Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

h1

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.

h1

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.

h1

The Candidates (Republican That Is)

January 15, 2008

Alright, it’s time I finally came out and told you all my thoughts on candidates rather than where I stand on issues.

Rudy Giuliani – While everyone seems to want to put him down for his pro-choice stance on abortion, I don’t think it necessary to be pro-life to be president. After all, there’s nothing the president can do about Roe v. Wade anyway. Even the appointment of judges has nothing to do with making laws for abortion. If you want a law for or against abortion you need to look to your Senator and District Representative. Social issues are such a stupid reason to elect a president over. However, social issues do have some play and Rudy Giuliani seems to be a social moderate. That’s okay with me. He has conservative fiscal policy. His stance on immigration may be the only thing that hurts him (or SHOULD be the ONLY thing that hurts him), but I understand his explanations for his immigration policy. You can’t have a city full of illegal kids running around with no school or education, especially when the state only allows you to deport a fraction of illegals every year. It’s better for the city and the people to put the kids in a public school until there’s something that can be done about deporting more illegals.

Ron Paul – If we were not in war and didn’t need to have troops in South Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, among other places I would vote for Ron Paul. He has awesome fiscal policy. While I do view him as an isolationist, by definitiion he’s not. He does support a global market and free trade. He also has the idea that there should be limited government intervention, which is what conservatives are supposed to think right? Well, his view on foreign policy is too idiotic and dangerous to win my support.

Mike Huckabee – …where to start…I can’t even type his name in Word without it being underlined in Red for being mispelled. People say they like him because he’s someone they can relate to. I don’t want someone I can relate to…I want a leader. I want someone BETTER than me. I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt, but no longer am I going to stand by and watch him steal conservative votes by pretending to be something he’s not. So he’s pro-life…who cares? I mean, sure it’s important to social conservatives to have a pro-life president, but you people need to look at the bigger picture here. Can he gain more than 20% of the population’s support? No. Does he stand the slightest chance against any Democrat? No. He’s a pro-life liberal Christian.

Too much government control; I want limited government. Too many taxes; I want cut spending, then lets talk about taxes for a balanced budget. He supports In-State tuition for illegals. Crap. “We can’t punish the children for their parents mistakes.” – Sure we can! But who said not giving them in-state tuition is punishing them? It’s just not pandering to them. I get loans to pay for my education. My parents don’t pay for it (though I’m sure they would if they could) so I have to figure out a way to get my education. If they get into college, they should play by the rules and enroll as a foreign student (tuition is cheaper for them anyway, for some reason).

And don’t get me started on the “God-ticket.” As a Christian, I’m offended that Huckabee is willing to go so far as to justifying every issue with “in the bible it says…” or “under God the government should…” or my personal favorite, “we should ammend the constituion to meet God’s standards…” Okay…You have to think strategically. Who else does this appeal to? What…10% of the population? It’s like he believes no other candidate believes in God. My personal opinion is that he’s doing what people should NEVER do; using God as a tool for gaining attention in politics. Evangelicals should be offended by this monstosity. Sure, this country was founded on moral and religious values, but not to the extent of using God as a political instrument. Oh, and just because he’s a Christian, doesn’t mean he’s a conservative…in the distance I hear “Jimmy Carter…Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterJimmy Carter…”

John McCain – I thought for weeks about voting for McCain. I was willing to look past all of the crap that he’s stood for. I thought he would be important in a time of war. But looking back, I could never forgive myself if I voted for him. Sure, he’s for getting the job done in Iraq, but so are all the candidates. I think ALL of the candidates (except for Ron Paul) would be tough on the war in Iraq. John McCain is a great man. He’s an American hero. He’s done wonders for the war effort, but I can’t vote for him. Here’s a short list why: McCain-Feingold, Illegal Immigration, Taxes, his sellout to Global Warming, and the fact that he always fights AGAINST the Republicans in the Senate. Sure he’s a Republican, but he’s not a Conservative. Do I think he would be a good president? Sure. But I’m not voting for him. I think there are better candidates than him. If you like him, great…I have a lot of respect for the guy, but don’t say he’s a conservative. He’s not.

Obviously, me being a conservative I’d have to lay it down: my ideal choice would be Fred Thompson. He’s a straight-shooter, down-to-earth, conservative leader. He’s not so down-to-earth that you can’t respect his authority though. He comes off as a “regular ol’ guy” whom you can relate to, but shows his leadership skills when he speaks and he makes it clear he won’t give in to idiotic liberal attempts to demean him — ie. the debate when he refused to raise his hand on an issue that required explanation.

Finally, there’s Mitt Romney. Texas votes a little late, so I’ll be able to determine within 2 candidates who will be the nominee. If it comes down to the point of Fred Thompson having NO chance by the time I vote, I’ll vote for Romney. I’ve thought a lot about this now. He is a true Capitalist Pig. That’s why I’m going to vote for him. He is a businessman who can take action in a tough situation and do it with logic and not emotion. In other words, he’s not a hothead. I’ve said before that I have to question Romney’s intellect for believing in the Church of Latter Day Saints, which has NO historical reference (I’ve studied the mormon faith extensively and came to the conclusion that it, along with scientology, is the most inauthentic religion in the world, but I digress). I’ve gotten past this. Obviously the man is intelligent. He governed the most liberal state in the nation as a Republican and he did it very well. People say he’s not a social conservative, but that’s idiotic. Of course he’s socially conservative. But there’s only so much he can do in a liberal state. He gave NO pardons, and supported Tax cuts and the war in Iraq. For some reason, people don’t like businessman, because schools teach us that big business is bad, but unfortunately for them, that’s why this country is successful; business.

We are headed into an economic recession and Romney (or even Giuliani) is the best man to help turn that around. I believe that recessions are cyclical, but there needs to be a president that realizes that recessions are cyclical in order to prevent us from creating a New New Deal. The businessman is the best chance for survival against socialism; it keeps our country the land of equal opportunity and not the land of equal outcome. Like it or not, we are capitalists…and we need to secure that.

In addition, China is a big issue. I predict that in the near future, we will be at a sort of economic war with China. Who’s the man for the job? That’s right: a businessman; Mitt Romney.

These are my thoughts. Take what you will. May conservatism be with you.

h1

Department of Education…END IT!

January 3, 2008

This may come as a shock seeing as how I’m working to become a teacher, but I feel strongly about this topic. This also may be one issue that Ron Paul supporters would agree with me on (assuming they actually know what Ron Paul believes in).

I understand that education is a big concern in this country. So the best way to make it successful is to not let the Federal Government control it. Every time we put trust in the Federal Government they screw it up. Not to mention, it increases the chances of America becoming a socialist country.

The reason the Federal Government shouldn’t control education is because every city is different! The Federal Government promises money for good test scores and threatens to take it away for bad test scores. This is a problem. You can’t set a national standard for education because then teachers will only teach what is necessary for their students to pass the government mandated tests. Also, having the Federal Government controlling the Education increases the power of teachers’ unions and decreases the power of the students’ parents.

My solution: Abolish the Department of Education and leave the education to the cities. If a city has control of what the schools teach, then the parents have more say about what is taught in schools because it increases the effect of Parent-School Board relations. For example, if a city like San Francisco decides to have a week of teaching homosexual tolerance or sexual education and the parents find that not a problem, that’s OK! Because if a parent doesn’t like it, they can go to a city where the parents decided that homosexual tolerance and sexual education isn’t necessary for the schools (like say…in a Conservative mid-west town). Each city has different priorities.

Also, if a city decides to tax it’s citizens to increase educational funding, then chances are the tax will ACTUALLY FUND the schools. In a federal tax, you don’t know whether that money is going to the schools or not. Besides, if parents don’t like the tax, they can fight against it or they can move. It gives parents more opportunities to better their city and choose where their kids go to school.

In addition, Charter Schools would increase competition for public schools and require public schools to hire better teachers and manage their budget a little better. Increase competition and you’ll increase the quality of the outcome. (By the way, this isn’t my idea. John McCain advocates this same idea).

We should also get rid of teacher tenure. Or at LEAST make it more difficult to achieve tenure. If we can’t get rid of bad teachers then the educational system will never get better (this coming from a future teacher!). Then the teachers’ unions complain: “we’re going to lose our jobs…we’re not protected.” You’re damn right you’re not protected! Just like any other job, you have to perform well to keep your job! If you’re good at your job, then you don’t have to worry do you?

Anyway…my two cents.

David Cooper

h1

Help the Homeless

January 1, 2008

I was on my way to work one day and saw a homeless man standing on the side of the road. As I came up to him I could read a sign he was holding which read “just plain hungry.” I am openly opposed to giving money to the homeless simply because I don’t know what they’ll do with it (like buy drugs or alcohol), but I realized that I had a Sonic gift card for five dollars and decided to give it to him so he could buy food. After doing so I felt that I did a good thing and thus felt good about myself.

I thought a little more about this when I got home and came to realize that I will never do it again. Call me heartless. But first hear my argument.

God gives every person in a life choices. This person, at one point in his life made a bad decision. I am a forgiving person, but only to a certain extent am I a GIVING person. I am however willing to give second chances, but not by handouts. Everyone makes bad decisions but I believe that there is a better way to help this person get out of his “rut.” Do not give them anything! Not even food. Giving them food implies the same thing as giving them money or booze. If you give them money you’re encouraging the fact that this person can get pity money from strangers.

The same applies to food. By giving a homeless person food, he will think that he can live without working or finding a way to better himself. How does that help the homeless? Giving free-rides to people simply because they’re homeless? Do the RIGHT thing. Don’t give them anything. If they get no food or money from people, they are going to have to figure out a way to fill their stomachs. If illegal immigrants can do work to get a few bucks for food, why can’t the homeless? Leave it to the “poor white man” to be too stuck up to work to put food on the table. Do you know why he won’t work to eat? Because our society makes it possible so that he doesn’t have to work to eat!

Sure, giving a homeless man food will help him in the short run, but what about the encouragement that would help the man in the long run; his life? The only way to help the homeless in the long run is for them to realize that they have a God-given choice to make the decisions to better their lives. And the only way they will come to this realization is when they have no other choice than to work to better their lives.

So do the right thing…help the homeless by not giving them anything.

David Cooper