Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The problem with modern "conservatism"

Here is how a Republican governor carries out his personal beliefs about small government.

Once these people get into power, something happens to them. They claim to believe in small government while promoting a nanny-state.

And who honestly believes this and other ridiculous abuses of power will apply equally to everyone? Even California's ban on cell-phone use while driving, signed into law by the governor, is blatantly ignored by the governor's wife. But who should be surprised at this? It was her uncle in the white house who ordered his press secretary to buy up a huge stash of Cuban cigars the day before he announced the Cuban embargo. Laws - especially those regarding prohibited substances - it seems, only apply to the "little people."

But then again, the Kennedys made at least part of their fortune (which was parlayed into a political dynasty) by being involved in the business of banned substances (alcohol, before the end of prohibition). So, in a sense, they were the illegal drug dealers of their day and age. (Several of my own family were moonshiners during prohibition - and bully for them, I say! But they never got into public office and decreed other things to be prohibited after hypocritically making a fortune for themselves in the black market).

Furthermore, Gov. Schwarzenegger was also catapulted to fame by himself using illegal substances (by his own admission). He would not be where he is today were it not for breaking the kinds of laws he is now mandating upon everyone else. And some people are actually convinced there is actually a dime's difference between the Republicans and the Democrats (of course, thanks to the Republicans and Democrats and their bankster pals in the Federal Reserve, the dime is actually now worth about half a cent - which still won't buy the difference between the parties as far as I'm concerned).

Can you just imagine the Hollywood elites in California not having big-screen plasma TVs? And how about the governor's palace? Do you honestly think they'll all be huddling around small TV screens in the Schwarzenegger-Kennedy house? Is this really going to happen?

So much for the vaunted rhetoric about freedom and limited government. All that this unconstitutional big-government intervention in the marketplace will accomplish is the crippling of the economy, the destruction of the jobs of the "little people," and the further imposition of tyrannical power from a so-called "conservative" governor. There are obviously those who will benefit from these "environmental" reforms - just follow the money trail and the lobbyists. True conservatives understand this whole matter to be nothing other than tyranny in elephant's clothing.

If the Republicans had any integrity, they would remove Schwarzenegger from the party.

But they won't. And we all know why.


Jonathan said...

California--the land of fruits and nuts.

Peter said...

What do "we all know"? Those of us who are National Review conservatives gave up on Arnold long ago.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

What "we all know" is that Schwartenegger's big-government philosophy is perfectly at home in the GOP. Nor is he alone. Otherwise, there would be some movement to oust him from the party. In the same way, to my knowledge, there has never been a "pro-choice" Republican politician expelled from the GOP. The tent is big enough for economic tyranny *and* infanticide. Now *that's* a party even wilder than Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street!

Obviously, neither the "National Review" Republican leadership nor the rank and file have either the desire or the stomach to remove Schwarzenegger from the GOP.

For they would rather have a liberal Republican at the helm of California than a conservative non-Republican, or a liberal who does not have the GOP Party label.

The GOP's mission is not conservatism. Its mission is the GOP - whether liberal, conservative, or moderate. More accurately, its mission is victory for the party - and there seems to be no limit to the cost. The same is true with the Democrat Party.

The party labels are just that: labels.

Peter said...

I'm a Republican, and you can speak for yourself. The Republican platform is a conservative one, and its platform is also pro-life. And, the Democrat platform is decidedly pro-abortion, and they in fact do all they can to act on it. The fact that moderate/liberals join is a fact of life, and I take that as both a compliment and a challenge. Purging is not the answer. Electing someone better next time is.

Peter said...
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Peter said...
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Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

Well, the Republicans have removed politicians from the party for being outside the scope of the party (such as David Duke, for instance).

Gov. Schwarzenegger is not, nor will be, given the same treatment as Duke. Neither will Sen. Snow. Neither will any pro-gay or pro-abortion Republican politician. In the world of the GOP, racism is worse than infanticide. And this is because it's about winning elections and PR rather than principle.

In fact, I believe you will see the party push for a "bigger tent." There are already voices within the party calling for a "broader base." In the aftermath of the 2008 trouncing, I do think "strategists" will move the party further to the left. I hope I'm wrong about this.

The GOP leadership will drop the "Christian right" like ballast if (and when) the pundits determine they are an impediment to victory.

Now, if the GOP were to tell Arnold to take a hike the way they did David Duke, I'd be impressed. But they will not. Schwarzenegger is well within the range of tolerance for being a Republican. Ditto with "pro-choice" Republicans.

The nice thing about the Democrats is that they admit that they are in favor of big government. They don't shy away (for the most part) from what they are. And they certainly don't claim to be "conservative."

I don't think the GOP has been conservative since Goldwater. The Republican Party is too pragmatic and leftist. I believe we have two moderate parties that both favor big government and believe in working around the constitution.

I just don't find the two majors to be very different from one another at all. In other countries, you can find real Right and Left parties, and shades of gray in between. By contrast, we're closer to a single-party system than anything else. But that's just my opinion, of course.

Peter said...

That we disagree is hardly news. Still, your post would have been better if Schwarzenegger actually identified himself openly a small-government, "conservative," which he doesn't. He is not a spokesperson for freedom or the constitution. He has purposefully defined himself apart from the party as a "moderate," which, I think, ends up being liberal. And you are right, political parties always make political decisions. That's the nature of politics. That' life. I'd rather have a Reagan than an Obama, and I think there's a world of difference.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

It's boring when we agree. ;-)

As far as Schwarzenegger's claim to conservatism, did you watch the video? He claims to be a free-market guy who does not want government intervention. He praises Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman (both of whom are moderates in my opinion), and champions capitalism. He also chose not to run as a Democrat in a state that is heavily liberal.

But now, as Governor, he wants to paint sunroofs black and tell people how big their TVs can be.

I think the problem with the official GOP (not all Republicans individually) is that they believe their own propaganda. They are so far removed from the free market that they don't even know what such a thing even looks like.

And how sad that we must always pick a "lesser evil." Reagan said good things too, but when he got into office, government continued to grow, deficits soared, and the Fed kept the printing presses rolling.

The good thing about Obama (as opposed to your run of the mill Republican who talks the free market talk and walks the big government walk) is that he doesn't claim to be in favor of small government (like Bill Clinton actually did!). With Obama, what you see is what you get. Socialist in, Socialist out.

Of course, what a lot of mainstream Republicans like to forget is that Bush signed the first massive Socialist bailout bill. John McCain voted for it. Sarah Palin backed it. The whole GOP establishment Obama'ed it up. And only after the Democrats do the same thing do they find their voices to say "no."

"Meet the news boss, same as the old boss."

Until there is a revolution in the GOP, at best, it will be a walk toward totalitarianism instead of a sprint. But either way, if you give it enough time...

Peter said...
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Peter said...

You think we (self-described conservative Republicans) are naive, while we think you lack discernment and a sense of proportion. Just know that we don't believe in party over principle, or any other cliche like that. We just happen to think that the party is the best vehicle for our ideas. You disagree. Of course, if you ever make any headway, you'll have a "party" and it will also be "infiltrated" by those who don't subscribe to a pure vision. It's inevitable. Unless, of course, you remain a very small minority.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

I really don't think Republicans are naive. They (the leaders at least) are a professional political party, and they are in it to win elections. They know what they are doing. It is almost like a game with strategies and counter-strategies.

Unfortunately, they are playing with our liberties and livlihoods.

I think the major parties have both veered from the constitution. That's really my gripe. Undeclared wars, paper money, an unrestrained Supreme Court, usurped states rights, deficits, government involvement in the free market, the Social Security Ponzi scheme, Medicare, the War on Drugs, abuse of the 14th Amendment and the Interstate Commerce Act to regulate nearly every aspect of our lives - etc. This is the legacy of Republicans and Democrats. This is all unconstitutional, and yet it is as if the two parties and the three branches have a "gentleman's agreement" to break the law at will rather than check and balance each other.

The Republicans and Democrats golf together like WWE wrestlers hang out when the show's over. I mean, look at Mary Matalin and James Carville! Politics is a game to those who make their living off of it. And the name of the game is "win elections." Peter, do you honestly think the GOP will not drop the "religious right" like a hot potato if doing so will win the next election?

But eventually (and perhaps soon), the wheels are going to come off. Washington will not be able to continue inflating the bubble and spending money that we don't have. It was Democrat Roosevelt that confiscated privately-held gold and it was Republican Nixon that closed the gold window. It was FDR that gave us pure-blown Socialism, and Nixon that instituted Soviet style wage and price controls. Bush and Obama both (with Congress's green light, Democrat and Republican alike) spent billions of money that did not exist to bail out Wall Street.

Have you seen the Dollar Index lately? How about the price of gold? Sadly, I think most people spend more time and attention worrying about college football and video games - which is what the politicians depend on. Bread and circuses.

I don't think I "lack proportion" in saying that the Federal Government should stay within the limitations of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the only people who saw the current malaise coming and have been predicting it (even being publicly laughed at) have been those pesky Lew Rockwell Austrian economists, the guys that go on Judge Napolitano's webcast.

Do you think maybe we should listen to them?

I know the mainstream media has finally knocked off the "tinfoil hat" talk when Peter Schiff and Ron Paul have something to say now that their "crazy" (read: common sense) predictions have started happening. Quite frankly, aside from a handful, most of the Republicans in Congress seem to be utterly clueless when it comes to economics.

And these are the "conservatives," God help us!

Peter said...

Again, those of us who identify ourselves as conservative Republicans are not like this. And, no, conservatives have not been running things. But, we're fighting. By claiming to be a Republican I am not endorsing all Republican policies. (And, the fact that people "golf together" is meaningless, except, I suppose, as an attack against certain people, who golf, that you don't like. If they bowled, would that be ok? In politics, people golf together. That is not sinister. I'm sure even Ron Paul has been to banquets with liberal Republicans.)
And to say that we pick "the lesser evil" is also insulting. In politics, you always try to get the best that you can given the situation. (And why pick on Carville and Matalin? Isn't it possible to disagree and be married?) And, yes, the Lou Rockwell people play golf and make money too. Can you accept that I'm a Republican with good motives? Napolitano is part of the Fox Network. Does that taint him? He makes money from this too. But, I have no reason to doubt his sincerity.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Peter:

"Golf together" is an analogy - like "strange bedfellows." We have to watch the "bedfellows" comments in this day and age. I remember reading about how chummy Kennedy and Hatch were, how they golfed together. It struck me that their "debates" were actually a show. Politicians do tend toward being salesmen/actors. And in the final analysis, they were pretty much the same in what they saw government's role to be in spite of their reputation as being so opposite from each other.

The parties collude. The branches collude. The Congress claims to give the president war-making powers. The Judiciary claims to bequeath powers not in the Constitution. The Executive Branch issues "signing statements" (which appear nowhere in the Constitution). Members of both parties play these games when it suits them.

Meanwhile, the GOP claims the "conservative" mantle in spite of a long track record of expanding government, spending money we don't have, abetting the Federal Reserve, and regulating sun roofs.

My hope is that there be a sea change in the Republican Party, a rediscovery of its constitutional roots. I would be their biggest supporter if they would just abide by the Constitution! I'm hoping that enough young conservatives coming up discover paleo-conservatism (as does seem to be happening at a grassroots level) and move the GOP away from the neo-con big-government element that currently controls it.

I think this will more likely happen in the GOP than in the Democrat Party. But then again, it may take a reorganization along the lines of the folding of the Whigs and the birth of the Republicans. It may well be time for constitutional conservatives to start from scratch. These things do happen in history.

I think we need to be first obedient to the Constitution, second conservatives, and only third members of the GOP. I'm afraid a lot of people in the party (and I do not mean you personally by any means) have this totem pole turned on its head.

Peter said...

I thank you for granting that I'm not a Republican first. Of course, "collude," is a value judgement, and could refer to a "bargain" or a "compromise." I've never been a fan of Orrin Hatch either, though, to be fair, Clarence Thomas wouldn't be on the Supreme Court without him. In the end, I think it's best to question people's prudence before assigning ulterior or darker motives, or questioning something as basic as integrity. Often, people just see a different path towards what they view as a positive goal. And, to be sure, if we ever got off this debate (which I gladly abandon now for another day), we could talk about the merits of being paleo-conservative. I'm pretty sure I'm not one, though I may well vote for one given the choices.