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Disaffected Reagan Democrats Call The Tune Build An Agenda of Hope

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The Day After

by Christopher Chantrill
November 08, 2006 at 10:14 am

WITH AT LEAST a gain of 30 seats in the House of Representatives and a gain of 4 to 6 seats in the United States Senate the Democrats have earned a famous victory. It seems to be about average for a second-term off-year election.

I have felt for some time that it was time to Democrats to be back in power. They need to be in power to connect with reality in the post 9/11 world, and the American people need to see them at it. So it is probably best if the Democrats win the presidency in 2008.

Right now the Democrats say that it is all Bush’s fault. They experience the War on Terror as a continuation of a cycle of violence, not a clash of civilizations. Very well. Let us put the question to the proof.

That was, after all, the question in the mid to late 1970s. Was the Cold War a fight against a cruel and brutal Soviet Union, or was it an “inordinate fear of Communism,” as President Carter put it. The question was put to the American people, they elected Ronald Reagan as president, and the rest is history.

The great issues of the next decade will be the conflict with Islam, the failure of the welfare state, the refinement of the global economy, and the question of life. Notice how the two political parties in the United States line up.

For the Democrats the War on Terror is a Republican trick, the welfare state is a source of jobs and power, the global economy is something to hide from, and life is a choice.

For the Republicans the War on Terror is a clash of civilizations, the welfare state is a tragic mistake that has cratered the poor and the dependent, the global economy is a challenge to be embraced, and life is a sacred gift.

And that completely avoids the question of global warming.

Which side would you rather be on?


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.



“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, 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

Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Faith and Politics

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

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

US Life in 1842

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

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill