Commentary

The Conservative Persecution Complex

mobilizationRonald Reagan once said that Americans spend too much of their time second guessing themselves and their values. Of course he was absolutely right, and a cursory look at the state of our culture underlines that fact.

Most of the “second guessing” and criticism of traditional American values comes courtesy of the modern progressive (read “liberal”) movement, its politicians and its cheerleaders in the mainstream media. But does this give conservatives the right to wallow in negativity and act defeated? And just what exactly does it accomplish when they do?

Whether it’s talk radio, Fox News or online, you don’t have to pay attention for very long to come across conservatives blaming our problems on someone else. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that you come across far more of that than you do anything that would help advance informed action and make a difference.

It’s a conservative persecution complex.

We’re far too focused on what our opponents are doing, rather than on what we’re doing, not doing, or need to do. And we’re not getting mad enough at ourselves for not doing more.

As Solomon put it, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be under tribute.” So, are we bearing rule or under tribute? We don’t have to look any further than the news to figure it out. Trillions in debt, millions of abortions, tax-payer funded abortion, Obamacare mandates, gay marriage, people losing businesses because they refuse to violate their right of religious conscience, etc. The list goes on and on.

These things didn’t come about because conservatives were being diligent.

There are three institutions in our lives – the family, government and the church, and the extent to which we ignore either of them we have problems. As so many conservatives have ignored politics (the management of government), it’s now intruding on the other institutions; trying to replace and redefine the family, and now attacking the free exercise of religion and conscience.

Personnel as they say is policy. But if policy is about personnel, then personnel is about elections – and elections are about who shows up. You can’t elect good people if you don’t show up. You can’t hold those in power accountable if you don’t show up. You can’t influence policy if you don’t show up. And the simple fact is that too many conservatives just don’t show up.

There are far more of “us” than there are of “them”. Every poll bears that out. The Gallup poll continues to show that Americans who self-identify as “conservative” are the largest ideological group in the country, and about twice as large as those claiming to be “liberal”. But those numbers only represent potential, not action or results.

So many conservatives just don’t get involved at all, and many of those who do get involved get mad and upset when they lose and just quit and go home. The result is that losing the next battle becomes a fait accompli, which leads to more of what made us mad to begin with. It’s a vicious cycle.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

It’s a lot easier to find conservatives with opinions than it is to find those who actually get involved. We’re full of opinions, (again, just listen to talk radio). But opinions without actions are like clouds without rain; they eventually just blow over and nothing happens.

None of this is to say that everyone needs to become a full-time political activist. But everyone does need to do something. In a county with so much freedom and so many opportunities to get involved, half of our people don’t even do the minimum that they can do in order to keep what we have, let alone reclaim what we’ve lost, (read: vote).

As Jefferson put it, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”. But that’s only half right. We also have to do something. Our Founding Fathers were people with deep convictions and opinions, and they did something about what they believed. They got involved.

Conservatives have to get out of the persecution mentality and into a winning mentality that begins to feed on itself. And that starts with taking action.

Liberal Bullying and the War on Testosterone

liberal bullyingEvery time you turn on the news or open a newspaper anymore you’re treated to updates on America’s latest “crisis”: bullying.

From breathless accounts of how someone posted mean stories about someone else on Facebook, or how one kid teased another for being ugly or otherwise different, to national public awareness campaigns complete with websites and taxpayer funding, it’s everywhere.

If one didn’t know better it would be easy to think that America’s children have suddenly been infected with some new virus that’s running rampant throughout the population and that doom lies ahead.

But like so many other things in our culture today, the definition of what constitutes “bullying” is all over the map and has become entwined with issues as far ranging as weapons and sexual harassment.

At one school recently, a seven year old boy was suspended for gnawing his pop-tart into the shape of a gun. At another, a ten year old boy was suspended when a classmate told his teacher that he motioned with his arms as though shooting an imaginary bow and arrow, (so cowboys and Indians is definitely out as approved playground activity). Elsewhere, a six year old boy was suspended for sexual harassment because he kissed a female classmate on the hand.

We even have school districts with “mercy rule” policies against bullying in sports, (AKA running up the score), which teaches kids that if you can’t stop the other guy, the government will do it for you.

Most recently the bullying crisis even found its way into the NFL, with one player (weighing in a 320 pounds) quitting the Miami Dolphins and blaming it on being “bullied” by a fellow teammate. It’s bad enough that any red-blooded American male would use that as an excuse to quit, much less not feel any shame in admitting it publicly.

Increasingly it seems like much of the behavior that’s deemed a problem that needs to be controlled is that which relates to boys, such as being “hyper” or having lots of energy.

As for schools, which are increasingly called on to be parental substitutes, the geniuses who run them have decided to cut back on recess – which has pretty well tracked with the rise in supposed cases of “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”. Go figure. And of course those that do still have recess, it is somewhat less testosterone oriented. Games like “tag” and “kickball” are on the outs, and dodge-ball is downright verboten, (as it’s said to be too prone to bullying).

Then there’s the twenty year push to put kids (especially boys) on psychotropic drugs because they’re “too hyper”. From Ritilin to Adderall, long-term prescriptions for ADHD related drugs are second only to asthma as the most frequent for kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Of course pharmaceutical companies have been right there cashing in. A recent New York Times article reported that they have been “targeting perhaps the most impressionable consumers of all: parents, especially mothers.” This all takes place against the backdrop of a society with fewer intact families – which doubles the likelihood that a child will be given such drugs, according to a study in the Canadian Medial Association Journal.

But as Solomon assured us, there’s nothing new under the sun, and since people have been having kids since creation it’s safe to assume that there’s nothing new about kids. Of course that just leaves the environment they’re raised in, but that points an unwelcome finger back at parents, the state of families (and any lack of discipline therein), so we look for scapegoats.

We’ve tamped down the testosterone, identified the symptoms of much of childhood as a problem, medicated the kids (introducing them to prescription drug abuse) and now teach them that doing your best to win or anything usually associated with valor and masculinity is undesirable and that they need to calm down and have another pill.

This in a nation with a military that recently decided to delay mandating that women in the Marines be required to do three pull-ups in order to qualify for future combat duty. Basically liberals want us to be France when we grow up.

In reality it’s liberals who are the bullies. They’re the ones who mandate policies against the realities of childhood to cover for the real problem of failing families. In the meantime, children learn fewer of the lessons that they will need in order to cope with life as adults. But if you’re a big government liberal who looks at citizens as children to be cared for anyway, it’s all good.

Life as extended childhood supervised by government is the dream, staffed by the smart people who know better than you do.

Politics of Obamacare Gives Liberalism a Comeuppance

politics of obamacare“Remain calm.”

So said Nancy Pelosi in response to the Great Democrat Panic of 2013 over the general public’s reaction to the realities of Obamacare.

Democrats are in a tizzy, feigning shock and indignation because the law is doing precisely what it was designed to do – kick people off of their existing insurance plans in order to subsidize the new government insurance scheme, despite Obama’s promises to the contrary. Worse, the same government that managed to put a man on the moon (several times) and can read your emails, text messages and listen in on your phone calls can’t build a website to sell insurance.

About the only thing that could make it worse would be if using the website gave you rickets.

The panic dam officially burst when Bill Clinton gave worried Democrats cover to bail on Obama by saying “the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to these people and let them keep what they got.” Within days thirty-nine House Democrats ignored a White House veto threat and supported a Republican bill to allow insurance companies to continue selling the old policies.

As a famous Chicago pastor might put it, Obamacare’s political chickens are coming home to roost.

Even before the fiasco with the website Americans have been split over Obamacare, with those opposed to it outnumbering those in favor of it in most every poll conducted since the law was passed.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, just a month ago both Obama and Obamacare were at about 45% approval; today they’re both at 39%, the lowest ever. Only 36% of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of health care in general, and 54% disapprove of his overall job performance. The same poll shows 52% of Americans agreeing that he isn’t trustworthy, and 56% say that he is incompetent. Worse yet, both Obama and his namesake law are upside-down among the 18-34 year old crowd that put him in the White House to begin with.

More amazingly, the latest Gallup poll shows a record 55% of Americans do not believe that it’s the federal government’s responsibility to provide everyone with health care – up from just 28% in 2008.

It turns out Joe Biden was right, it really is “a big ___ing deal”.

The problem for Democrats is that these numbers aren’t being driven by clever Republican messaging, but rather by the implementation of Obamacare itself.

So far over five million policies have been cancelled, while just over one-hundred thousand people have managed to get insurance through the new program, (with the vast majority of them actually signing up for Medicaid). But the number of people losing insurance now pales in comparison to the tens of millions more who will lose theirs when the employer mandate kicks in a year from now. Further, even the White House now admits that the “better” Obamacare policies chock full of things people don’t want (such as maternity coverage for men) costs more than their old “sub-standard” policies, (despite Obama’s other promise that the average family would save over $2,500 per year).

Of course the Democrats now running like scalded dogs are the same ones who voted for the law and stood by Obama when he said “If you like your plan, you can keep it”. In fact, many of them were saying the exact same thing, (which will make wonderful commercials in 2014).

The political damage goes deeper than the next election and extends to liberalism itself.

Setting aside the current debate, how many other big-government schemes are voters likely to shrug their shoulders at, or will Democrats in competitive seats embrace anytime soon?

It should be pointed out that part of the political strategy of Obamacare was to have government provide a tangible, personal benefit to voters in hope that they would see how great big government could be. But every cancelled plan, every rate hike, every deductable hike and every lost access to a personal physician is a personal story some potential voter will be sharing with other potential voters between now and next November.

Obamacare is the biggest, most personal opportunity Republicans have ever had to make the case against big government liberalism. It feeds perfectly into a strategy of focusing on issues with a liberty oriented message. To remind voters that elections matter, and that the people who bungled both the creation and implementation of this law are the same people who want to run other aspects of our lives, rather than leave us free to do it ourselves.

Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz recently told CNN, “You’re darn right that our candidates are going to run on the advantage that Obamacare will be going into the 2014 election. The choice will be very clear.”

The challenge for Republicans is to make sure that it is.