"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No, 'Taking Our Country Back' Isn't Racist

Michael Medved, one of the squishiest conservative pundits around, has written a column at Townhall.com in which he suggests dropping the TEA Party slogan of "taking our country back", because some on the left might misconstrue that language as racist, given we are currently experiencing our first non-white president.

Mr. Medved writes:

"Talking about 'taking our country back,' conjuring images of an eternal battle between us-and-them, can only alienate that crucial element of the populace with few ideological attachments and chronic disinclination to firm allegiances. The moderates who decide most political battles feel uncomfortable with harsh rhetoric from either right or left, treating rivals as some alien other. After all, Howlin' Howie Dean ran his ultra-liberal presidential campaign of 2004 using precisely the slogan favored by today's conservatives, and promising to 'take our country back'—in his case, from the dreaded Bush regime. Though once hailed as the Democratic frontrunner, Dean's campaign developed an apocalyptic and paranoid edge that finally repelled even liberal voters in Democratic primaries. Republicans should avoid replicating that aura of off-putting self-righteousness.

There's also an unmistakable, uncomfortable whiff of racial animus in demanding to regain lost control of "our country" during the term of America's first non-white president. Naturally, left-wingers will seize on any excuse to charge their conservative adversaries with hatred of black people, and they have logically asked, "from whom, exactly, do conservatives mean to take their country back?” From liberals, or from people of color?"
Like the NAACP's ludicrous attack on the Tea Party as the second coming of the Klan, these charges may seem opportunistic and implausible, but why risk even the vague appearance of race-baiting when it's entirely unnecessary?"

What utter nonsense. First of all, the Left doesn't misconstrue anything about the conservative movement or the TEA parties. They purposefully construct a false premise and use ad-hominem attacks to demonize anyone who doesn't agree with them. Orders to do this come from the highest levels of race-baiters in the Obama administration, aided by the partisan enablers of the Journolist group, who you might recall suggested smearing Fred Barnes and Karl Rove with the 'racist' label in hopes of taking the spotlight off Obama's relationship with the infamous Rev. Wright.

As Ann Coulter brilliantly points out in her latest column, to suggest in defense that "both sides have their fringe elements" is no defense at all. Every time the Left plays the race-baiting or personal attack game (because they can't win on the merits of their ideas and their president's job performance is abysmal), these political hacks should be called out as the liars that they are. There is no truth or proof to their claim whatsoever, and even with a $10,000 reward to produce evidence of so-called racist slurs at a TEA Party rally at the Capitol with thousands of video cameras around, the Left has been unable to produce one second of footage. 

The truth is if the Left really felt concerned about racism in this country, they wouldn't have all flocked to Sen. Robert Byrd's funeral to pay homage and make excuses for his membership (and time served as a recruiter) in the Ku Klux Klan. And they might show a wee bit more concern for the voters who were faced with New Black Panther members forcefully wielding sticks and batons at a Pennsylvania polling station.

But here's where Medved really misses the boat. "Take our Country Back" isn't the rally cry to replace Obama with a Republican or to overthrow a political party. The rally cry to "take our country back" is the call of the people to strip the ruling class of its power and restore government back in the hands of the citizens. The aim is to take our country back from lifelong politicos and entrenched special interests who have been hawking the nation into debt for years at their own personal gain, Republican and Democrat alike. In the case of this administration, it probably also means we need to take our country back from the Harvard eggheads who operate under the direction of economic theories instead of proven principles and immutable laws, because as William F. Buckley famously stated (and I'm paraphrasing), "we'd be better off being governed by the first 2000 names in the phone book than the Harvard faculty."

I might also add that Howard Dean's campaign ran into a lot more trouble than just a strongly-worded slogan. And if you've heard Howie speak since then, you realize just what a loon he is - that weird yell was no exception. Further, words to "take our country back" ring hollow from the left, because the left's view of progress is the opposite of our founding ideals. They want to take our country forward, away from our stale past rooted in liberty, as evidenced by the hostility of this administration to free enterprise.

Michael Medved's squeamish campaign for a duller slogan does the conservative movement no favors and will have the opposite effect of his intention, pushing moderates away who may not fit into an ideological camp per se, but know the difference between being ruled and being governed. When you are being ruled over and disenfranchised every day, as this Democrat-led Congress has done to the American people, it's definitely time to point out the lost voices of democracy, to not mince words but set brushfires in the minds of fellow citizens of all political stripes, and "Take our country back."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tea Parties and Racism

Let's be honest. Racism exists. It exists in every group of people on the planet. There's not one element of our society where you won't find some racism. Blacks. Whites. Hispanics. Jews. Republicans. Democrats. Conservatives. Progressives. Californians. Floridians. New Yorkers. Texans. Marxists. Libertarians. Those who love Lady Gaga and those who despise her (please include me in the latter). Actors. Plumbers. Christians. Atheists. Canadians. Americans. Racists can be found in every group, but you don't label the entire group based on fringe elements of society.

So to smear an entire group as racist, unless they are Klan members or former Klan members like Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, is twisted and disingenuous to say the least. To select a group who you disagree with based on ideology, like the Tea Parties, and instead claim you disagree with them because there might be racists in their group, that's sick, subversive and undemocratic. But don't expect that to stop the leftists in the media or the Democrat Party under the newfound "unity" of Barack Obama.

Clearly, the agenda of Axelrod, Gibbs, the Journolist Group, the Kos Kids, and every other progressive or Democratic operative is to paint those who disagree with them as racist in an attempt to undermine their legitimate criticisms and to energize the Lefty base to come out and vote in the midterm elections. I hope it fails miserably.

To be on the Left is to never be called racist, not because there aren't racists there (again, see Robert Byrd, Rev. Wright, or Helen Thomas), but because conservatives see people as individuals. We understand that every individual is different, and we save our concern and name-calling  for dangerous ideologies like radical Islam or Communism.

While I abhor racism though, I encourage racists to express their racism openly. Not violently, but openly. The more vocalized racism is in our society, the easier it is to refute. Politically correct lefties want racism hidden. They encourage censorship and political correctness. I'm not sure what this solves, and I would welcome any progressive or Democrat to explain why it's better that racism gets subverted (kind of like Communism does these days) rather than be displayed out in the open.

Of course, all this name-calling and finger-pointing by the Left really proves is that 1) they are so threatened by the tea parties philosophy that they feel the need to demonize an entire group rather than tackle the arguments head-on, and 2) it takes way more courage to be on the right, because you will be attacked in cheap, petty, and unfair ways that progressives will never have to experience.

The funny thing is our president is African-American, the attorney general is African-American, our most successful TV personality is African-American, our most revered and highest paid athletes are African-American, the head of the Republican Party is African-American, the previous secretary-of-state is African-American, and frankly you'd be hard-pressed to find a nation with more African-Americans in such high-profile and successful positions. But rather than celebrate these achievements, rather than singling our nation out for being among the least racist, we are still wringing our hands, asking white males to apologize, and attempting to rewrite our laws in the name of "social justice."

Which just proves how far we've come. Charges of racism today have never rang more hollow or been hurled at more people who have no racist motives whatsoever. In other words, we need less talk about race, not more.

And if you disagree with me, you're probably a race-baiter.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Big Move

If you haven't moved in the middle of July in Texas, you haven't really experienced a move. That's really the only way to describe my two week absence from the blogosphere. It was hot. It was exhausting. It took days (and weeks to recover). I don't know why I didn't recruit more friends. Oh yeah, I wanted to keep them as friends.

The move is what I consider a big move, not because I changed towns or jobs, but because I changed lifestyles. I downsized. I left the view of the lake and the sunsets in the hills of West Austin for the flat land and parking lot scenery of south Austin. I went from my own stairs with a canyon view, plenty of space with my own washer and dryer to well, not.

This is life in the Obama economy, and I want to prevent it from happening to anyone else. As you may or may not know, I had a furniture store until February of this year, but being on the frontline of the recession - retail, durable goods - put an end to that dream. Our sales dropped 60 to 70% in one year, and it got worse the longer Obama was in office.

There have always been downturns and recessions, some you can prepare for and possibly ride out. This wasn't one of them. I am not the only casualty. Almost every furniture store that specialized in my sector of furniture (handmade Mexican and Indian imports) has also closed their doors over the past 18 months. Adobe Pueblo, El Paso Imports, Sierra, Zanzibar, Heroes and Architects, the list goes on and on.

It has been said that Austin was above the fray of this recession and it's impact would be minimal. But driving around town, you look at all the strip centers and retail locations, many vacant with "For Lease" signs hanging in the door (including my old location), and you realize the damage that's been done, especially to small businesses. The number of restaurants I used to frequent wasn't spared either. Popular neighborhood spots that have been serving food and hospitality for decades have also disappeared.

Now the talk has turned to a double dip recession, and given the job numbers, the slow-down in manufacturing, the percentage of mortgage and car payments being paid with plastic, and the dipping consumer confidence index, no smiley face from the Obama administration is going to be able to whitewash the truth.

The Democrats took over a country in 2007 that had unemployment under 5%, consumer confidence at record highs, and budget deficits of 200 billion dollars (not stellar, but far from the trillion dollar deficits Obama and Pelosi have been running). It might pay to remember that Obama was elected to the Senate during that 2006 election when Democrats took control of Congress, and you realize the only four years this president has spent in Washington have seen the biggest waste in government spending and the destruction of small businesses and private wealth.

The Barackalypse is upon us. The public sector has grown at hulk-like proportions while the private sector shrunk and private wages shriveled to half that of what government employees earn - who no doubt work 70% less. Now the bill is due, and the shrinking private sector is about to get hit with all the costs of the public sector's enraged expansion. The snake is eating the tail and neither half is satisfied with the meal.

Let my story be a tale of caution. The bad news isn't my situation. The bad news is I'm ahead of the curve. Like FDR, another Democratic president has interfered with the private sector, practiced the false premise of Keynesian economics, and put us on the brink of an extended depression.

Maybe that's the real reason I didn't blog for two weeks. I'm growing tired of being the bearer of so much bad news. If the Left's grip on America doesn't weaken, we will all be weaker - financially, emotionally, and spiritually.