Fighting the Good Conservative Fight

Ever since the election, introspective Republicans, gloating Democrats and a largely corrupt media have offered innumerable suggestions regarding how the GOP can “reconstitute,” “re-brand” or “re-invent” itself to attract more Americans. The party must become more diverse, more inclusive, more compassionate and/or more modern. Some of these arguments might have merit, but in reality there is only one thing Republicans must fully embrace: genuine conservatism, for two simple reasons. One, anything less makes them Democrat-lite, and voters will invariably prefer the real thing; and two, embracing conservatism is critical for the nation’s survival. That survival depends on conservatives first acknowledging, and then waging all-out war, on three critical fronts. Until that occurs, conservatives are doomed to irrelevancy.
Anyone wondering how a president presiding over the weakest economic recovery ever recorded, a Middle East in flames, and heading an administration embroiled in at least three major scandals (Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and intel security leaks) got re-elected, can begin connecting the dots with this story revealing that Washington, D.C. had the worst high school graduation rate in the country in 2011. Only 59 percent of its students graduated in the normal four years it takes to go from freshman to senior. Harry Reid’s  (D-NV) home state of Nevada comes in at number two with a 62 percent graduation rate. The highest graduation rate was in Iowa, where 88 percent of the students got their sheepskins.
Does anyone still question what the future prospects are for those who haven’t graduated high school? Assuming every single child in the DC schools who graduated has a bright future, where are the more than four-in-ten others likely to end up? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that under-educated individuals, who lack both job qualifications, and critical thinking skills, are virtually certain to end up on one government program or another.
And those are the kids who don’t graduate. In New York City, 75 percent of those who do graduate still need remedial math and English courses before they can do college work. New York is also a state where the “passing” grade was raised to 65 percent from 55 percent. As for history, the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that a paltry 13 percent of high school seniors were rated “proficient” in their knowledge of American history.
In other words, even those who are considered “officially” educated remain woefully weak in three of the most critical areas necessary to produce thoughtful, potentially independent Americans capable of taking care of themselves. On the other hand, public school students are getting marinated in a variety “social justice” agendas that focus on radical environmentalism, and the “evils” of the capitalist system.
Whose purpose does that serve? The political contributions of the two largest education unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), tell the story. From 1989-2012, the NEA donated $49,769,888 to political campaigns. 64 percent of those donations went to Democrats, 4 percent to Republicans. The AFT donated $38,218,968 to political campaigns. 81 percent went to Democrats, and 0 percent went to Republicans.
This blatantly symbiotic relationship between those entrusted with educating American schoolchildren and the Democrat party has been in place for decades. Of the three critical fronts where conservatives must push back and push back hard, this one is, by far, the most important. No amount of “messaging” about conservative values can overcome a combination of inculcated ignorance and indoctrination. When the bedrock principles of our capitalist, democratic republic can be successfully vilified as a winning electoral strategy, nothing less than an all-out and unapologetic war to reverse the trend becomes necessary. As for compromise, forget it. There is no middle ground between freedom and tyranny, or fiscal solvency and national bankruptcy.
The second front on which conservatives must expend major amounts of resources and energy is the effort to halt, and then reverse, the disintegration of the nuclear family. The New York Times illustrates the current reality: “It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.” Here’s where that “new normal” is leading: “Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.”
Columnist Ann Coulter reveals exactly how elevated those risks are. “Children raised by a single mothers commit 72 percent of juvenile murders, 60 percent of rapes, have 70 percent of teenaged births, commit 70 percent of suicides and are 70 percent of high school dropouts,” she writes. “Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is being raised by a single parent.”
Once again, do these sound like Americans who are likely to be receptive to conservative values regarding morality, ambition or self-reliance–or those who will respond to the siren song of Big Nanny statism, and its cradle-to-grave entitlements? Conservatives saw the Obama campaign’s “Life of Julia” website, illuminating the federal government’s all-encompassing role in the life of an American woman, as amusing or embarrassing.
Unmarried women apparently viewed it as indispensable. Nearly a quarter of the voters in the 2012 election were unmarried women, and 67 percent of them voted for Obama, according to research by the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund. Furthermore, unmarried women comprise almost 40 percent of the black American population, nearly 30 percent of the Latinos, and almost a third of all young voters.
Susan Carroll of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University explains the obvious. “The Democrats are much more supportive of the social safety net, the programs that help people who need financial assistance, whether it be unemployment insurance, child nutrition programs, Medicaid, the whole infrastructure of the social welfare state that helps people who financially are more in need.” Nothing keeps people “in need” better than the disintegration of marriage and the nuclear family. As long as this trend continues to get worse, so will conservative electoral prospects.
Which brings us to the third front, namely the mainstream media. Perhaps the only thing more daunting than the level of media bias with which conservatives have to contend, is the willingness of so many on the right to accommodate it. Nothing exemplifies this better than the RNC, the Romney campaign and Congressional Republicans sitting still when four leftist debate moderators were chosen for the presidential and vice presidential debates. Their spinelessness was “rewarded” when CNN hack Candy Crowley took the president’s side against Romney on the issue of Benghazi in the second presidential debate.
Unfortunately, such spinelessness is nothing new. The Americans Thinker’s J.R. Dunn explains its origins: “Image manipulation has been a useful tool for the left ever since liberalism turned transcendental as long ago as the New Deal…Since that time left-wing image manipulation has continued unabated through the Cold War (when conservatives were pilloried as McCarthyists), the Civil Rights Era (racists, naturally enough), the Reagan era, (the ‘decade of greed’), and the Bush era, which introduced ‘neocons,’ a distortion of a very real faction which no leftist could have accurately defined if hung out a window by his heels.” The conservative response? “You can look long and hard to find any sign of effort by the conservative movement to combat or correct these stereotypes, from the day of their first appearance to the moment that you logged onto this site, and you will find nothing,” he writes.
Such stereotypes can only be maintained by a combination of nurturing from the mainstream media, and a Republican willingness to let that nurturing occur unchallenged. Even now, the entire debate regarding the upcoming fiscal cliff is centered around the Republicans refusal to raise taxes on millionaires, which the media labels “obstructionist.” Yet that same label is never attached to Democrats, despite Senate Majority leader Harry Reid taking Social Security off the table, and fellow Democrats shielding other entitlement programs from cuts, and insisting the debt ceiling be raised without conditions.
Barack Obama can claim Republicans want “dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance,” and Republican strategist Karl Rove advises his party members to avoid calling Obama a socialist or left-winger, and Mitt Romney to remain “focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone” toward the president. Yet as I noted in a previous column, the mainstream media was more than willing to keep several inconvenient “facts” under wraps until after the election was over–and Republicans, including Mitt Romney, were more than willing to go along.
It didn’t work. Moreover, it has never worked, and the sooner Republicans and conservatives realize it, the better their chances of winning elections. The best course of action is simple: assume the media is hostile, and be prepared to act accordingly. It is worth remembering that for all his faults, Newt Gingrich galvanized audiences during the Republican presidential debates when he criticized the media moderators, or challenged the premises of their questions. In short, he stood in stark contrast to those Republicans whose lack of forcefulness and commitment to conservative ideals makes them timid by comparison. No election has ever been won by a timid candidate. People sense cowardice, and more often than not, such cowardice trumps good ideas.
As a result of the first two developments mentioned above, Americans have become many things, but one them stands out: a majority of people are ignorant (not stupid), and that ignorance has left them largely disengaged from traditional American culture, customs and history. As such, they gravitate to the political party willing to do their thinking for them, forming one large bloc of Democrats. The other large bloc is comprised of those willing to tell the first bloc how to live their lives. Together they formed the majority that reelected the president. Throw in a mainstream media more than willing to trumpet such an arrangement as “inclusive,” and “broad based,” and, despite all the wishing and hoping from the right, the election was never really in doubt.
Conservatives need to understand that none of this happened overnight. The public schools have been dumbing down education for decades, single motherhood has been on a steady increase since the onset of LBJ’s Great Society of 1960s, and the mainstream media has tilted left ever since the New York Times’ Walter Duranty was singing the praises of Joseph Stalin’s “democratic” revolution back in the early 30s–and winning a Pulitzer Prize for it.
A serious and sustained pushback is long overdue. Conservatives should get on with it, and never lose sight of their ultimate advantage over Democrats: the progressive agenda is unsustainable, absent the eventual imposition of a totalitarian state. The left may yearn for equality. It is up to conservatives to pound home the historical reality that equality has only been achieved when everyone has been made equally miserable–and that even then, such equality necessitates an all-powerful elite to enforce it.

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  • JacksonPearson

    IMO, the GOP can start off with conservatism 101:
    *every term, retake your oath of office;
    *balanced budget;
    *smaller government;
    *lower taxes;
    *denounce socialism;
    *end Keynesian economics, and;
    *be fiscally responsible.

    • UpChuck.Liberals

      After what the GOP has done to Conservatives in the House, they can take their party and shove it sideways. Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave."JUST PERFECT: John Boehner Purges Conservatives From Prominent Committee Spots" Doug Ross.

      • JacksonPearson

        Speaker Boenher has been publicly reminded of the consequences of removing conservatives from committees. He clearly has his head up his azz.

  • Chezwick

    "the progressive agenda is unsustainable, absent the imposition of the totalitarian state."

    1) The modern data base has created all the ingredients for such a state

    2) There is an alternative just as frightening as the totalitarian state…which is societal collapse and total anarchy. Just imagine an EMP weapon frying all the electrical circuitry for a radius of several hundred miles. How long before marauders and vigilantes emerge? In my opinion, a matter of just days. The same could occur with a profound economic collapse.

    • 11bravo

      Two EMP's will put down the entire US grid. What do you think happens when the water purification and municiple sewer systems go out in the north east? 60 mill people, Chicagoland 26 mill, S.F. bay area 40 mill, Southern CA 25 mill, Texas 20 mill.
      Starvation, dyphoid, cholera…where ae these people going to go? No one ever REALLY thinks about Iran having Nukes in this sense. Only weather Isreal is destroyed or not. We need to keep balistic missles out of their hands too-Pakistan has the weapons. Scary stuff!!

  • harrylies

    If you're talking about single mothers, what about Sarah Palins' daughter? Conservatives did not demand Palin disown her daughter, or McCain drop her from the ticket. I guess single mothers are fine if they are conservatives. Would you rather she had an abortion?

    The piece does not mention homosexuals, but many conservatives think homosexuals are undermining America. Dick Cheney has a homosexual daughter, and he has not disowned her. He may not have had an easy time accepting it, but he has. Cheneythinks the US should fear the likes of Bin Laden, not gay marriage. Lots of conservatives are obsessed about gay people.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Disowning family members is not the only way to lead. It makes it harder because you look like someone who only wants to blame people rather than solve problems. It's the other side of the leftists who attract losers and make them permanently dependent. Although they are called hypocrites by leftists, as you have, it would be much worse had they "disowned" them because that would be seen as proof of the "war on (whoever)" by leftists and you would NEVER hear the end of it.

      The article is right. We tolerate the lies without being aggressive enough challenging them. That's really the bottom line. It's starts with grade school indoctrination and never ends, till we have what we have; a real mess led by the most evil president in history. He's got equally evil (though less powerful) partners in Washington too.

      • http://www.themadjewess.wordpress.com MAD JEWESS

        Amein.

        I am always fighting these freaks.
        Online, in life, where-ever

    • 11bravo

      Gee Harry; it makes it seem like "MAYBE" you have been mislead about conservatives, and their true nature. MAYBE!!

  • clarespark

    There is populist resentment in both political parties. As I have said before, capitalism itself is on the line. I agree with those comments that advise focus on charter schools, the curriculum, and fiscal common sense. I wrote about some of this here: http://clarespark.com/2012/12/01/petit-bourgeois-…. "Petit-bourgeois radicalism and Obama". Children can absorb economics and science and elementary psychology from grade school onward.

  • Alex Kovnat

    What I believe to be really ironic is this: In Islamo-Arabic nations, a young woman will be murdered by her own parents or brothers if she disgraces the family by even being suspected of engaging in sex, let alone getting pregnant. Yet the new left embraces the Islamo-Arabic element and skewers Israel. In Israel, except for pockets of extremism among the Jews themselves (sad to say), women have far more freedom to express their flair, and gays have far more freedom to be gay, than in Isamo-Arabic nations. But guess who left leaning intellectuals embrace, and guess whom they want to boycott and disinvest?

  • johan

    This is what will happen if muslims keep invading our country. They never had freedom in their country, they come here killing our freedom, bring in the sharia law and all we can do is watching how our freedom and anything else has gone down the drain.

  • Questions

    This is why we must bar Muslims from entering the country rather than be content (as Mark Steyn apparently is) with assimilating them. The Steyn strategy, I regret to say, is based on a wing and a prayer, not reality. Muslims have shown, time and again, that they have no intention of assimilating.

    • pdxlady

      Mark Steyn is very astute, and he is not advocating for Muslims to immigrate to the U.S. and be assimilated. If anything, he believes , and I do as well, that all immigrants should be assimilated into the U.S. culture, as they did from Ellis Island.

  • fanlad

    When a plan fails, it is time to rethink ones actions. It is time to get back to basics.
    God, family, and country. We must stay true to these principles. Our founders gave us a great road map.
    We need someone around who is responsible to pick up the pieces, when the system will implodes.
    I agree America has accepted ignorance over reason.

    Great article, food for thought.

  • Alex Kovnat

    @Fanlad Re needing someone to pick up the pieces: We had such a guy. Mitt Romney. Unfortunately more of our fellow citizens voted for the incumbent.

    • fanlad

      Alex the battle for presidential political power may be over for now, but we must start right now to keep our conservative principles alive and well. I guarantee the liberals haven't stopped running for the 2016 election. Look at Obama and the dnc, they ran a non stop campaign from 2008 to 2012. Mitt was good, but there has to be someone out there who is better for the future election. A little side note, Ron Paul and his supporters did Mitt and the republicans no favors in this election. Keep the faith, and keep believing.

  • Jim_C

    Conservatives need to offer up a creative, constructive, and comprehensive vision for the future of education in this country that is not rooted in some old codger's "back in my day" blather, or "We gotta get back to the 3 Rs" (the sure sign of someone who has not in been to a school since they were students).

    If you can do it, you'll have my vote–and for me to say that should tell you something about how widespread the appeal of going that route is.

    Social issues…meh. There's a reason liberals have a soft spot for libertarians. No one wants the Taliban, no matter how harmless and benign.

    Tax issues, though? Herman Cain was far from being a serious candidate, and his 9-9-9 was more campaign gimmick than substantive–but I really do think he was on to something.

    Above all, let Reagan rest in peace and let the next candidate be his or her own person. You need a fresh voice with a fresh vision.

    • Jim Dandy

      We can't go back to how it was "then," morally and socially speaking.

      We have to work to make a future that's even better.

    • Maxie

      We don't need any more 'visions', fresh or otherwise. The political dynamic has always oscillated between Liberty and Tyranny. The latter comes gradually but inexorably out of innately flawed socialist welfare state ideology. Eventually everyone climbs into the welfare wagon and there's no one willing to pull it. The government 'driver' has to wield the tyranical whip to keep it going. Just watch what the Obama regime lays on us in the next four years. A "Fundamentally Transformed America" like Dr.Frankenstein 'transformed' his monster.

      • Jim_C

        Individual freedom and the general welfare, the Commons and commerce, all need to be kept in balance. We experimented with small government in the 1800s; it wasn't good. We experimented with big government in the 20th century: mixed results. Balance is the American way. That requires more than pat Glenn Beckisms about "freedom and tyranny," which degrade the meanings of both those words.

        • Maxie

          "We experimented with big government in the 20th century: mixed results."
          Why the past tense? The 'experiment' has been incessant and the result(s) are in: Looming national and state (CA, NY) bankruptcies; growing numbers of bankrupt municipalities; a dysfunctional, schizoid, government on the 'take' from lobbiests while we edge continuously toward a Constitution-less, "Crony Capitalsm" (i.e.; Fa$c!$m) or worse and all led by a remote-controlled POTUS who wallows in the perks of the office while unaccountable "others" make the decisions. Oh, and did I mention a fraud-filled elective system that guarantees more of ths same?

  • 61Falcon

    Mr. Ahlert has it right that we must break the stranglehold the teachers' unions and Democrats have on our public education system. It is a scandal which has become criminal. Forget about teachers' pay and benefits – good teachers should get more of it – but let's ensure that there are normal, common sense work rules that hold teachers and administrators accountable for outcomes, just like other working people are held to standards.

    There's very little politicians can do about the disintegration of the nuclear family, and in fact, the trend is thankfully going down.

    The mainstream media? What? So, let's have all good conservatives get further into their bubble with Fox, Limbaugh and Levin?

    I had to laugh at the phrase "introspective Republicans." All I have heard is "fight harder! be meaner!" Yeah, that'll win hearts and minds.

    • Jim Dandy

      We can't break the NEA and AFT with a frontal assault. The university Faculties of Education are in this group also.

      We have to undermine them by reaching out to individual teachers who truly want to educate their students.

  • Maxie

    Excellent article summarizing the problems conservatives face. Schools and universites are Leftist indoctrination centers; the mass Media has become Pravda and amounts to little more than The Ministry of Democrat Propaganda. But the CORE issue is the political impotence of the so-called Republican Party which is a totally schizoid entity: A Conservative minority serving under a RINO hierarchy. Unless and until that gets resoved there will no ability to change the problems Ahlert has enumerated. See also: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/gop_what_g

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,61Falcon,how would you remedy the situation. I'd like to know,so tell me.

  • JayB

    Again, this article is good at pointing out the problems, but I am not hearing any solutions…single women are not going to stop having kids out of wedlock, and teachers and the media are not going to stop being liberals.

    So the question is this…how do we (as conservatives and libertarians) adapt to the FUTURE? We can keep screaming at the top of our lungs about how things are wrong, and the country is in decline…but that is not going to win any elections. Those days are gone now that people can vote themselves entitlements and the media will not report the truth about liberal politicians. We have been reduced to one-legged fighters in a butt-kicking contest.

    In my opinion, the Republican party should be abolished and a new party should be formed that can more effectively confront the leftists…the GOP has failed.

  • philc

    Just read where the Republicans want to freeze then lower Social Security COLA in the new spending bill. I'm willing to do it if Congress, the president and ALL government employees will freeze their wages. I earned my benefits with 52 years of paying taxes and contributing to Social Security, which is more than I can say to for the political hacks we have. Remember the truth, Johnson and the Congress robbed Social Security to pay for Johnson's "war on poverty" that did nothing but entitled the lazy people in our country with freebies. Taxpayers paid the freight no one else. Nothing but Washington mismanagement did us in.

  • Western Spirit

    Unfortunately too many of our countrymen didn't see Romney as the solution but as a major part of the problem. They saw him as the stuffed shirt, CEO of Bains Capital who was like the CEO's that are sending our jobs overseas.

    The Republican establishment didn't see that one coming, because they aren't as smart as they think they are, but Obama's campaign to diminish Romney did, and it worked.

  • Gamaliel

    What Republicans have to do is reform immigration. Ann Coulter has it right, the immigrants we are importing are the ones who voted Obama in. That is a result of two things, Ted Kennedy's immigration reform and allowing the UN to dictate who immigrates to the U.S..

  • Illegible

    Someone needs to teach FPM about paragraph spacing and/or indents. Pick one, and use it.