Category Archives: Libertarianism

Shouldn’t Conservatism Be the Biggest Tent of All?

“The Left” as a political group has a “big tent” policy:  they never kick someone out of the tent for failure to agree on all issues.  As long as they can agree on one thing–say, for example, Christians stink on ice–they get along like gangbusters.  Nevermind the fact that one group would gleefully stone his feminist or homosexual allies if given the chance.

But shouldn’t conservatism be the biggest tent of all?

It’s bad enough to witness GOP establishment RINO Senator McCain call his fellow senator “wacko bird” and CPAC refuse to allow Chris Christie and GOProud to even attend their conference.

Then I read an article by some dude named Cliff Kincaid, in which he breezily asserts that there is no such thing as a “gay conservative” unless the term “conservative” has lost all meaning.

Look.  You can believe that someone’s lifestyle is sinful as hell, and still let him in your tent.  You can believe that a particular governor is way too RINO to be nominated to a leadership position, and still let him in your tent.  You can believe that a certain brash young Senator is too libertarian, and still let him stay in your tent.

You can do this because that tent is so dang large.  At this point in American politics, the conservative tent is so friggin’ immense that the folks who don’t get along can just stay on opposite ends and never even see each other!

bigtent

What’s more, they never have to worry about whether their political ally would eventually try to stone them.  This worry never arises because the single principle which supports this gigantic tent is such a rock solid foundation in and of itself:

Leave Me Alone.

That’s it.  If one believes that he should be left alone to run his own life, and if he is willing to leave others alone to run theirs, well come on in.  There’s plenty of room.

People may want to be left alone for different reasons, but the specifics aren’t mutually exclusive.  You do your thing, and I’ll do mine.

The funniest part is the fact that conservatives didn’t even build this gigantic political tent.  It was created for them by the pencil-pushing tyrants from all levels of government, county and city on up.  The tent is strong, waterproof and wind resistant, for it is tightly woven with the myriad regulations and restrictions that chafe us all.

All conservatives have to do is have enough sense to keep from chasing everybody away.

Top 25 Political Moms Contest–UPDATED

The Lonely Conservative has just taken the lead!

Thanks everyone for pitching in!  Mrs. LC herself has the rundown:

Our Army of Davids has been joining in to help us out, including: iOTW, The Other McCain, Blazing Cat Fur, The Camp of the Saints, DBKP, Conservative Hideout, The Pirate’s Cove, Ex-Con’s View, Maggie’s Notebook, and Moonbattery. Zilla, who is still trying to overcome her illness, has also written about the importance of this contest. (She’s moved up to 4th place.) But none of that does any good if all of you don’t take just a few minutes to click this link and vote for us. You don’t need to sign up. You don’t need to register. All you have to do is click the “vote” button next to each conservative blogging mom, or whichever is your favorite.

Plus some additions which Karen has updated:

Update: King Shamus has joined our quest [self-censorship here]

Update: Thanks to the First Street Journal for joining in! I love conservative bloggers, and all of our readers, too!

I think Karen is absolutely right:  it’s not about competition for competition’s sake.  The goal is to demonstrate that conservatives are the majority, and we are no longer silent.  We are no longer content with letting the political landscape lean further and further left, until “Very, very leftist” defines the typical Democrat.

“Very, very leftist” does not define the typical Democrat.

“Racist and fascist” does not define Pamela Geller, nor any of the rest of us conservative mommies.

We may not convert any of those self-proclaimed Commie Mommies” to our cause, but we can remind all other internet users that The Left does not have mainstream views.  We can remind Americans from all points on our political spectrum one simple fact:  “commie” is not a label to wear proudly.

Go vote for as many of us as you fancy!  Every 24 hours for the next three days!  See if you can get Edge of the Sandbox in the top 25.  Oh, yeah, and me too.

UPDATE:  Thanks for your help, Looking Spoon and Three Beers Later!

UPDATE #2:  As of 10:13 pm Central time, Sunday evening, Monologues of Dissent has retaken the lead.  Please do spread the word and we’ll hope for the best out of this neck-and-neck race.

UPDATE #3:  As of Tuesday afternoon, The Lonely Conservative once again has the lead.  Thanks for your help with this fun competition, Jen Kuznicki.  I’ve been voting for you, too, even though you are kicking my butt out of the top 25.  Ha ha!

FINAL UPDATE:  The link to Lonely Conservative’s quotes above is no longer available.  Perhaps the best thing to do is a bit of self-censorship, and a disclaimer, in an effort to avoid mandated censorship.

DISCLAIMER:  The above-quoted label “commie mommy” was found at the links embedded within.  At those links, as well as others, this label was used by the potentially offended persons to describe themselves.  This blogger makes no accusation as to whether these persons’ political beliefs are empirically leftist enough to be labelled as communist.  This blogger merely questions the wisdom of choosing this label to describe oneself.

News from the Rabbit Hole

Because we are in it, folks.

1.  Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs.  This is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.  Hey, don’t look at me like that.  Vice-President Biden says so.

2.  Perhaps someone should tell Biden that government spending is already 41% of our entire Gross Domestic Product.  Forty-one percent!

3.  A mayor in the grip of the Obama administration’s regulatory stranglehold cries, “uncle!”  Oh, and she’s a Democrat.

4.  Organizing for America is running an art contest.  Submit your Agitprop for Obama Government, and you may be a winner!  Really, it’s not just satire.  It’s a real contest.

5.  Some writer over at the Business Insider thinks it’s hard to tell the difference between her selection of Tea Party v. Occupy Wall Street signs.  (Psst.  Each sign is dead easy to judge, if one is actually familiar with the Tea Party Movement.  Here’s a couple hints for the uninitiated:  American flags in the background=Tea Party!  Sign makes little or no sense=OWS!)

Have a great rest of the week.  If you find a way out of this rabbit hole, do let me know.

Nerd Heaven

Well, this nerd’s heaven anyway.  So brilliant.

“the economy’s not a class you can master in college
to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge.”

Word.

Brings me back to undergrad.  I earned my business degree with an emphasis in economics.  By the time I reached senior level courses, none of it made any sense.  My professors would rattle off premises and formulas and act as though it all made perfect sense, but it sounded more like the chanting of magic spells.

I memorized what I had to, regurgitated it and promptly forgot everything but the accent with which the Cambodian professor said, “International zeh-Bahnk,” by which she meant the IMF.

Funny to look back on it now.  I chose economics because of my freshman level macro-economics class, which was taught by a nice young non-Keynesian who I would never see again.  The introduction of that simple supply and demand chart made a profound impression.  The idea that price served a function, that it was not arbitrarily set–revelation!  That macro-econ class thrilled me somehow (yes that’s why I’m a nerd), and I didn’t find that kind of thrill again until I read The Road to Serfdom almost twenty years later, on Instapundit’s recommendation.

The realization that I have this econ degree and yet had never even heard of Hayek–well that was a revelation too, just not a good one.  Still angers me to think about what a complete waste of time all those classes were.  Oh well, at least I didn’t major in Women’s Studies.

Rush Limbaugh introduced me to politics at roughly the same time as my econ 101 class.  1990? (I’m really bad with dates, just ask hubs about the date inscribed in his wedding band).  I worked at a sporting goods store, and the fellow in charge of inventory would listen to Rush in the warehouse.  Next thing I know, I’m lingering in the back to listen when I should be helping the customers out front.

At the time I didn’t even realize economics and politics were related.  I also didn’t realize the philosophical influence of my favorite Heinlein books.

It just takes awhile for a thick girl like me to put the pieces together, that’s all.

Sometimes I wonder, though, what it’s like to have been a “liberal” in the past and then convert to conservatism.  Perhaps my lack of conversion is the reason it’s hard for me to accept the fact that so many people embrace the irrationality, lunacy, and evil of Collectivist Thought.

Whew, enough rambling.  I’ve strayed far from the reason of my post, to share the latest Keynes v. Hayek rap:

The EconStories website is here, via Instapundit of course.

For any of you who actually missed the first one:

And if you are a nerd like me, maybe that’s not enough.  Hear from the creators of this unlikely rap duo here:

Abandon Ship?

Is it time to start a third party?

That question comes up on a regular basis.  For good reason, of course:  the GOP sucks, generally speaking.  That suckage notwithstanding, my gut reaction to this question is always:  no.  It is not time to start a third party.

Why?

I pondered that question on one of my runs, or dog walks, or school trips, or summat.  Can’t remember which.  Anyhow, in a typically annoying fashion, I shall answer the question with a question of my own:

Has the left made its progress through the ascendency of a third party?

No.

Sure, there are leftist “third parties” out there:  the Green Party, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Labor Party, the Socialist Labor Party, the Workers Party, to the Working Families Party, just to name a few from this Wikipedia list.

But.  Did these “third parties” actually create the major leftist mile (mill) stones of today, from the Great Society to Obamacare?

No.  It’s all Dem, baby.

Far-left groups have influenced Democrat thinking, no question.  But did they do so by being an electorally viable party?

No.

In the same way, the Libertarian Party and the Tea Party do not need to be electorally viable in order to influence Republican thinking.

We do not need a third party.  We need to be working overtime to infiltrate and influence the GOP.  Just as the left did the Dems.  For us, the November 2010 election was only the beginning.  If the advance made so far is inadequate, that is our bad.  We should have been infiltrating and influencing well before Obama was elected.

Our bad.

Let’s just hope our bad hasn’t cost us the whole of our liberty.

The Restoring Honor Rally: Why?

By linking to The Mahablog in my previous post, I started a discussion with the Maha and her commenters.  The basic gist of this conversation began like this:

Maja:  Teabaggers don’t actually have a cause, just a lot of resentments; and their slogans and symbols are displays of tribal dominance only.  Most teabaggers have no idea what the slogans and symbols mean.

Me:  That is a mischaracterization of tea party types and/or Restoring Honor Rally attendees.

Maja:  No it isn’t.

Me:  Yes it is.

Illuminating discussion, is it not?  Ha ha.  If you want more specifics, follow the links. 

After a couple of days, I reckon curiosity has killed this cat, for I went back to the Mahablog to see what else was said on that string.  Oh sure, I found more insults (are you really calling me chicken because I didn’t watch that video?), but I also found appreciation for my civility, and some sincere enough questions.

Questions worth trying to answer.

First, the easy ones:  “Why is anger a hobby now?”

Sorry for the confusion here.  By hobby, I was referring to my blogging.  I mean, really.  What with my association with libertarianism, the tea party movement (“TPM”), and/or anything Glenn Beck, you should know that anger is not my hobby, but a full-time job!  Ha.

“Where are your links to these ‘specifics’?  Why don’t you care about facts?”

I am far, far too angry to bother with links, or care about facts.

“For the millionth time, where were you when G.W. Bush and his administration were wrecking the country?”

Me, personally?  Part of the time, I was serving in the U.S. Navy and unable to criticize my boss.  (It’s like, a rule or something.)  As for the rest of the time, I admit it:  I was neglecting my civic duties.  Ignoring politics.  Like so many people on either side, or no side, of the political spectrum, I threw my hands up in disgust and turned my back on the whole sorry mess.  I also foolishly trusted that, as long as I voted for the party which had principles nearer to mine, that would be good enough.

My bad.

But my prior negligence does not invalidate my newfound diligence. 

It seems like some lefties wish there were some sort of statute of limitations:  “Sorry, but you weren’t politically active for five straight years of adulthood.  Your activism authorization has expired.”

Okay, on to the more difficult questions:

“What I don’t know, is why the rally occurred. Why were you there?”

Me personally? 

Reason #1:  To prove to D.C. and the nation that I, the reasonable conservative, actually exist.  That we exist, and in large numbers.  Numbers larger than you previously realized.  Numbers larger than we realized, prior to 12 September 2009’s Taxpayer March.  Beck was right, we surround them.  We just didn’t realize it at first.  We were alone, and silent.  But no longer.  Which leads to . . .

Reason #2:  to stop being silent.  How many years have I held my tongue?  Starting in high school, the lessons came that if you expressed a conservative view, you would be in for an attack.  How often have I heard that conservatives are mean, stingy, don’t care about poor people, old people, black people, purple people eaters?

Now, these are just my personal reasons for attending.  Beck had his own reasons for holding the Rally, in part to introduce his Black Robe Regiment and his 40 days and 40 nights challenge.

“What is it that made all those people get on buses and planes and come out to this event?”

A single word:  fellowship.  (I’ve thrown a lot of links on this post, but this one you should definitely follow.) 

Some came primarily for fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. 

But.

This is very important:  some, like me, came for the fellowship with conservatives, regardless of religious beliefs.  I’m talking about a big conservative tent, my peoples.  Before the Obama/Reid/Pelosi trifecta, we conservatives were too easily divided into separate camps:  the drug-legalizers, the religious right, the fiscal conservatives, etc.

No more.  We are uniting now, in a common purpose:  stopping the inexorable shift towards statism.  Scott Brown, Chris Christie, and Joe Miller are only the beginning.  I can see November from my house.

“What were you supporting?”

True color blindness, instead of identity politicsThe free marketThe idea that our rights come from God, not the government.  Limitations on our ever-hungry federal governmentThe revival of constitutional understandingThe sanctity of life.

Plenty of facts and details in the links I’ve provided.  Whether you actually absorb them is up to you, dear reader.

Finally, to get to that video that the Maja said I didn’t have the courage to address (calling me chicken worked, I watched the blumin’ thing). 

I gotta help the older boy with his homework.  Get some laundry done.  Get them outside to play.  And fed.  Oh yeah, there’s a bleepin’ hurricane on the way, too.  Yikes!

So I must be quick.

Where you see dummies spouting pointless platitudes, I see my friends and neighbors, doing their best on the spot.  I see regular, everyday folks, talking about the deficit, about fellowship, about getting away from political rulers and back towards representative government.  I see a man who knows Glenn Beck was going to introduce something new and was very interested to find out (Black Robe Regiment, etc).  I also noticed that many clips were cut short, in mid-sentence even.

Suffice it to say that we are seeing things with different eyes and hearing things with different ears.

The only questions are:  who is truly listening?  Who is truly blind?

Restoring Honor Rally: When Libertarianism and Religion Collide

It has been an interesting year.  It started with the 9/12 March on Washington in 2009, and finished with the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally of 2010.  Those two events are bookends to the blurry whirlwind that was one year of my life:  parenting, traveling, listening, reading, blogging.

The 9/12 event was not the beginning of my interest in politics.  Shoot, I’ve been conservative/libertarian since age nineteen (based on that old adage, I must have no heart).

But 9/12 was just . . . overwhelming.  A turning point.  On that morning, my family and I walked out of our hotel and towards Pennsylvania Avenue with no idea what we would encounter.  We did not expect to get swept into an ocean of families like ours, so wide and so thick I could not move nor see past it.  I did not expect that sea to wash over Pennsylvania Avenue for hours.

9/12 was the kind of rare thing that fills your soul.  To the brim.  One day, you are alone in your dismay at the political landscape and the state of your government generally.  The next day, you are not.  Not alone.  Not dismayed.  Worried?  Maybe.  But motivated to do something.

I could see my own surprise, gratitude, and hope mirrored in the expressions of everyone around me that day.

Fast forward now to the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally.  This experience was certainly similar to 9/12, with one big difference.  This time, I am not surprised in the least.  Not surprised by the size of the crowd, or by the vastly different attendance numbers reported.  Not surprised by the way some media outlets equated the rally with the counter-rally, by lumping their numbers together.  Not surprised by the mischaracterizations, the twisting of facts (these links are via Legal Insurrection).  In fairness, one lefty blogger charitably offered that most of us are “probably not bad people,” although we still must be battled in order to “save civil society.”  Oh my, that sure sounds serious.  And sorta fear-mongery.

Anyhoo, having listened to Glenn Beck somewhat regularly this past year, I was not surprised by the religious nature of 8/28.  I mean, he’s been getting increasingly preachier and preachier all year long.  If you are a regular listener, you have noticed.  

And if you are a born-again, baptized-in-the-water believer, you probably don’t mind.  Even if Glenn Beck is a Mormon, a fact which some folks think should cause other Christians to recoil in horror.  (Hello, isn’t that a bit divisive?  Especially from that all-inclusive, all-tolerating left side of the political spectrum.)

Other folks also seem a bit flummoxed by the religious nature of the 8/28 event.  In the New York Times, one commentator describes it this way:

“Instead [of a political event], Beck served up something considerably stranger. This was a tent revival crossed with a pep rally intertwined with a history lecture married to a U.S.O. telethon.”

Well, yeah.  Fair enough.  But to me, it didn’t feel strange.  The event felt as natural as attending my parent’s nondenominational church or mass at my kids’ Catholic school.    We came, we shared a little fellowship with those around us, we prayed at bit, sang a bit, coaxed the kids into enduring boredom a bit, and that’s all.  Just like church. 

But with a slightly larger crowd than the usual congregation.

I kinda wondered what the not-openly-religious type of libertarian would think of the Restoring Honor Rally.  The approach of two thinkers, Glenn Reynolds and Nick Gillespie, can be found in this concise nutshell of Insty info.  Read the whole thing, and watch the Reason.com video embedded therein.  They are fair enough assessments.  A little reserved perhaps.  (As long as it’s Tocquevillian, it’s okay in Professor Reynolds’ book.)

But for the record:  nothing whatsoever about the rally left me reserved or unsettled. 

I am grateful for Beck’s melding of libertarianism with religion.  Mostly, the right side of politics has always had separate camps:  the religious right and, well, the rest.  I have never felt entirely at home in either camp.   Which is why I branded myself a “Christian libertarian” a long time ago. 

Then along comes Glenn Beck, an ex-pop music radio DJ, recovering alcoholic, and Mormon, who seems to be building a bridge between those two camps. 

I like it.

Okay, a bit of housekeeping before I sign off.  One, Tim Cavanaugh’s take is well worth reading, but here is my favorite line:

“the real reason I and my fellow coastal elites are wary of Glenn Beck is a lot more basic: He’s the fat kid you don’t want to be seen with at the lunch table. I’ll admit it! I find Beck a little bit creepy and gross and needy, and he gives me this sense that things are not going to end well.”

Ha!  Once again I say:  fair enough.

Next, guess what?  The President still does not take us seriously.  Yawn, no surprise there.

Finally, as far as that whole “saving civil society” thing goes.  Just look at the difference between the D.C. Mall after the Restoring Honor Rally, as compared to post-Obama inauguration.  Then tell me once again who is the more civil group, the lefties or the righties?  Just sayin’.

P.S.  My favorite parts of the rally were:  1) Alveda King, and 2) Amazing Grace with bagpipes.

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