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Why I Support #CPAC UPDATE

There is a rather big uproar (mostly fabricated) regarding CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and their decision to not accept GOProud as an sponsor again this year.

Most of the uproar is centered around how CPAC is “banning gays” from the conference. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. And this is really more about GOProud as an organization than it is about many conservative’s sexual orientation.

Of course there is more to the story.

GOProud burst onto the scene in 2009 promising peace, love, and per fiscal conservative happiness. They sold us on being an organization that would coalesce gay conservatives around fiscal conservative values that we all share. They said that they were going to eschew the typical “gay agenda” for more fiscal fare.

In short, they came in with such a flare that it was nothing but a giant eff you to the social conservative wing of the party. And it was touted as such.

Then they started in on gay marriage, don’t ask don’t tell, and DOMA.

Beyond that, they haven’t even really done that much for the movement.

Just take a look at their House endorsements in 2012. The incumbents whom they endorsed averaged a 62.26 on ACU’s scale in 2011. Out of the 17 incumbents they endorsed, only five (5!) scored above 70.

Which leads to an even bigger point. It is said that conservatism is a three-legged stool. With social, fiscal, and national security conservatives in each leg. But reading twitter you wouldn’t think it. You would think that all these fiscal conservatives can just run the movement on their own and get whomever elected without any help from Christian conservatives.

After GOProud burst in like a fifty ton elephant. Major players on the right jumped the CPAC ship. Heritage being among them. And several others. And it wasn’t just about GOProud, they were the proverbial straw. Many conservatives were tired of going through the many booths and finding many questionable sponsors and exhibitors with seemingly very little in the way of vetting.

So, the CPAC leadership decided to vet more closely. Last year, it wasn’t just GOProud who got the “axe.” The John Birch Society did as well. As far as I know, they haven’t been invited back either. I don’t hear a big uproar about how CPAC is banning birchers from attending. Why? Because. Just. Because.

When it comes to my general philosophy about the movement, I am a as long as people are shooting bullets at the enemy…they are on my side.

I have been dodging quite a few bullets from GOProud.

Pardon me if I don’t spend the day threatening boycotts or engaging in hysterics.

UPDATE 1:

I updated the link for the fabrication.

Rational Discourse and the Future of Conservatism

Over at the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis posted about Jonah Goldberg’s new column.

Jonah’s column is an extremely well written critique by one of the movement’s better modern intellects:

For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.

A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it’s possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument. Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.

I despise people who don’t think through their ideology. Unfortunately, we have a whole movement that has memorized talking points without thinking about the deeper nuances.

It is why I have ripped Sarah Palin for her love of identity politics.

It is why I have argued for rational discourse HERE & HERE

Fought for civility amongst tragedy.

Sought serious reflection.

The problem is that the echo chamber is so warm. It feeds our narcissistic tendencies. We all want to be loved and right. So, to have a parade of people tell you that you are both just feeds the psyche.

And of course, there are also hundreds of thousands of sheep who will tune in at a certain time to listen to the echo chamber masters.

This, of course, isn’t meant to lump every host into this. There are hosts that, indeed, are intellectually astute. Who wrestle through their ideology and welcome the opposing viewpoints of others.

I try (emphasis on try) to spur rational discourse at every turn. As a medium, the internet is just not a place of rational discourse. For humans, over 80% of our communication is non-verbal. How is it then that new media can properly create and foster informative and thoughtful dialogue?

Unpopular Opinion Alert!

I always believe that we have a duty to self regulate our side of the movement. So, I say this in all love.

Tea Party meetings/rallies aren’t an adequate place to foster this dialogue either. In fairness, some groups are MUCH better at this than others. My question. Why aren’t they all? Too often, going back to Jonah’s point, these meetings devolve into non-stop GOP bashing and whining sessions.

I was at one such meeting which was of a more religious bent. They had discussed an anti-drinking proposal earlier (FTR I don’t drink and have no problems with this), but the meeting had devolved into a giant hem and haw chirping. When I was to give my presentation on grassroots organizing, I told them, “For a group that doesn’t like alcohol, there sure is a lot of whine in here. We have to get things done. We have to talk to our neighbors and persuade them. Whining won’t cut it.”

Forget trying to have a decent argument or disagreement with a liberal. IF you are so adamant that Obama is a muslim. Born in Kenya. Sandyhook didn’t happen. Or any of these other stupid theories and conspiracies. Don’t be shocked when your Facebook friends don’t take you seriously when you try to convince them that there are, in deed, members of the left that want to abolish weapons. They will just put you in the crazy bin.

Conservatism has roots in intellectualism. Education is vital. I get that. But a part of our education has to be…how will this sound to your neighbors?

Granted. Sometimes what we are selling is tough to sell. But what we need is better salesmen not new values. The problem comes when we have dingbats who are mere parrots and not thinkers. We need more Medveds and fewer Hannitys. We need more Ryans and fewer Bachmanns.

Unpopular Opinion Alert #2

We need more conservatives and fewer libertarians.

There is a definitive difference between limited government and no government. Here is a hint. Americans don’t like no government. That is a losing argument. I don’t care if you believe that somehow, with no rules, magically peace and happiness are going to exist like some sort of Ayn Rand wet dream. Thousands of years of human history have taught us that human beings will become tyrannical over other human beings (government or not). Beside the political theory…you just aren’t going to sell it. IF you do feel that government is not the answer, as I do, the way to persuade the addict is to not starve them of their substance. We need a methadone clinic approach. Slowly preaching self dependence and self appreciation. Policy by policy showing suitable options to a government first approach, understanding that we will often have to meet in the middle to see true policy realized.

The question then becomes. How? How do we spark the rational discourse necessary to champion our values? The answer is simple. Talk to your neighbors. Learn from your neighbors. And not just about politics. Everything. Same with your Facebook neighborhood. Can you name ten Facebook friends who will challenge you to think differently on certain things? Or do you just block whomever you don’t agree with?

I have a group of friends whom I thank, privately, for bursting the echo chamber. And they call me out when I disobey my rational discourse principles. (Social media brings out the worst in us sometimes) They are more valuable than the thousands of encouragers. Why? Because they cause me to think through my own beliefs. And we know that if we can persuade the other…then we can persuade our neighbor.

One last aside. When I ran for congress, I was having a heated discussion with two individuals. One was more conservative and the other more liberal. At the end, the conservative had to go somewhere else and the more liberal guy looked at me and said, “I don’t agree with a lot that you said. But I will vote for you because I know you are thinking through it and willing to listen.” That is what middle America cares about. And that is why we keep losing…because we haven’t shown we are willing to think through it and willing to listen.

UPDATE:

The Other McCain takes umbrage with Jonah

 

John Hawkins brings another vantage point and names names!

 

The twitter links

Rational Discourse on Facebook or Twitter

It happens to the best of us.

We see a post or a tweet. We overreact and we lay down the rhetorical boom.

Then you re-read the post and realize that you actually agreed with the gist of the post…you just disagreed on semantics.

And you feel like a grade A douchebag.

 

So, I have put together a few rules for encouraging rational discourse on Facebook and Twitter. It isn\’t comprehensive and I reserve the right to add or amend…and frankly will based on input from you all:

1. Decide whether it is even worth the jump.

Continue Reading…

Change of Pace: Totally Awesome Speech Addition

This is a great guy!

HT Smitty

If at First You Don’t Secede…

First. Let’s tamper down the secession talk. I think it has been blown out of proportion by the liberal and conservative media alike.

For those of you who don’t know...”thousands” of Americans want secession. Big whoop. A friend of mine on Facebook (FTR follow/friend him, he is an awesome conservative who one day, God willing will run for office) said it best in his post, so, here is what he posted:

In further evidence of the decline of Americans in basic civics, I’d like to try to clarify something.

No, there is no “movement” for Secession. The White House website has a feature where if you create a petition, and 25,000 people click on it, it will go to the President’s press secretary’s office for “consideration.” As in, consideration whether to write a short summary about the White House’s

opinion on the matter. This is the same feature that is typically preoccupied with UFOs and conspiracy theories.What the President thinks about secession is not law, nor is it relevant. There is no legislation anywhere at the federal level to allow for the withdrawal of states or commonwealths.I only say this because many people seem to equate a dubious Internet petition with an actual movement for serious constitutional upheaval (hint: the last time we tried this, a lot of people with cannons weren’t thrilled with states leaving the Union).To further demonstrate the high level intellect of the American Voter, upon hearing about all the people signing the secession petition, a second group of rabble-rousers immediately petitioned the president to strip the citizenship from anyone who signs the secession petition.

And we wonder why politicians never debate the issues.

Both Scott and I agree that people are “allowed” to enter into such discourse. But I urge strong caution for a few reasons.

Voter Fraud: How We Fight It

I want to preface my post by stating that Obama won the election. He will continue to be our President. I don’t feel he “stole” the election. Even IF we adjusted for the abnormalities in Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida… it wouldn’t have made a difference. However, if we don’t work to control the abnormalities…the chances that a future election is tainted is high…

Voter integrity is vital to our Republic. The quickest way to dampen turnout is to make people feel that their vote doesn’t count. Or that the other side will just get the result they want.

A couple of things first: 1. Every eligible voter who registers to vote…should have the opportunity to vote. 2. There is nothing wrong with verifying that an eligible voter is a. eligible b. who they say they are.

Wood county Ohio is back in the new because a miracle happened on Tuesday. 108% of ELIGIBLE voters in the county voted.

Mr. Obama won Wood County in Ohio this year. That’s right, Mr. Obama won the majority of Wood County’s 108% of registered voters. That’s not a typo.

In 2012, 106,258 people in Wood County are registered to vote out of an eligible 98,213.

The national voting participation was down nationwide. But in many areas, the amount of people voting exceeded the eligible population NOT the registered population! Amazing. There were precincts in Cleveland and Philadelphia in which Obama received 100% of the total vote. St Lucie county in Florida also had over 100% participation as well. We have to stop living in denial that people vote who aren’t eligible to vote. It happens. It happens on both sides. A friend of mine went to vote on Tuesday and discovered they weren’t registered. This was caught and they weren’t allowed to vote. Good. But fraud is made a lot easier considering a couple things:

Lack of Photo ID/citizenship verification laws

Only 4 states require photo IDs to vote. To buy alcohol and cigarettes? You need a photo ID. To vote? Nope. Take, for example, Ohio. You need identification, but you only need a utility bill with your name on it. So, if you are a non-citizen who happens to pay a gas bill? You are in. In Florida, they request a photo ID, but if you don’t have one? It is not required.

Early Voting/No Fault Absentee

I loathe early voting. For a variety of reasons. I think there is something special about the whole nation going together on one day and voting. IF you have a reason you can’t vote…you do absentee. Does it require pre-planning? Yes. But this is the most serious thing an adult citizen does in our Republic. Also, this year…hundreds of thousands of Americans voted before the first debate. Not to mention, when it comes to fraud, the states just don’t have the resources and man power to accommodate 30+ days of voting and guard the integrity of the election. Also, for people who hate that campaigns cost so much money. Remember the GOTV efforts for 30+ days cost a lot more than 72 hours. And the extended voting means that ad buys have to be done sooner and more robust to catch voters before they vote. Can’t we all agree that if an eligible voter can’t fill out a basic registration form, present proof of identity and citizenship, and can’t drag themselves to the polls on election day (one day every 4 years for the Presidential election) they probably shouldn’t be voting.

Military Voting

Each military installation and station overseas (even in war zones) have secure internet that can handle voting. Why don’t we do this? We have the ability to sign in with our IDs and do briefings. How hard is it to just allow electronic voting through secure channels?

Voter Roll Integrity

People die, people move, people move then die. When these things happen, they should be removed from the voter rolls. The problem is that secretary of state doesn’t always receive the death certificates (especially if you die in another state) and people who move typically just register to vote in their new state but that information doesn’t get to the old state. Also, students are not, by definition, permanent residents. That is what happened in Wood county, it is a college town. A lot of those students who voted there are not eligible to do so…but they do…

I feel that we should oppose early voting, make photo IDs mandatory for voting, put systems in place to determine citizenship of voters, and allow states to communicate freely about voter rolls (they aren’t currently allowed to). This would ensure fair elections without controversy.

UPDATE:

The Other McCain talks about these statistical improbabilities. (Note: You can’t spell statistical without statist)

He Links Dan Collins

Lessons Learned: What This All Means

Looking over the exit poll data this morning and I am pretty depressed at what I am seeing. But first, let’s look at the numbers.

Ohio:

John McCain: 2,677,820

Mitt Romney: 2,571,539

Barack Obama: 2,672,302

Virginia:

John McCain: 1,725,005

Mitt Romney: 1,745,397

Barack Obama: 1,852,123

Florida:

John McCain: 4,045,624

Mitt Romney: 4,083,321

Barack Obama: 4,129,360

Colorado:

John McCain: 1,073,584

Mitt Romney: 1,105,491

Barack Obama: 1,210,464

All Mitt Romney had to do was match John McCain’s vote in Ohio. Yes, there is some population shifting out of the state. But the tale of the tape is the field offices. Mitt Romney had 41. Barack Obama had 131. In Virginia, he had twice as many and in Florida he had 3 times as many there too. GOP victory centers are shared resources among all the candidates. Obama’s field offices were primarily Obama field offices that allowed other candidates to use. As the GOP, we have to do some soul searching on its grassroots operations. Yes, it is an expensive resource. But, there was $4 billion dollars spent on this election cycle…they could have made it work. I have been advocating for this sort of network since 2006. Unfortunately, it appears that democrats get it.

Now to the depressing stuff.

A Shallow Electorate

Exit polls show us that 15%! of the electorate said that Hurricane Sandy was the most important factor in their voting. Really?! Benghazi? Economy? No. A picture of Obama hugging it out with Chris Christie. Forget the fact that Bob Woodward’s book shows that the President acted like a petulant child when the GOP wanted to get a debt deal done. Forget that every major piece of legislation he passed was done with no bipartisan support. Nope, one picture is all they needed to know about his bipartisanship.

Single Women

The issue that Mitt Romney had with women really came down to contraception. Not amongst married women but single women. There are now more single women in America as a percentage than any time in history and they broke heavily for Barack Obama. 68%-30%. For all of us pro-lifers out there looking for a bright spot…this aint one of them. Barack Obama was the first Presidential candidate in history to openly run on protecting planned parenthood, free contraception, and taxpayer funded abortions… But free contraception was elevated as a holy grail for women. Married women resented that the campaign thought that was all that mattered to them. Single women proved the Obama campaign’s resources were warranted. I thought it was a dunce move. I was wrong. I suppose I had too much faith in the electorate.

The Economy

This was the number one issue in election. Amazingly, people actually think the economy is getting better. It is amazing what quantitative easing will do. Artificially inflates the stock market while inflating prices of goods and services. For those who thought the country was headed in the wrong direction, Mitt Romney still only won 51% of that vote. This elevates two things. 1. The Mitt Romney campaign did not do an effective enough job convincing the American people that his plan would benefit all Americans. He did have a plan. If you watched any of the debates, you can probably recite his five step plan. It was a plan signed off on by many economic Nobel Laureates and it made sense. But Obama was able to define Romney early as someone who just cared for rich people. The truth didn’t matter. For example, Romney’s plan actually would have increased the higher earners amounts paid to the federal government while lowering rates. And middle income Americans would have had the advantage of the rate cuts. Doesn’t matter. Perception is reality. And the Obama campaign poured over $12 million into Ohio in June to paint this picture…people just didn’t see him as affable. Amazing that is what matters most. Also, dimwits still blame Bush for the economy. Fannie and Freddie are still unaccountable, but it doesn’t matter. Americans have their straw man and they will beat the living crap out of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2016, we are still hearing these morons complain about Bush.

The Media

Most Americans don’t trust the media. BUT the egregiousness of the media coverage these last three months is what they decided NOT to cover or talk about. Benghazi. CBS hid transcripts for 3 weeks only releasing them during Hurricane Sandy, Martha Crowley, falsely, “fact checked” Mitt Romney in the debate at what was a pivotal moment, zero answers from the administration. He successfully ran out the clock to the election. Only 5% of the electorate cared about foreign policy. Our embassy was sacked. Our ambassador was killed and the administration’s response was…we will talk about it after we win.

Religion

We discovered a couple things we already knew: Jews only give lip service to Israel. Catholics really don’t care about the teachings of their church. Obama won both of these groups. 70% of the Jewish vote and 50% of the Catholic vote. Evangelicals went heavily for Mitt, but less so than previous years. This means that the demagoguery surrounding Mitt’s faith had an affect on the electorate. How much? It is impossible to tell. But it did have an affect.

I Want to Feel Good!

We have long known that people are stupid. Dave Ramsey talks about people with tens of thousands in credit card debt that they got because the credit card company “accepted” them. The same can be said about politics. How in God’s name did FDR get 4 terms!? The Depression got worse. His policies failed. But, Americans blamed Hoover not FDR. And his pitches and talks were one of comfort and distraction not substance. He offered hope not solutions. The same can be said for this President. The unemployment rates among blacks and minorities are catastrophic. Doesn’t matter. Union workers have lost a record amount of jobs…no worries, my union rep told me Romney is bad.

Hispanics

There is zero reason why Hispanics aren’t Republican voters. They share the same social values, they are more likely to have children and be married, they are an extremely entrepreneurial group as well. I think that we can have a common sense immigration policy and if we do so, we can make heavy end roads into this demographic. We have to. We can’t just hope that white people come out to vote in droves. Even when Barack Obama is gone and the dems go back to running northeastern males. I have long stated that we need to build new Ellis Islands in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas and start processing paperwork for citizenship. This way, we also have a good way to enforce standards of who enters. We want and need the best and the brightest.

The bottomline is that Americans chose Barack Obama. He is now my President for another four years. Let’s just hope that we can better educate the electorate on our ideas going forward…or else “forward” is all we are going to get.

Other Election Coverage 

Smitty of The Other McCain

Repair Man Jack

Matt Lewis

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