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Philosophy of Life, Not a Philosophy of Government

March 18, 2008

What does it mean to be a conservative? American conservatism is different from conservatism in the classical sense. It is uniquely American. Conservatives are actually more classical liberals. Classical Liberalism is a belief in liberty. According to Dinesh D’Souza, “The American founders, for example, were committed to three types of freedom: economic freedom, political freedom, and freedom of speech and religion. In their classical liberal view, freedom meant limiting the power of government, thus increasing the scope for individual and private action.” This is not to say that today’s liberals do not believe in these freedoms (although I would argue that liberals don’t really believe in free speech. If they did, they wouldn’t constantly complain that conservatives shouldn’t be allowed to express their views). The liberals today follow this new philosophy of digging deep within yourself to find out who you really are. Their morals are based on being “true to yourself.”

Conservatives believe in these freedoms, but have added a different element. Dinesh D’Souza says that the added element is “a concern with social and civic virtue.” He says that “the conservative virtues are many: civility, patriotism, national unity, a sense of local community, an attachment to family, and a belief in merit, in just desserts, and in personal responsibility for one’s actions […] What unifies the vast majority of conservatives is the belief that there are moral standards in the universe and that living up to them is the best way to have a full and happy life.” On the other hand, modern liberals have the different kinds of virtues that they feel are important and determine a good life: “Equality, compassion, pluralism, diversity, social justice, peace, autonomy, and tolerance.”

Now, regarding the virtue of equality: It’s not that conservatives don’t believe in equality, it’s that conservatives believe in a different kind of equality. Conservatives believe in equal opportunity, success by merit, and equality of rights. Liberals believe in the equal outcome; that some are not as capable to succeed as others and they are more than willing to take from people who earn more to give to people what haven’t. Conservatives speak of the same type of freedoms, but mean different things. “Conservatives emphasize economic growth, while liberals emphasize economic redistribution. Conservatives like to proclaim their love of country, while liberals like to proclaim their love of humanity. Conservatives insist that force is required to maintain world order, while liberals prefer the pursuit of peace through negotiation and dialog. Conservatives are eager to preserve moral standards, liberals cherish personal autonomy.”

Conservatism to me is a philosophy of life, not a government position. I believe that conservatives understand that there are two types of forces in the world: good and evil, while Liberals believe that human nature is in root good. They believe war is a result of blunders and misunderstandings, and poverty and failure are a result of societal placement.

I am a conservative because I believe that conservatives understand that people are flawed and there is evil in the world. Ultimately, I believe that conservatives and liberals both want to achieve the same thing: a good and prosperous society, but I believe that liberals go about achieving a good society the wrong way (by redistribution), while conservatives want to achieve it the right way (by merit).

If you had to label me with a governmental position, it would be a sort of libertarian. But even then that would be difficult to explain entirely, because libertarians are economic conservatives without the moral standards. I would be more of a conservative libertarian: because I have a conservative world view while having a sort of libertarian economic position.

The quotes used in this post are from Dinesh D’Souza’s Letters to a Young Conservative. I used D’Souza’s words often, because he expresses his points so well, that it would be a disservice to him to try and paraphrase them.

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Sodomites and the “Excuse”

March 8, 2008

Here’s a short quip of my thought about homosexuality. For the sake of refraining from writing “homosexual” (and the fact that I REFUSE to give in to political correctness) I’m just going to refer to them as “gay.”

To start off the subject I just want to say that I really don’t care if people are gay. I think it’s a bit gross and it makes no sense to me, but I’ve never held anything against gays for being gay, EXCEPT when they give me the “excuse.” What is this “excuse?” I’ll get to that in a moment.

First let’s get to the legal part. I really have mixed feelings about the subject of gay marriage, simply because I don’t really have the desire to tell people how to live. However, there is good evidence supporting the notion that it should be illegal to allow gay marriage. One argument is that “marriage is the incubator of children.” If you can’t have children, why do you need to get married? Also, marriage is literally defined as “the legal union of two adults of the opposite sex who are unrelated to each other.” So technically, even if gays are “together” they can’t, by definition, be married.

But this post isn’t meant for the legal aspect of gay people, but to give the debate against the “excuse.”

Time and time again, I hear gay people and defenders of gay people tell me that they can’t choose whether or not they’re gay. “They’re born gay.” “They can’t help it.” “They are what they are, not by choice, but by destiny.” Blah blah blah. I don’t buy this for a minute. Ok, I don’t believe God made you gay. Sorry. I believe that you choose your own destiny. You choose your own lifestyle. This excuse is not only false, but hypocritical.

Most gay people (excluding the strange institution of gay Christians) are atheist. Then, they claim that they were born gay. Wait…if you’re born gay doesn’t that mean that some higher power made you gay? Hmmm. But then there’s the people that believe God chooses everything for you…even if that were true, why would God make someone gay? It makes no sense to me. You choose your own lifestyle and nobody can change your mind. So this bogus premise that gays “can’t help it” is ridiculous.

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The Devil Made Me Do It

March 8, 2008

“The Devil Makes You Do Bad Things”

This is one thing that I forgot to add in my latest blog about Christianity. I am a firm believer that the devil CANNOT make you do ANYTHING! So all of you people who were taught in Christian school that the devil makes you do bad things (as what happened to my younger sister recently) need to realize quickly that the devil can’t MAKE you do anything. Perhaps he can TEMPT you or INFLUENCE you in a sick kind of way, but it’s up to YOU whether or not to act upon those temptations.

If the devil could actually make people do things, then why didn’t he make Jesus sin? I can go all the way back to Adam and Eve…did the serpent (which we think is the devil) make Eve eat that frickin’ apple?????NO! She CHOSE to! Which is another reason why I believe that man can CHOOSE what he will do in life.

Believe it or not, we are NOT doomed!

May conservatism be with you all.

David Cooper (C)

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My Take on Christianity

March 8, 2008

Religion (or “Complex Religious Institutions” as we call it in the history department) is certainly important in this world. Unlike Christopher Hitchens, I do believe that religion, Christianity in particulary, has done more good for the world than bad. But let me give you my take on the whole thing. I’ve numbered the different talking points to make things simpler, but be aware that I realize that there are complications and that my simplifications may be just that…simplifications. Don’t think that I’m trying to convert people to Christianity…I’m not.

1) Jesus, I believe he was a real person. There is overwhelming evidence that he existed. Now, whether or not you believe he was/is the Son of God is another story, but I think it’s fair to say that the person, Jesus, existed. Having said that, I personally believe that Jesus was the Lamb of God and died for our sins. If you don’t believe that, then that’s fine…again, I don’t seek to convert.

2) The Holy Trinity. I believe in the Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Now, I realize that some don’t believe in the Trinity and often blame Christian who do as Polytheists. They say that by believing in the Trinity, we believe in more than one God…well, it’s complicated, but I believe that the Trinity is in fact ONE IN THE SAME. This is where faith comes in my friends.

3) The Gnostics…read my earlier post and you’ll get my take on those fools.

4) The Gospels. As controversial as they are, I believe each has an overlying element of truth and similiarity. I for one do not believe that Jesus did not feel pain, as implicated in Luke. Actually, I find John to be the most interestig gospel though to believe it requires a little more faith than the other gospels. If you’d like to know more about what I think about the gospels in particular go ahead and message me…if I get enough messages, I’ll just write a post strictly for the gospels.

Moving on to the elements that make me different than many Christians:

5) Triuphalism. For those who don’t know what triumphalism is I’ll give you the “Triumphalism for Dummies” take: Triumphalists believe that God is the reason for greatness (or for bad things). For example, the first Christian Roman Emporer, Constantine, would argue that God is the reason that Rome was so great. In fact, God is the reason that Rome did not fall during the 3rd century crisis. Also, English triumphalists would argue that God was the reason that Great Britain was able to conquer half the globe. On the flip side, God is the reason New Orleans became an underwater city…because of all the sin. Now, I DON’T BELIEVE IN TRIUMPHALISM. In fact, I don’t believe that God helps you win football games. I also don’t believe that God is the “reason” Hurricane Katrina did the damage that it did. Oddly enough, when I pray I NEVER pray for God to give me this or that, or for God to punish those who have wronged me. Rather I pray for guidance. I pray for thanks for everything that I’ve accomplished, because God has made me the person that I am and allowed me to make my own decisions…which brings me to my next and most important point for this post:

6) Free will. I believe in free will. Many Christians do not believe in free will. They believe that God has a plan for everyone…I don’t know if I believe that. Where does it say in the bible that there is a plan for every individual? In fact I think that God is so merciful and gracious that he gave everyone the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. I believe that God will give guidance to those who ask, but I don’t think that God chooses your destiny (which subsequently I don’t believe in either). I believe every man chooses the outcome of his life (conservative thought mind you). I don’t understand how people could think otherwise. Not to be mean, but if you didn’t believe in free will wouldn’t you really be saying that God chooses a number of people who will go to heaven or hell, or chooses the people that will murder or become adulters? Come on…

That’s my take. You don’t have to agree, in fact I encourage friendly debate. If you would like to know specifics send me a message and I’ll do my best to explain myself. Thanks, tell your friends.

David Cooper (C)

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Officially Apathetic

March 8, 2008

It’s late…I’m tired…I’m Annoyed…I don’t know what to do.

The Republican party and all of its “(R) before (C)” members have abandoned me and my fellow conservatives. While the country moves further and further left, I become more and more aggravated. Regardless, here are a few last words on what I think about the candidates before I sleep:

Mitt Romney – You’re a businessman who knows what is and isn’t a bad investment. While it may be a bad investment financially to continue, I say stay in the race just to stand up for what’s right.

Mike Huckabee – You’re a hypocrite and I have no respect for you and your ridiculous claims of conservatism. Crawl back into the hole that you came from along with the uneducated “(R) before (C)” people who support you.

Ron Paul – While you stand up for everything I agree on domestically, you’re an idiot for ever thinking that the US can just “stay out of the way” and therefore I could never vote for you.

And finally…John McCain – You’ve made my party the party of moderates…I hope you’re proud…I’m ashamed.

May conservatism be with you all

David Cooper (C)

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Conservatism and Liberalism as Defined by Dinesh D’Souza

March 8, 2008

This post is an excerpt of one of my favorite books, Letters to a Young Conservative, by Dinesh D’Souza. If you don’t have it I recommend getting it. This is an important explanation of the differences between Liberalism and Conservatism and how they differ from European definitions. Here goes:

We need to understand the big changes that have come over liberalism. The term “liberal”, in its Greek meaning, refers to the free man, as opposed to the slave. Liberals were originally the partisans of liberty. The American founders, for example, were committed to three types of freedom: economic freedom, political freedom, and freedom of speech and religion. In their classical liberal view, freedom meant limiting the power of government, thus increasing the scope for individual and private action. The spirit of this philosophy is clearly conveyed in the formulations of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law…”

This classical liberalism underwent two dramatic changes in the last century: the revolution of the 1930s, and the revolution of the 1960s. The revolution of the 1030s, the FDR revolution, was based on the assumption that rights are not meaningful unless we have the means to exercise them. As FDR himself argued, people who lack life’s necessities are NOT FREE. FDR believed that to give citizens true liberty, the government should insure them against deprivation, against the loss of a job, against calamitous illness, and against an impoverished old age. Thus the liberal revolution of the 1930s introduced a new understanding of freedom that involved a vastly greater role for government than the American founders intended.

The second liberal revolution occurred in the 1960s. Its watchword was “liberation,” and its great prophet was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Before the sixties, most Americans believed ina universal moral order that is external to us, that makes demands on us. Our obligation was to conform to that moral order. Earlier generations, right up to the “greatest generation” of World War II, took for granted this moral order and its commandments: Work hard and try to better yourself, be faithful to your spouse, go when your country calls, and so on.

But, beginning in the sixties, several factions – the antiwar movement, the feminist movement, the gay activist movement, and so on – attacked that moral consensus as narrow and oppressive. They fought for a new ethic that would be based not on external authority but on the sovereignty of the inner self. This is the novel idea that received its most powerful expression in Rousseau’s writing. To the American founders’ list of freedoms, Rousseau argues that we make major decisions – whom to love, what to become, what to believe – not by obeying our parents, teachers, preachers, or even God. Rather, we make such decisions by digging deep within ourselves and listening to the voice of nature. This is the idea of being “true to yourself.” It is the new liberal morality. […]

Modern American conservatism is very different from European conservatism, or from conservatism traditionally understood. For one thing, conservatism in this country is “modern,” and for another, it is “American.” Ours is not the “throne and altar” conservatism that once defined European conservatism, and that is still characteristic of many Europeans on the right. These conservatives were true reactionaries. They sought to preserve the ancien regime and the prerogatives of king and church against the arrival of modern science, modern capitalism, and modern democracy.

American conservatives are different because America is a revolutionary nation. For the founders, the ancien regime was the world they had left behind in Europe. Ours is a country founded by a bunch of guys sitting around a table in Philidelphia and deciding to establish a “new order for the ages.” Being a conservative in America means conserving the principles of the American revolution. (One of the most conservative groups in America calls itself the Daughters of the American Revolution.) Paradoxically, American conservatism seeks to conserve a certain kind of liberalism! It means fighting to uphold the classical liberalism of the founding from assault by liberalism of a different sort. […]

The conservative virtues are many: civility, patriotism, national unity, a sense of local community, an attachment to family, and a belief in merit, in just desserts, and in personal responsibility for one’s actions. For many conservatives, the idea of virtue cannot be separated from the idea of God. But it is not necessary to believe in God to be a conservative. What unifies the vast majority of conservatives is the belief that there are moral standards in the universe and that libing up to them is the best way to have a full and happy life.

I hope you all read this in its entirity and I hope you all grasp the concept of what conservative stand for. Thank you for reading and remember to vote for the only conservative left in the race when you vote on Feb 5; Mitt Romney.

May conservatism be with you all.

David Cooper (C)

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The Bad Theories of Supporting McCain (Part I)

February 1, 2008

With John McCain being the alleged GOP frontrunner, I find myslef inclined to put my thoughts on the table about the theories of why McCain should be the GOP nominee.

I could write for days on end about the inconsistencies of John McCain, but let’s face the facts without the tedious, but obvious, long list of McCain’s liberal viewpoint of the world. This post is intended to debunk the mythological premises of the support of John McCain, not argue that McCain is more or less of a conservative than Reagan or even Romney (although I must add that John McCain can never HONESTLY say he was a part of the Reagan phenomena and the reestablished Republican Party as Conservatives…but I digress).

Let’s look at the arguments:

(1) “McCain is the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton in the general election.”

– Wrong. 20th century American history has proven time and time again that when Conservatives try to appeal to the left we lose. Conservatives are strongest and near unstoppable when we stick to our values and we are weakest and most vulnerable when we pander to the liberals. Besides, haven’t we already had a Clinton beat a RINO in a general election? Let’s recap…Clinton v. Dole. Who won that election?…oh yeah, that’s right, Clinton. Not only did he win, but he won by an extraordinary percentage…and McCainiacs believe that he is the best to beat the Clinton Machine? Sorry, but you can’t out-dem a democrat.

And what do we do if Clinton isn’t the nominee? What if it’s McCain and Obama? McCain would lose. Not that it would matter anyway, because to me they’re the same and at least at that point the Republican party would still be considered the Conservative party. Let the Democrats be liberal…not the Republicans.

(2) “In a general election debate McCain would show how Clinton is wrong on the issues, and he would ultimately ‘win’ the debate.”

– I can’t believe it. How can McCain win a debate against Clinton when he can’t even win any of the 15+ debates we’ve had so far? Every time I hear McCain speak he is slow, dry, unexciting, and uninspiring. Not to mention he can’t even defend his stances because he knows they’re “iffy” and inconsistent. And when he goes on “attack” mode, he does so with fake and skewed statements, then he claims to be “straight talk.” Just look at the last debate when he tried to say Romney was for a timetable of withdrawal. Everyone knew it was wrong and taken way out of context.

Romney, on the other hand, would DESTROY Clinton in a one-on-one debate. He has proven that he can gather his thoughts and deliver them without socially inept one-liners. Also, he can actually answer a question, rahter than avoid the question and swim around it. I know Romney isn’t perfect. I personally think that he’s too nice in debates. He could have questioned McCain’s liberal support and tactics in the last debate, but he didn’t…he’s trying to take the high road. Against a democrat, however, I think he can really “unload.”

(3) “John McCain is the best candidate for the War in Iraq and National Security.”

– This is one theory that is a trick. We are tricked into thinking that he is the best for foreign policy because he was a POW in Vietnam. McCain likes to pull the “war hero” card, but it’s misleading. I respect his service and I admire his strength throughout his imprisonment, but how is he by definition a “War Hero?” We let him get away with pulling this card a little too much. If he can’t answer a question, like a question about the economy, he pulls the card and starts talking about foreign policy. I don’t believe that you have to serve in a war to be a successful president during war time. Some of the best presidents never served in war.

Another thing, how is McCain the best for national security when he doesn’t have much interest in closing the border. Sure he says he wants a secure border now, but his record the past year disproves . In addition to the border, and just as important, is Gitmo. How is closing Gitmo and bringing terrorists to America to use our justice system good for national security? Someone please explain that to me.

These are just a few thoughts to derail the attempted justifications for uniting behind McCain. Next I will talk about the Economy (in which McCain has NO idea what to do about), China (which Romney is most prepared for), and the fate of our party as we know it.