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In response to:

Conservatives' Culture Bubble

Steve94 Wrote: Aug 19, 2014 11:24 AM
Robin Williams? A guy with knack for voices and jokes. Though I enjoyed much of his cleaner work, he struck me as a crass man, like most comedians are. His life went pitiably, but since I started writing this, other human lives have ended equally pitiably, and my sense of sanity can ill afford to heap grief on only one member of our human family, unconnected to me in any real way, even if the world feigns jealous or deluded intimacy with him. So I 'embraced' the tiny comment this author critiqued more than I did her entire essay. So much truth is packed into it: the equality of all men, the deceptiveness of modern entertainment and the frequent spiritual hollowness of its purveyors, it's lack of tangible productivity and obscenely lopsided overvaluation... In a political context, it's true that conservatives are in the unhappy position of needing to try to appeal to the ever-more-vulgar tastes of those whose forebears, one broken link at a time, sacrificed their craving for cultural uplift. But an American conservative is at his absolute ugliest when pandering for votes against all principle, like his opponents. If good principles are worth dying for, surely they are worth losing elections for, or failing to tittilate the public. We need to engage for humanity's sake, not for our own popularity's sake, so we need not take popular positions, but correct and humane ones. Talk of 'bursting' our own protective, civilized 'bubble', or watching offensive shows and bending our tastes toward the ugly to look cooler, conveys nothing of the 'confidence' this confused author called for.
...Nah. The war is lost when you become like your enemies. The only thing more helpful to Democrats than being sent to Washington themselves is for Republicans to internalize their perverted principles. When a blue Democrat wins, and he wins once; he must guard against opposition scrutiny all his days. When a red Democrat wins, Democrats may get their laws anyway, at the same time as they discredit their foes for the next election; they win twice. This talk of uniting behind wrongdoers first out of partisanship, and worrying about the details later, may be sincerely offered, and tactically correct in some cases, but it only creates an endless paradox of both identifying and rewarding wrong behaviour. Romney was a respectable human being, even to Libertarians. There are honest differences of opinion held by basically decent candidates; there is stretching the bounds of friendly rivalry; and then there is outright power-addiction and Democrat-style campaigning: electing liars solely because they are better liars. It is not the label 'Democrat', nor Democrat policy itself, with all its naive good intentions, that makes compromise so dangerous -- it is the discarding of integrity, the bare craving of deception and self-interest, the intentional blinding of entire generations of voters to the vanity and impossibility of their schemes, that makes them so toxic. I would go so far as to prefer a clearly honest Democrat to a blatantly dishonest Republican; his honesty will save him from his party's insanity. There cannot be a contest between integrity and deceit unless there is first a side with at least some integrity. Other Republicans still may, but Cochran no longer carries that banner. This is not the winner-take-all race for the presidency, and if conservatism in the Senate stands or falls with Cochran, it's a lost cause already this cycle (and Childers, the Democrat here, claims some of Cochran's major conservative stances). Toss him; stay home if you can't stomach Childers. At the very least, it will send a warning.
Helpless children have claim on their mothers, who consented to form them, to not actively seek to kill them, before or after birth. Individuals do not have claim on larger society to provide them with every possible mean of delaying death, no matter the cost, no matter consent. Yet almost all people are willing to give to some extent to help out others. The figures here are only estimates, but if people in MA do consent to pay, say, four million dollars per year to save life, how is it not right to ask whether they want to spend that money saving one life, or find a way to save many more lives with it? Meanwhile, with perhaps a few hundred or even 1,000 people a year gratefully having their lives preserved by the MA insurance reform, at least 20,000 babies continue to be chopped up in the state every year. It would be no surprise for someone to 'yell and scream' over that disparity, or care more about saving the 20 almost-born people than the 1 born, probably adult, probably elderly person. I am not sure I know an older person who, if actually faced with the choice, would not give up their life to save even one child, let alone 20. Why not loudlier lament the greater loss?
Heather Ginsberg: The second and third quotations you ascribe to Romney are actually attributed to Pawlenty in your source article. Romney did not say very much there. He may be right about branding; the GOP may do better to make small, repeated, less consequential concessions with the minimum wage, if for nothing else, to detract from an anti-wage stereotype and blunt some of the mindless criticism. If he campaigned on the easy-to-understand plan of linking wage to inflation, at least he is being consistent by saying it should go up now. Personally, I see no real legislative need for a federal increase. Though the $7.25 has not changed for five years, just under half the states have already raised it above the federal minimum on their own, which they all are perfectly free to do. So let them do it. Many, but not all, of these states seem to suffer adverse employment effects; it is not a simple arithmetic question of how much the minimum will detract from jobs. Tax rates, industry and workforce specifics, and living costs all complicate the federal presupposition of an across-the-board increase taking equal effect everywhere. Obviously, it is not wanted everywhere. It's just a campaigning trick from the other side. Maybe Romney, even if not running, has decided that the best response is to play along, and pluck yourself at the marionette strings dragging the other side's voters around. This would not have been a vote-killer for me; I was far more annoyed by Romney's e-mail to Jan Brewer.
In response to:

Dissent on a One-Way Street

Steve94 Wrote: Apr 05, 2014 12:31 PM
Obviously this fae kingdom of yours, where everybody's rights are respected, does not hold sway over the public sector, where the only tangible fear of reprisal is in having opinions against homosexuality and its civil establishment, not opinions in favour. Is it freer and equaller in the private sector? I can imagine it was once harder for homosexuals to get jobs, if not for their straight allies, though I can't remember hearing anything about people being outright pushed out of professions, or fined, or sued, for voting against Proposition 8 or promoting dysgenderism. Maybe it's out there somewhere. And maybe people only really feel the boot on their own necks, not those on the necks of their enemies.
Hurrah for your integrity, but is that the same Lord who said, "He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said [...] they twain shall be one flesh [...] What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder"? Is God 'evil' for making men and women, and making them into husband and wife for the dual purpose of completion and childbearing -- or are the evil ones those eager to excuse their sexual incontinence by changing men's laws and opinions?
Well, so is a democracy -- but not according to the activists, who are coming to favour the worst weapons of top-down authoritarianism that they once claimed to chafe under. But consent is an artificial construct offering little resistance to 'born that way' dogma of the natural world.
First you say any two consenting adults, but then you say, 'If they are born that way'. So, if they chose it, would you be happy to discriminate against them? You would if you thought it was wrong, which our society once almost universally did; and 'born that way' was just a Trojan horse to a people unable to consider that we can be born wrongly sometimes, or have natural inclinations that do not actually promote our welfare. Then you limit the allowability of love and marriage to 'adults' -- what if pre-adults are 'born' liking each other, or adults are born liking children? In these cases, your willingness to legislate morality still shines through. If you have morals you wish to inflict on the world for its own betterment, why not let others do the same?
Her reasoning is not difficult to follow; the bill could perhaps be more finely tuned; but the law was always meant to be prophylactic, so it seems insincere for her to judge it as if it were addressing some current exigency. Brewer has said, we don't have such a problem yet in Arizona; therefore, you may not pass a law guarding against such a problem. It's short-sighted. Now what will Arizona's faithful do, except only wait for the problem to someday emerge against, and be unable by that time to address it, and realize, as usual, that yesterday's leaders sabotaged them? The "some legislators have changed their minds about their vote" part sounds like nonsense, not within her authority to determine".
The ideal non-partisan that I fear we will never see in office is somebody whom nobody loves but everybody tolerates, who is not beholden to any one group or faction, who cannot be bought. Romney's 'fan base' is still right here, nice and cozy, waiting for him to come reclaim his second term, for the same reasons as before: he was always the stable, experienced, mature, intelligent candidate; exemplary in principles without being loud about them; full of the decorum, fairness, deference to law, and statesmanship Americans think are extinct in their leaders; not prone to the dramatic swings in public opinion that characterized his challengers. If Romney stays retired, I would accept Paul or Cruz or whomever, but 2012 was not some unusual year when, inexplicably, no strong candidate could be found so that Romney was the best of the mediocre -- rather, Romney was simply a vastly competent and strong candidate that took all kinds of abuse and media collusion to bring down below 50% (while every poll taken on the question since then has concluded he would win in a rematch with Obama), and with Romney in the 2016 race, his decent opponents would still come across as children, more fodder for the Democrat vote machine.
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