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by Christopher Chantrill
January 10, 2007 at 11:23 am
WHAT IS it that really worries Republicans and conservatives as we lick our wounds after November? It is the nagging fear that the Democrats didnt just win because its an off year election and the voters are in a foul mood.
Not that the voters dont deserve to be a foul mood, mind you.
But what if the Democrats were executing a secret plan, a grand strategic concept, a new approach to politics and we right-wing foot-soldiers didnt have a clue what hit us? That is what keeps us awake at night.
Fortunately an evil Republican spy has come up with the answer. She sneaked into the Pelosi victory party with all the heavy hitter Democratic contributors.
And everything is ok. Theres no "there" there in the new Democratic Congress.
Writer Lisa Schiffren talked to a contributor, a real-estate developer, at the party.
I asked the real-estate developer what he thought of Pelosi. I spent a lot of time with her. She told me she could win. She said she had a plan. What was the plan? The idea was that they would just criticize whatever plans the Republicans put out there¦.They would tear them down -- like they did with Social Security -- and not put out their own plans. They have been very disciplined. Indeed. No stray substance at all -- and this sharp businessman had forked over $25 grand in support.
So thats all right. That six point plan was just what it seemed to be, a lot of nothing.
Of course, the assembled party faithful had some interesting things to say. Take a load of this. Heres what Schriffens real estate developer had to say about the issues.
All the wealthy people I know, they only care about having their taxes cut. I dont think thats right. What are the issues you really care about? I asked. Rich and poor in this country. Its not right, he said, as if it was obvious what that implied.
OK, conservatives, stop laughing and get back to work. When are you going to come up with the next brilliant conservative idea to reform the Democrats corrupt and unjust welfare state?
You cant beat nothing with nothing, you know.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel