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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The P-U Factor

Related to the most recent posts and our intrepid Governor's failure to understand what's happening:

Why are real conservatives (definition: people who adhere to roughly the same philosophy as I do) tired and unenthusiastic, and what does that have to do with the current front-runners in the race for the Republican presidential endorsement?

You know the old trick of holding your nose to avoid the taste of your least favorite vegetable? That’s how it is when I go to vote. And that gets old. Like vegetables that have neither dense nutrition nor great taste to their merit, the candidates on my ballot are neither politically nor personally conservative, so I’m mentally holding my nose as I scribble in those little ovals.

In 2004, Pres. Bush, who won’t veto egregious federal power grabs or spending bills, provoked threats to my spouse that I would stay home (spouse, long used to such bluster, ignored me). I mean, it’s like eating okra, to schlep down to my voting booth and put a tick beside his name, just because he’s better than the alternative.

A couple examples will illustrate how the local candidates on the 2006 HD50B slate were similarly unappealing. Ms. Grivna, whose credentials and pleasant personality could not be reproached, was extremely cautious and pragmatic in a private telephone conversation with me, saying she could bring herself to support a school voucher proposal under certain conditions. Please. Could we have a little fire in the belly for a proposal that is clearly the only way for Republicans to appeal to minorities, who, however entrenched their loyalties to the Dems, at least understand that competition between schools is the one sure route to real education for their kids?

Ms. Rae Anderson, with whom I had several friendly conversations, isn’t a conservative at all. She clearly believes that top-down, point-of-a-gun strategies (laws at the state and federal level) are the only way to solve the big problems, particularly the cost of health care and the horrors sometimes discovered happening in the old folks’ homes. I like Rae, but when I tried to explain to her that her ideas weren’t in any sense conservative, she looked totally confused. She seems to think that because she’s pro-life and Catholic, she’s automatically conservative.

So we’re tired and unenthusiastic, because our candidates don't understand or lack zeal for conservative principles. And now we’re faced with the 2008 presidential primary season, and any of the three front-runners would make us hold our noses at the ballot box. McCain is a war hero of the first order—but he’s not a real conservative (one hyphenated word for you: McCain-Feingold), and he doesn’t appeal to people who think that at midnight it’s wise to be at home with the first person you married, you ought not lose your temper at the drop of a hat, and stories about dating an exotic dancer do not make good jokes. That goes double (probably triple) for Giuliani, except for the war hero part. And whatever they may be saying at www.evangelicalsformitt.org, Romney is an impossibility as a Republican candidate. The American public is aware, if dimly, that those who associate themselves with the Church of Latter Day Saints are engaged in long-term, willful blindness. Unlike the major religions, the Mormon faith is based on stories and documents which are demonstrably a hoax, and its history is replete with bizarre traditions, some of which continue and will undoubtedly surface in the next 15 months. Remember the ridiculous flap about Bill Clinton’s underwear? Just wait until some industrious journalist has the gall to ask Romney about temple undergarments.

Can really conservative candidates win general elections? I don't know. But after the last elections, it seems clear that Republicans who aren’t conservative can’t win them, and I’m not interested in knocking on doors for such candidates, or paying their bills. I’ll get my walking shoes on and pull out my checkbook when I meet the candidate who says, “The purpose of government is to get the hell out of the way"--or something similarly salty and tasting of liberty.


Blogger Right Hook said...

Welcome to Boots On. Nice post!

True conservatives can win elections as was demonstrated by Ronald Reagan. He stuck to his principles and would enthusiastically educate others on the merits of his ideas. Ronnie had the ability to explain things in simple terms that people could easily grasp and relate to their own life experiences. Conservative commentators often make things much too complicated and involved, agonizing over "nuanced thinking" rather than going with the simple and effective principles of sound logic and common sense.

One of the major problems facing conservatives is that the electorate is largely uninformed when it comes to basic economics, free markets, and the original vision of the founders on the limited role of government in a free society. People have become too intellectually lazy to think outside the boundaries of "what's in it for me". It's frustrating when otherwise intelligent people cast their vote based on which candidate offers what is perceived as a better deal in terms of what they will "get" from the government in exchange for their vote. Unfortunately, liberals and their media lap dogs have taken advantage of the situation to convince too many that the role of government is to take care of all problems and provide for all needs.

Politicians (who, after all, are trying to win elections) are prone to say and promise what focus groups deem will "sell" rather than to advocate policies that advance prosperity and liberty. Liberals and the mainstream media have shifted the political center so far to the left that it is rare to find a candidate that both "gets it" and has the charisma and communication skills to overcome the slick promotion of the big government advocates. Unfortunately this is how the political game is played today.

1/17/2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Galt,

Conservative opinion seems to run in short supply; especially as late like your post describes. Your topic on conservatism took an inappropriate “P-U” turn for the worse in an attack on Mormonism. I think we can both agree that we need more conservatives regardless of religious affilliation. Be nice!

1/18/2007 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Jamsco said...

I have no problem with the Mormon disparagement but, being only a half-conservative, I do have a problem with one of the last sentences ("The purpose of government is to . . .")

The part of me that is not conservative didn't like that sentence because he wouldn't (happily) vote for a politician who had such a limited view of the government. The part of me that is conservative didn't like the sentence because - Saltiness is not a conservative virtue.

1/18/2007 3:05 PM  
Blogger G-man said...

Republican voters are a fickle bunch. They expect perfection. President Bush 41 broke ONE promise and many in the Republican base ran to the Reform Party while many more stayed home. It is as if they expect to be disappointed and are all too eager to hand government over to liberals in the name of "principle". Handing government over to liberals is exactly what Republican voters did in 1992 and again last year.

What's even more twisted is that many of these voters thought that rewarding liberals with power would somehow inspire more conservatism in Republican candidates.

When it comes to voting, there is no need to hold one's nose. One simply votes for electable candidates who can best move the pendulum of government to the Right. Politics is not a religion and one need not demand ideological perfection in a candidate.

HOWEVER, too many elected Republicans seem to take their conservative base for granted. They forget that nothing inspires the base more than Republicans who govern like conservatives. Moreover, Republicans who champion conservative issues will inspire grass roots volunteers and Republican voters alike.

Conservative issues win elections. Liberal Republicans don't (except in New England).

Despite watching Liberals like Amy Klobuchar cruise to victory, Republicans had better rediscover their conservative roots if they expect any help on the campaign trail. If Senator Norm Coleman continues to chase liberal ideas, he'll have a hard time finding volunteers to drop literature and make phone calls.

1/19/2007 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John,

I thought I should start that way.

While the liberals win a few races, and a few legal conservatives attack one another after the races--even attack our very few newly elected officials who are conservative--there is also a plan to begin more races.

As the post-November world churns on it's axis, amazingly it turns up you--the P-U factor, incarnate! Without consulting wikapedia let me note that the P.U. factor fragrantly clings to dead wrong men (or women) confabulating, but confusing no one except themselves. They are in love with their own rigidity. It's easy to see their eyes are wide shut! Note their flaming ideals--error--I meant to say enflamed egos. There they go, treading the ill will mill, pushing one stone obstacle endlessly up any hill. Between elections they let it roll back only until the next election when they run backwards to retrieve it, turn and waste the rest of the current election pushing that stone obstacle into place once more--even blocking their own view of life options.

If the worst you can say about conservative candidates who stand for less government, less taxes, more faith options, family rights in education and health care, gun rights, more personal business opportunities--if the worst is that they're not like your kind of conservativism, well then you've hit on a problem. It could be you.

A city set on a hill with a conservative agenda would have candidates very unlike you. Why does the thought "unlike you" suddenly seem to evolve into a vital, viable, bright opportunity?

If the critiqued conservative condidates opened their check books, used up nine months of their actual, irretrievable lifetime conceiving and nurturing more conservative opportunities for MN--and again if the worst you can say is that they're not as conservative as you...let me warmly say "P.U." -- you're the reason any nose needs holding.

Posing as a conservative yourself doesn't fool anyone. You're tragically at a dead end.

"You" turns are allowed!

With no qualms you add the useless tool of your trade to that lethal verbage, your divided loyalties.

No doubt you voted for Amy and Mike...while you were hatching these vipers eggs and offering the offspring to conservatives...

The GOP's conservative candidates do, however, stand up for your right to spew partial ideas, if not ideals. You can try to suck the life out of Republican brains.
Deadly diatribe and accusations are unbecoming to conservatives--these enlarge the hell you previously mentioned.

Have you written any candidates a thank-you--if you're unwilling to invest money in a conservative future, you might invest some gratitude. Some citizens do say thanks.

With closed eyes you won't travel far...and that speaks volumes.
It's John Deer--here to plow under your P-U factor -- only to cultivate the conservative dream of course.

Alert. You could plant a few seeds in your now plowed-under field, and even cultivate it. You could simply think by your pond. You never know when goodness will sprout...even optimism, gratitude, hope and a future for all imperfect, yet willing conservative candidates.

Oh, and someone knows you well!
[ A clue is in the 'you' part of

2/09/2007 11:22 PM  

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