t need another way to avoid reality, but the drug war has staggering costs, both in personal freedom and government spending. That’s why I’m happy to see a few states roll back the restrictions on something as commonplace as pot.
Earlier this week, Ohio voters rejected a referendum to legalize grass, though this proposal also created an unwieldy cartel to distribute the product. I was fine with Ohio voters’ decision, as well. My own state of Arizona is expected to have a ganga legalization vote next year and, though I’m currently undecided, I wouldn’t be surprised if I voted against it. So why am I fine with Coloradans and Washingtonians passing around blunts, and also fine with Ohio and Arizona just saying no? It’s not as inconsistent as it seems.
The French Revolution began with disaffected aristocrats wanting to reform their stodgy, inflexible political system. If only King Louis XVI would accept a more liberal Constitutional Monarchy, France could enter into a bright new future.
Once the revolution was underway, a group of the bourgeoisie decided these modest goals weren’t progressive enough, so they formed the Jacobin Club to steer the reforms further to the Left.
When the king was deposed, a group of Jacobins decided the club itself wasn’t progressive enough. They brought in the lower classes and formed the Montagnards to steer the movement even further to the Left.
There are 492 stories on the naked island. This is one of them.
A political consultant — John Yob’s his name — was out tomcatting at a Mackinac Island watering hole Thursday night. One drink became three, three drinks turned to 10, and by 2 a.m. he was feeling every drop of his Oberon Ale. Yob had a mouth full of cotton and a belly full of regret. Little did he know, the night was just getting started.
Most people think of Mackinac Island as a family place. A dot of green in a great lake of blue topped with B&B’s, fudge shops, and horse-drawn carriages. But there’s another side to Ol’ Mac. A darker side.
And you thought Nationwide’s Super Bowl ad was depressing. The President spoke at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, but instead of focusing on faith, hope and love, he dwelt on violence, anti-Semitism and the Crusades.
Obama cataloged an impressive list of Islamist terror attacks, oddly never mentioning Islam. But he wasn’t so careful when it came to calling out those dastardly Christians.
For me, Twitter is less a social-media service than a six-year-long political argument with no sign of ending. In myriad (and meaningless) keyboard battles, I’ve tangled with progressives on economic policy, foreign affairs, elections, pop culture, social issues, education reform and countless other topics.
Obviously, I waste too much time on Twitter. But whatever the subject, my liberal enablers always drop the same line; one they believe will end the debate for good. About every other day since 2008, I’ve been on the receiving end of this withering coup de grâce, always delivered with a supercilious tone of finality.
“Maybe you should stop watching Fox News!” The more clever interlocutors misspell it “Faux News,” adding wonky jargon such as “dum winger” or “tea-tard.”
As the fight rages between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza, those supporting Israel shake their heads at progressives around the world. How can a movement which boasts of its dedication to tolerance, feminism and LGBT equality endorse a terror state founded on thuggery and theocracy?
Israel is a modern, multicultural nation in a sea of medieval misery. Women can vote, gays can marry, and Arabs can serve in government. Just over the security fence, women are subjugated, gays are lynched, and there isn’t a Jew to be found (unless he has been kidnapped).
How can the Left be so enamored of the Palestinians? Are they simply immoral? Well, yes and no.
The Left has a morality, but it is different from that of most conservatives.
While at the Netroots Nation conference in Detroit last week, I attended a few panels on public education. I’ve kept up to date on the school choice movement for the past few years, but hadn’t witnessed an anti-choice meeting for quite some time.
Compared to the education reformers’ message of optimism, enterprise and fresh thinking, the Netroots discussions seemed like an alternate universe — and a grim one at that.
The session “Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education” had a hopeful title, but ultimately revealed a movement in steep decline. Perhaps the anti-reform agenda shouldn’t be called a “movement” at all since it offers only inertia. Each panelist betrayed a siege mentality, admitting they are being hit with the school choice message from all sides, even from traditional allies.
A panel at the recent Netroots Nation conference called on progressive activists to “take down” a network of conservative non-profit organizations.
At an official session titled “Stink Tanks in Your State,” speakers denounced the State Policy Network, a coalition of “independent, non-profit, market-oriented, state-focused think tanks.” The presentation was part of the ninth annual Netroots Nation conference, the country’s “largest progressive gathering,” which was held in Detroit, July 17-20.
> Complete raw audio of the panel discussion is provided below.