Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Leftward Drift and Its Limits

limitschart

The American media is rife with talk of the inability of the current Congress to work out compromises coupled with the dominance of ideology. The media moans that the public is dissatisfied with the Congress over this inability to compromise. In a nation where the familiar phase describing the work of Washington has been “compromise, compromise, compromise,’ since President James Madison uttered the comment [Rogers 2011], why now does the inability to compromise come with such strength and clarity?

This historic shift to ideology and away from compromise must mark a fundamental break in the American system. The public seems to expect compromise. The system has prided itself on achieving such compromise. Yet now, compromise eludes the players on all sides. This is significant, not just in failing to solve the current disastrous problems that beset America, but in the shift it marks in American political practice.

The polarization of the American people is fairly clear. For example, in voting Americans may have shifted to the more extreme positions. The CBS Evening News [2011], citing the National Journal, provided some support for this concept by noting that the number of senators identifying themselves as “moderate” has declined from 60 in 1982, to 36 in 1994, to 9 in 2002, to one in 2011. Given the centrist view of the electorate, this marks a shift toward the poles indicative of a significant alteration of the political landscape.

At the same time it is indicative of a barrier to compromise being reached. Compromise may have its limits and it is possible the line in the sand has been reached and the sides are not in positions to compromise any longer.

Further evidence for a significant change is found in the language of the times. We have both a “Culture War” and a “Class War” going on with members of both sides using the terminology of war. In the words of von Clausewitz, “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.” But those “means” imply conditions from a vicious clash to total victory and demolition of a side by another. It is not meant to imply a condition of compromise.

This was seen at the 1992 Republican Party Convention when Patrick Buchanan said that, "There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself” [Buchanan]. The notion of a great battle with significant consequences and cost is implied in statements like this.

The “Class War” rhetoric accomplishes the same. While denied by the Obama Admiration, the messages of the Administration and its supporters are decidedly one of “Class War” [Kinsley]. The Left’s support of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement involves the elements of a war. Street action and the blockade of business are war by the simple means of the Left. They are confrontational, not elements of peace.

If we look at the underlying pattern of this, we find that the nation has slowly shifted left since the 1932 election [see chart]. Decades are marked by strides forward to the left without corresponding strides right. A constantly shifting line heading left is bound to reach a point where compromise is no longer possible. That line exists and has been reached.

If you begin with the “New Deal,” take a break for World War II, you find the Warren Court decisions moving left, followed by the “Great Society” and its leftist programs. A period of adjustment is followed by the Sexual Revolution and the Abortion rulings, followed by a period of adjustment, then the Gay Rights Movement and changes followed by the socialist looking Obama Health Care Plan, clear statements of redistributionist policy goals by the Obama Administration [in spite of his denials of this, actions louder than words], and the socialist sounding “Occupy Wall Street” movement.

An example of this shift is the adjustment to gay marriage among Americans noted by the Gallup Poll [2011]. Their results show a continual slow increase in support for gay marriage among Americans. The push left is a slow pressure to accept the new directions for old values and beliefs. It forces those not shifting further away from the center. It is a continual step by step move away in the name of change.

That the media push this is illustrated by a Fargo Forum headline and story on the push to have gay marriage banned in the Minnesota state constitution [Associated Press 2011]. The sub-headline for the article proclaims “St. Cloud State study finds public’s attitude changing, but slowly.” Yet in the long column article that follows there is no mention of this being a trend at all. A poll found support for not banning gay marriage, but that change is not clearly established by the supporting article. The prominence of the headline to the non-reader/analyzer of the article is all that counts. Unless careful analyzed, the article supports the Left’s goal in the debate.

In terms of strategy suggestions, the most significant one to be made to the Right is to be incremental. The leftists have slowly moved America to the left by incrementally suggesting and implementing programs and policies when they get the chance. Senator Ted Kennedy pushed for health care reform for decades before the chance to implement them came. Take heed and push a piece at a time. The political correctness movement arose word by word and offended group by offended group. Become offended, seek its protection and find tiny cuts. A 1% cut is minimal in sound to everyone. Make them.

A problem may be that the demands of the Right are much more based in absolutes. Liberty, decency, and freedom are much more absolute in nature than paying for day care or buying prescription medicines. But many battles have been lost by allowing the slow implementation of leftist policies. The Right needs to adopt the same piecemeal approach. Rather than attack abortion, work on it in pieces. Find useless operations or outrages in spending in government programs over which opposition will be light. Close or restrict them. If the Justice Department gets national attention for waste by spending $16 per item for doughnuts, cut the budget for the Department by 1%. A news item of note coupled with a small change. If the Left cries that criminals will take over the country, let them take the heat of the mainstream press over $16 doughnuts.

A second alternative was proposed by Paul D. Weyrich to the Conservative Leadership Conference in 1999. His proposal was for the Christina Right to pull out of the Culture Wars, separate themselves by admitting defeat. I am reminded of the line Robert Graves gave Claudius in I, Claudius [1976], “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.” Faced with a situation in which nothing can be done to solve, just let things go and the enemy forces will punish and destroy themselves.

On the other hand, the Left might recognize their role in reaching the line in the sand and pull back from their socialist agenda. They need to pull back to a position from which compromise is possible. Their endless demands need to be abandoned as unattainable without ripping apart the society in which they intend them to prosper. A society that makes all equal in their degradation and uselessness is no victory. If the talented are diminished by what sense does one expect the average person to make up the loss of those people’s ingenuity. If those average people were capable of producing the postmodern society’s wealth, required by Marx to stage the socialist move in the first place, then why do they need government help to survive the simplest demands of life?

As we evaluate the problem we face we find a traditional process of American government has changed. In the quest to answer why, the possibility that a barrier or line in the sand has been reached beyond which compromise is no longer possible. Given the growth in the importance of ideology and the use of “war” oriented terminology, a crisis is clearly marked as significance. Given the one sided march of the country, it behooves that group, the Left, to decide if ruin is worth their fight and goals. They might take a lesson from their fellow Communist Chinese. They found that socialist farming would mean ruin and began a massive capitalist program to change that situation. We now face such ruin. They turned to individualism based on the family to save them. They turned to capitalism to save them. There is a line in the sand.

Associated Press. 2011. Poll: More against ban on gay marriage. Fargo Forum (November 12): A6.

Buchanan, Patrick J. 1992. “1992 Republican National Convention Speech in Houston, Texas”, http://www.buchanan.org/pa-92-0817-rnc.html.

CBS Evening News. 2011. Congress by the Numbers. New York: CBS: (November 21).

Gallup, Inc. 2011. For First Time, Majority of Americans Favor Legal Gay Marriage. Online: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/first-time-majority-americans-favor-legal-gay-marriage.aspx

Graves, Robert. 1976. Quoted in Old King Log. I, Claudius. Video. London: BBC.

Kinsley, Michael. 2011. When Obama’s Music Stops, Class Warfare Starts. Bloomberg Views. Online. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-09/when-obama-s-music-stops-class-warfare-starts-michael-kinsley.html

Rogers, Kathleen. 2011. Seeking One Principled Person from Each Side of the Aisle. NJTODAY.net. Online. <http://njtoday.net/2010/09/16/seeking-one-principled-person-from-each-side-of-the-aisle/>

Weyrich, Paul M. 1999. Letter to Conservatives. Online. Washington: National Center for Public Policy research. http://www.nationalcenter.org/Weyrich299.html

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ponderings

It is presidential election time we hear.  The gang is naturally a set of Ron Paul.  His appearance on Jay Leno last night (Dec 16, 2011) only confirmed that.  Alive and active and the most supporter believer in the abilities of people among all of the candidates.  While most candidates of both parties believe people are useless and stupid,  only capable of being guided through life, Paul believes in people.  Think for yourself.  Do it yourself.  The Bob Villa of the political campaign.  A winner to us.

The balanced budget amendment is tempting, but a waste of time.  It merely provides a financial rule to avoid debts.  It does nothing to stop spending and government growth like many seem to think.  A balanced budget can just result in justification for raising taxes, too.  Higher taxes will balance any budget.  Supporters seem to ignore this possibility.  The war on spending will not be stopped by this toy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Note on CBS News

The gang at the lake as been taking a look at the new trend at CBS Evening News after liberal Katie Couric left.  The show made it clear it was going to try and regain the sparking sense of journalism it had when Walter Cronkite was in charge.  Scott Pelley seems wonderfully suited for the task and has done the job.  The news appears far more balanced and centrist.  While achieving the aura of Walter Cronkite’s period of work is perhaps unattainable, the CBS crew has made some nice strides in that honored journalistic direction.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Putting Them on the Spot

On the Today Show, Monday November 7, 2011, it was wonderful--and near stunning--to see Newt Gingrich put liberal Ann Curry in her place. She kept questioning him about Herman Cain’s sexual harassment issues and he politely tried to put the discussion back to issues impacting his campaign, like jobs. He finally pointed out the anonymous nature of the complainants at the time and how it violated the ethics of journalism to use anonymous and unverified sources. Curry was shook that someone would question her ethics while working in support of the liberal cause.. She nearly huffed on to another topic. One does have to wonder if Curry actually knows what he was talking about?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Obama's Support of Class War Bringing Violence

The continual chant of Class War related statements from the Obama regime have now brought violence and damage to several parts of the country.  One does wonder if Obama is so out of touch with his supporters that he vastly underestimated their potential for violence?  Does he still see the left as old hippies content on some drugs and watching the sunset?  Well out of touch sort of comes naturally to them.

The potential for violence grows as the movement gains support from its Washington-based supporters like Obama and Pelosi.  Of course, the people on the street should remember that Pelosi walks away from thing she says with a whisp of her breath, hence the collapse of the promised openness in the health care debate.  Just politics.  And Obama, well he is in denial most of the time anyway. 

Of course in the end the real danger is that the lack of safety and public health in the camps will bring disease and the authorities by then will have been subject to so much leftist critique they will do what they are told and stay away.  Let the Obama Regime explain the deaths and suffering then.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

US Most Devisive in History?

Is this the most divisive time in our History?  Tom Brokaw, talking to Ann Curry on the NBC Today Show (Nov 1, 2011), said it was the worst he has seen.  Having gone through periods like Watergate, Vietnam, and more; the gang tends to agree.  The problem Brokaw did not address is that the older divides focused on more center of the road actions by government.  Those of today are focused on extremism from the left forcing extremism from the right.

If you are vibrating around some middle ground, compromise is easier.  If the fulcrum is way to one side as the slow, now speeded up, move to the left has brought, compromise from the other end cannot be expected.  He looked for independents to work out some adjustment of this.  This could be true.  If they go left, however, then the slow shift left gains momentum and the divisive battle will increase.

If you push left away from a traditional center you have to expect the right to dig in.  That is what we see in front of us.  They cannot compromise because compromise has shifted to far away from the core values of the right and the Nation.

Monday, August 08, 2011

New Broom Sweeps Clean

The old phrase "a new broom sweeps clean" rings so true today. It is time for all congresspersons, senators, and the executive wing to go home and get real jobs. They are all dedicated to making the US Government their home economic base and to do that means all policy is aimed at growing government. All should go home. All should lose office. We need a totally new crowd not committed to their careers as politicos. The new broom sweeps clean.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Leftist?

Very odd items we live in. For the first time I agreed with some far leftists, including Dennis Kucinich and Racheal Maddow. This is unknown territory. And now many celebrate the spending of billions on Libya and revenge. Is that a good lesson to display for American kids. Revenge is good. Go for it? So odd.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stay Out Of Libya

The non-Libertarian Right and to the Left are all wrong. The US has no place involving itself in Libya. First our military is over extended already. Second, how can we afford more? Third, a dollar invested in friendship or humanitarianism in the Islamic Middle East only bring $10 back in hate. To help is to hurt. Simple as that. No US in Libya. Not a plane, not a missile, not a dollar.

Of interest is that this is more spending we do not have. The Tomahawk attack cost $71 million just for the missiles.[Fox]. Gaddafi is our enemy, but the internal revolts of foreign places are not our business. Gaddafi has already begun to play the "colonialism" card and that can go very far around the world. The point of why America is hated is that we stick our nose into everyone's affairs. They simply are not. Of course, Obama may consider $71 million a cheap price in generating the anti-America feeling he desires. He thinks others might like the government of the US to be in every aspect of their lives like Obama and the liberals think they should be in our lives. We face paying a high price in money, people, and friendships to learn that the answer to our control of other's lives is a responding "no". One wonders if the rest of the world will suppress their feelings when the Obama crowd starts to call any one racist who opposed him around the world?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Court Loses It's Position of Respect

If it had much, the supreme court has now lost any position of respect it once held. The Westboro Church decision has rendered public debate totally free of any sense of civility. Rights have always come with limits but they have now shed speech of any requirement to be civil or maintain any element of decency. The supreme court is now dead as a force of good in American society. They join the congress in facing the dung heap of history and the contempt of decent people every where.

As a side issue, these bodies should never be capitalized again. They have lost that status.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Simple Answer

The simple answer to our problems is that if you do not want people to get heated and angry, do not do and propose things that make them that way. Both sides have a role to play.

Shame on Obama in Tucson

Shameful. Obama's talk in Tucson asks us to accept the view of the third grader and just accept the programs and values of those who have won. He ignores the fact that the "partisan bickering" he bemoans was and is there because his party and himself stretched America's sense of itself from one of independence and freedom to that of dependence and government support. He champions a near Marxist approach to running America then ignores his own blame in favor of blaming those who failed to step in line with his ideas. Even a third grader knows America is not a place of the goosestep and falling in line. Obama does not know this. He did not honor those killed, he used them. Shame.