Standard Bearing in a Generation of Failed Promise

November 27th, 2012 — 4:56am

My handle is Standard Candle, as in a fixed star, one that may be utilized to measure light and distance. I often feel separated from the secular norms of the day, primarily because I don’t ‘dabble’ in what is considered normal social behaviors… I’m a conservative, and you are too.

I believe in standards, I believe that it is important for any culture or society to maintain itself, it must have standards, it must have laws, and the law must be sacred to all who claim privilege under said law.

Make no mistake, we are in a Culture War. This is a war of ‘no quarter’. Our enemy simply will not accept tolerance of it’s design to unravel that which was given to us by the personal sacrifices of a generation that we call Founders.

On January 5, 1967, in a famously quoted address during Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural speech for the office of Governor of California, he said:

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

Context matters, but in this instance, there are principles being taught here that extend far beyond the simplicity and correctness of this statement.

I speak of a generational issue, and issue that is the root of our countries greatest challenges of past, present and future.

Younger generations are consistently under assault by politicians consistently reaching into the would-be future to pay for the politician’s present. I’m not just speaking of the generational theft that has been going on for years within the entitlement programs that get bigger without any hope of being solvent within the next decade due to double accounting, while the spending is speeding up, and no hope of a balanced budget in sight. It should be clear to every American (not just conservatives) that our current President seeks to encroach upon the freedom of an individual to be successful by their own merits. By suggesting the utility of a Federal Government can somehow buoy up a struggling economy that sinks under the financial weight and burden of this Government’s debt and it’s uncontrolled deficit spending, President Obama has indicated that he believes that Government and only Government can undo the burdens that Government has created by burdening the public with more Government burden through unchecked balances, and unstopped spending, while growing entitlements. Lies require great and grand complexity to maintain the facade from one generation to the next… And so goes the assaults that are meant to give personal offense to the individual. In hopes that the individual will reject any attempt to remove the mask of deception. In a truly Machiavellian manner, the message from 1 Hope and Change Central; Chicago, IL is to distrust anyone that will wage war against your women while at the same time ask you to ignore the death toll by abortion, steal your opportunities through complex tax evasion by the top 1%, seek to thwart any degree of happiness of LGBT couples, and to label all non-conformist views that don’t fall under these three categories as racially charged rhetoric meant to discredit the President, and to stop his re-election. And all of this conspiracy to destroy the “man of the people” despite his consistent, blatant, hypocrisy with crony appointments, crony loans, and crony supported legislation that he signed into law. No… no… it’s just simpler to accept that he’s done no wrong, and that “he’s trying his best”, and he’s “inherited impossible circumstances from GWB”…

And yet, the youthful generations simply aren’t receiving the simple message: “He’s Lying — That’s what great oratorical politicians do best!” So… My question is Why?

Is it the failure of the media not embracing a ‘fair and balanced’ approach regarding the philosophy behind conservative politics?
Is it President Obama’s oratory skills that confuse the youth to the point they’d believe anything?
Is it because people believe a small man like Harry Reid couldn’t just make stuff up about Romney’s alleged hidden bank accounts, fraud or felonies committed?
Is it that Nancy Pelosi sounds reasonable when she stated “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”?

Conservatives have spent billions in political ads, in GOTV tools, in new technology, in Radio markets, and so on… for what? To get self-serving politicians that ignore the people that elected them, to ‘compromise’ for a legacy in the halls of congress? To hoist up celebrity personalities that “speak for us” so we don’t have to?

Liberals have the media, they have Hollywood, they have counter-culture, music, etc… and they have consistently won the majority of generation after generation of 18-35yr old voters…

Why are we not spending more on winning the culture of our youth… did we simply cede this ground long ago and we believe it’s a lost cause to reach out to them?

We live in an era where ‘anything goes’ and it’s not just for the youth any longer. There comes a point when you’re no longer “young and stupid”, you’re just stupid. Our society seems to reflect the old saying “If you’re young and a Republican you haven’t got a heart, but if you’re old and a Democrat you haven’t got a brain”. But this just isn’t so… To be a conservative is to be one who seeks a greater good through personal responsibility. So in this context, Where are the standard bearers of freedom, decency, cultural boundaries? Where does a youth go to seek guidance when immorality, senseless violence, vulgarity, and lasciviousness is in their ‘daily bread’ through all forms of modern media? The youth are taught to mistrust the authority of the law wherever the means of an unjust action can be justified by the ends of a greater good. Where are the professors that will destroy the logical fallacies that spin so much deceit and foolishness?

It is a cultural norm for the youth to treat religious views with disdain or levity, to understand boundaries as restrictive and unrelenting to freedom. It is the norm to distrust the person that exemplifies religious or family values, especially when they are not shared (whether this is due to a non-belief, or simply a difference of beliefs). It is easy to dismiss something that has not been considered or investigated with a simple soundbite from a conversation that was liberal or libertine in nature. Especially when one might consider more thoughtfully the principles they violate with agreeing to go along, just to get along. A word: IF you pray, pray that our culture can be fixed, pray that our youth will not squander their heritage of faith and freedom, pray that our politicians will seek divine guidance to uphold the oath that they take when entering into office.

So yes… I believe in standards. I believe that like the founding fathers who pledged their riches, and their blood, that there must be an oath among conservatives to stand up and shake to the core of every American, that the falsehoods that have bound them to silence when it comes to defending freedom may fall like the shackles of an innocent person set free. Although it would be interesting to see an Conservative Pledge of honor floating around the internet that has been signed by the “Conservative Opinion Makers” with about 35-52 million signatures along side it… maybe we call it the “Declaration of Independence from a Dependent Culture”… who knows, something like that might just get hijacked by the next “fly by night” politician hitching his unprincipled bandwagon straight to their Washington office… call me cynical…besides, where are we going to find a Thomas Jefferson today?

But what I am not cynical about… Is that people everywhere of every generation are looking for leadership. They’re looking for a return to American Greatness. There is no time like the present to make good on our the failed promises of each succeeding generation. And believe me, there is no one else more qualified… to speak these self-evident truths to everyone within your personal sphere of influence, than yourself.

[Cross Posted @ RedState.com]

Comment » | Essays on American Politics

Passing the Mantle of Reagan Requires a Field of Opportunities Rather than a Harvest of Opportunists.

March 15th, 2012 — 4:35am

The title of this diary was borrowed from the heading of the following excerpt in a previous diary I wrote at the beginning of the Primary season:

True Americans fight for honesty and search for the truth. If we can’t find a candidate with leadership that comes from the moral authority of living justly and judging righteously, then we are doomed as a nation. If a candidate with the leadership quality of moral authority can’t bring most of us along in the primary let alone the general electorate, then our nation is in need of some serious repentance.

I say let the field be wide and deep. Let the candidates declare their beliefs rather than attempt to convince us of their own ‘charismatic electability rating’ or the ‘fatal flaws’ of their opponents. Let the candidates understand that if their beliefs are challenged by the people they may have to burn a few bridges to somewhere {even if it means they lose their ‘shot’} to stand firm for what you believe in. Standing up for what you believe in and losing the primary isn’t something to be ashamed of, it just means it wasn’t your time. Either the people were not prepared to embrace the truth, or you didn’t do your homework enough to know the truth of the matter, and how to communicate it. You see it’s not about understanding what the people think they need. It’s about knowing what is needed and being able to communicate so effectively that you stir the hearts and minds of good people everywhere to stand with you.

This is why Reagan was so effective. He did his homework, he knew and understood good sound principles of governance because he was tenacious in understanding what was needed and how to communicate it. The right candidate knows the difference between winning an election vs. winning the heart and soul of the nation.

It bears a great deal of relevance at this time. We have 4 remaining Republican candidates. In an almost unholy manner have each of them attempted to draw some parallel of Reagan’s legacy to their own record and rhetoric. I’m curious as to Why? they feel the need to draw these parallels. Campaigning in these modern times is so intense, that there are entire teams dedicated to testing messages among crowds for their effectiveness.

I understand invoking the name of Reagan and underscoring his message among Republicans is the equivalence of gathering a group of devout Catholics, and quoting from the Pope. So that much isn’t lost on me… I get it… speaking about Reagan is good, showing your understanding of his legacy, and repeating his message ties an emotional response of “like” to the candidate speaking about those things. Yet, here is where I’m confused…

Why does the Republican electorate respond with admiration for candidates because of their recognition of Reagan’s legacy? Everyone knows that Republicans admire and love Reagan… so how is it that people buy in so much regarding one’s ties to that legacy?

So for me, here is where the GOP nomination race stands. We have 2 top tier candidates that are both sincere when talking about their own record, and insincere when talking about the other candidate’s record. Both are fighting to receive the nomination, and now their arguments are boiling down to who is being more honest, and who is more “establishment”. Then we have a very authentic and sincere candidate that ought to be given more consideration, but simply is ignored due to a spotty election record, and supported in the name of “compassionate conservatism” some big spending bills, but at least he is authentic, and sincere, and doesn’t spend a lot of time trashing the other candidates for personal issues. Finally the “other guy” is simply not tenable to any American that takes seriously our role as the “shining city on the hill” in the world, let’s just leave it at that.

Shear pragmatism tells me my choices are between Romney and Gingrich. Phooey. I can be for conservatism by focusing on candidates that understand that Reagan’s legacy isn’t about Reagan the man, it’s about how Reagan the man lived according to the dictates of his conscience, and not being tossed to and fro by every wind of electorate feet stamping.

I’m just a little tired of the opportunists. The folks that go about with levity and the wherewithal to denigrate the integrity of our candidates due to their preferences of conservative dogma…

It seems to me that there has been a great deal of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that is entirely the effect of less rational adults that never got passed their childish tantrums as a means to getting what they want. Just about every parent has experienced this phenomenon where the child often can’t see beyond their immediate wants to see that in the

Well I may not prefer Romney, and I may not prefer Gingrich… but I certainly don’t want Obama as a President. That alone is enough for me to face the reality that I can’t sit on the fence in the general. However for the primary, I’ve given up the hope that the conservative electorate of Republicans will have an opportunity to find a candidate that received the Mantle of Reagan by effectively communicating conservative principles, as opposed to opportunists that would like to co-opt a legacy to claim political superiority.

Both Newt and Romney are guilty of going negative on each other, to them I would ask “Why should a conservative have hope in the future under your Presidency?” Sadly neither are answering that question, they’re more content claiming they’re better than the rest of our options.

It is our own fault for desiring “electability” over seeking the principled candidate. Let’s not waste time bemoaning the remaining arguments of electability or inevitability. Let’s not fool ourselves into believing one candidate is more or less “Establishment” than the other. (Is there a way to become a member of this Establishment? Can I donate to some fund and become a card carrying member that like the boogeyman can somehow by voodoo cause voters to accept MY candidate… if only I had that power, how I’d use it wisely! — see how stupid blaming an unidentifiable group of people for failure to win delegates in the nominating process is?).

Long and short, if Newt can’t survive Romney’s 5-1 spending in Florida, how will he survive Obama’s 10-1 spending in the general election, with an MSM that will lie, cheat, and bias their way to character defamation regardless of who our nominee is?

If Romney thinks that Newt’s being unrealistic about his criticisms… well good luck with trying to tell the Media how they’re wrong about their criticisms when you’re going up against Obama.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we must HEAL and HEAL quickly the divide once we have our nominee, we must like good sports congratulate the winner, and get behind them if we’re to defeat Obama.

In the mean time, conservatives of all stripes will need to focus on local/downticket elections, and support where they can. I don’t see anything wrong with taking sides with either of the remaining candidates in the POTUS race, but I also think we could be making more effective use of our time if we’re unhappy with the remaining candidates.

And just because this is so darn inspiring (29 Minutes of your life is worth it):

Comment » | Essays on American Politics

The Tension Between: Religion and Politics; Values, Faith, Character; Heart and Head.

January 26th, 2012 — 10:16pm
I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.
- Mark Twain, Eruption

There are few things that create tension among mixed company like politics and religion. Both are deeply personal and are shaped over years of experience and observation. Every individual will at some point in their life make judgements regarding what is true and correct. While there are specific tenets in faith and politics that create divisions by faction or creed, there are intersections of laws both made by man and that of the eternities that will by necessity require the formation of relationships based on trust and ecumenical loyalties.

The stage for Economy is when two or more people are gathered to exchange values.
The stage for Politics is when two or more people are gathered to work out their differences by policy.
The stage for Security is when two or more opposing forces cannot work things out by politics.
The stage for Religion is when two or more are gathered to worship.

If any of these things were purely of an individual matter, we would not need discuss them, let alone spend an undue amount of time trying to prove the errors of ignorance, arrogance, envy, enmity, and all other antithetical behaviors to the supposed “virtuous path”. Our intuitive desire for higher understanding, the very desire that espouses the virtues of knowledge, humility, empathy, brotherly kindness, and love, is synthesized in social interaction. Without this desire, without curiosity, the world would we be an awful boring space for matter to occupy.

Exemplars, Heroes, Mentors, are sought after because it’s easier to subscribe to a set of principles and values than it is to come up with, and etch them on your own set of tablets. Subscribing does not require the follower to sacrifice as much in reputation and capital, until they become an active participant to the effect of leading in their own spheres of influence. The stakes for integrity, pure intent, and follow through are not nearly as demanding on the follower as they are for the leader. I suspect that each of us at some point in our lives will be challenged to take up our cause and become the leader where we stand at that time. Each of us will weigh the balance of what “is” and what “ought”, and what we can effect to “become”. Much of those experiences repeating in different circumstances will make up not just what we believe, but who we become. And thus we develop Character.

Those of us that know and understand the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, have a testimony that not only has a perfect exemplar lived and died, but that he lived again. That one life in presumably billions was able to rise above all things, and descend below all things, and then rise again, that He might judge with perfect judgement given to him by his Father.

Testimony is a thing that is difficult to debate with those that do not have that testimony. Again it is something that is acquired through desire, faith, action, and experience. Doctrinal differences aside, all arguments for and against must be weighed by the experience of synthesizing what has been written and analyzed. This is where faith begins, it begins when a truth exists with or without a hypothesis. By curiosity, by desire, or faith, without any evidence that our action will be rewarded with a better understanding, we move forward with what we do know finding the path ahead lighted just enough for us to know we should continue forward. Now when this is so done, and the truth is uncovered, that which was learned has now become experience, and truth becomes not just faith, but knowledge by faith. Without faith, there could be nothing known, for without having knowledge of truth by our own experience, we are just borrowing information from others. Such an existence would be wholly dependent, and yet be isolated in ignorance. Which is why most of us take the truth to be hard when we’re unwilling to interact with others.

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so”. -Ronald Reagan

There are folks out there that may have good intent, but they’re just wrongheaded. Sometimes they draw their experience from foreign sources to illustrate the correctness of their anecdotal assumptions. These are not enemies to that which is true, but their ignorance is indeed the enmity between truth and the path to hell paved with good intentions. When Reagan quipped about the “trouble with our liberal friends” it was tongue in cheek, but the observation holds true to those that become frustrated when attempting to articulate the hypothesis, analysis, and the synthesis of the “trouble” that we share concomitantly, along with the proposed solution, to another that simply ‘doesn’t get it’.

Humility provides us the opportunity to re-evaluate what we know, and what we do with that knowledge. So much of what Conservatism is, as an ideology, requires personal study, personal experience, and personal sacrifice to stand up to populist movements that are driven by group-think. One mustn’t assume that Conservatism is wholly on the side of tradition when pitted against progress. Conservatism is more about starting with personal effectiveness.

Rather than dealing with outliers by moving the goal posts and skewing production in the name of equality and fairness. The more limited the government is in manipulating the outcome, or redistributing the harvest of producers, the more individuals are required to prosper on their own merits, or depend on the charity of others for their substance. When government provides a safety net for that gap, they promote dependency rather than self-sufficiency, and government grows. When government provides a safety net for that gap, they deprive the opportunity for producers to work by charity, and then government grows.

Not all will value all in parity. So how is it that we can claim that equality is promoted by redistributing the fruits of productivity? All men are created equal, but going forward it is their life and their liberty that allows them to determine their own path in the pursuit of happiness. Liberty without independence is dead being alone. The less dependent we are on others (including Government), the more we can create, innovate, illustrate, and educate. (i.e. contribute/produce). Contribution is always more effective in production than Confiscation and Re-Distribution of talents, and when we are speaking about the conditions of mankind at the individual level, progress will be found in personal effectiveness, not dependence on others for substance.

There is indeed a tension between our head and heart. But when peaceful emotions seem to harmonize both, we are given the rare gift of clarity in that very moment. It is when we have these moments that we can be confident in the desire, the action, the faith, and the knowledge obtained. I have a suspicion that the absence of this clarity isn’t a judgement upon our ability to reconcile the tension between head and heart, but rather a clue that quite possibly we’re being distracted from that which is most important and urgent in the pursuit of happiness from the eternal perspective.

Each of us “ought” to evaluate where we stand. We “ought” to lift and contribute in that place to the greatest execution of our capacity. However liberty dictates that we are free to choose our own personal effectiveness to our own purposes. And herein lies the confidence that can not be stripped by detractors, defamers, and distractions. When we do what is right, we remain free. Neither can we do wrong, and feel good about it. As long as we all remain free to choose for ourselves what we produce, and what we contribute, the more there will be of necessity, ideologies that compete. Therefore we must recognize that the expansion and contraction of these tensions during the expected lifetime of an individual are conditions of the perpetuity of social interaction. Some conditions may require compromise, some conditions may require absolutes. Thus the need to set goals with the direction and purpose in mind, as much as the consideration of the destination and achievement. I suppose that on the ladder of knowledge and experience that there is not any one of us that can jump too many rungs at a time, and hope to understand something where we have not tread foot.

Therefore I find myself in agreement with the principal(and principled) author of the Constitution when he said: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. -James Madison

Comment » | Essays on American Politics, Ethics, Philosophy, and Theory, The Gospel Of Jesus Christ

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